MARTA Ridership Like the I-85 Collapse Never Happened
Michael Kahn reports on the disappointing results of the Atlanta region's experiment with public transit in the wake of the closure of I-85 following a fire and the collapse of a bridge along the highway in April.
Many saw the I-85 temporary demise "as a chance to hook the masses on MARTA," writes Kahn, "and an initial jump of ridership by 25-percent looked promising." As detailed in a post by Joe Cortright, the region adapted well to the reduced transportation capacity, and traffic found a way to balance out.
But those gains in alternative transportation were short-lived, as evidenced by the story of a July 4 snafu that delayed trains and left holiday travelers fuming. Buried in that article by Doug Richards is the news that ridership on MARTA has returned to pre-collapse levels.
Both writers note that frequent service interruptions aren't likely to inspire hordes of new riders to adopt public transit, although the short duration of the I-85 closure also probably didn't force that many riders to make public transit a routine.