Marta is Smar-ta | My Marta Tips for Success

Home in Atlanta is conveniently close to a well-kept Marta station. One of my biggest hopes in the Atlanta job hunt is that I will be able to take Marta to work like my husband is able to take Marta to work and school. One day after seeing the Mr. off to work I knew it was time to go get my name officially changed over to a T so I thought Marta would be far superior to use than driving deeper into the city. I got myself ready, grabbed all necessary documents, and collected what I consider to be the Marta necessities (see end of post for full list).

With all items in hand, I hurried across to the Marta station, double checked my destination, and hopped on the train! And then quickly realized I was on the train in the wrong direction. At the next stop I hopped off the train, waited for the correct one, and got back on my way! It was a bit of a hike into the city so I was able to make good way on my book, while also checking my stops repeatedly. Marta tip: Take a screen shot of the line map on your phone and save it to your photos. Doing such lets you check the map compulsively while you’re underground without phone service. The Social Security office was near the Marta station so it was easy-peasy.

Inside a Marta Train

Inside a Marta Train

After the SS office was taken care of I had plenty of time to go get my new license. My husband had told me that it was too far to walk from the Social Security Office to the DMV. A quick google map search revealed that it was only 1.7 miles away and I definitely didn’t want to test my Marta skills too much yet so I figured, “1.7 miles isn’t too bad of a walk! Let’s go!” Well, yes it is true that 1.7 miles it not a bad walk normally. However, 1.7 miles through downtown Atlanta by yourself is mildly scary, to put it lightly. As I was crossing the interstate my husband called, asking me where I was. He didn’t understand why I walked, and that’s when we had a discussion over word choice. “Shouldn’t” means not safe to me; “Couldn’t” means a challenge. Anywhos, a sweaty 35 minutes later leads to a new license.

After getting my new license, I asked where the nearest station was, not caring if it was a east/west or north/south station, I’d figure it out. She tells me, I set off (ignoring vulgar cat calls) and make it to Marta, get on the proper train, and make it to my husband for lunch.

From my Marta experience I learned:

  • There are four lines: red, gold, blue, yellow. Red/gold run north/south; Blue/green runs east/west.
  • If you need to change directions (start off going south then you need to go west or something like that) you’re going to be changing at the 5-Points Station.
  • It’s not scary to change trains.
  • It is no big deal to be on the wrong north/south (red/gold) train. Just hop off at the next stop, maybe wait a bit, and then carry on.
  • Do not forget your Marta Smart card and a cross body bag packed with a smart phone (with the screen shot Marta map), book/magazine, water, snack (if you’re the sort that is prone to hanger), and hand sanitizer if germs creep you out. About the Marta Smart Card—if your bag has an outside zippered pocket, that’s a great place to keep it at, as that you have to scan it to get in and out of the station (and it’s not great to be fiddling in your wallet in the station).
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