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Atlanta I-85 collapse: Uber extends MARTA discounts throughout April

Good news for people trying to avoid driving headaches associated with the I-85 collapse by riding MARTA instead: Uber is extending its discounted uberPOOL rides to or from stations throughout the month of April.

Back on Monday, the ride-sharing service had said it would slash the cost of uberPOOL rides to and from MARTA stations by 50 percent through Friday. The discount on uberPOOL -- the service that allows passengers heading in the same direction to share rides and split the cost -- was originally announced just for this week.  But a spokesperson did say that Uber would continue to monitor the situation and “adapt our plan as we learn more about the effects of the I-85 shutdown.   

  Related video: How to ride MARTA for first-timers

Riding MARTA has become a necessity for many commuters stranded by the collapse of the I-85 bridge. Here are a few pointers for MARTA newbies.

One big effect turned out to be parking problems at MARTA stations. As the number of riders swelled this week, parking ran out early each morning at a number of stations. The problem was particularly acute at North Springs and Doraville -- the northernmost stops on the red line and gold line respectively -- as commuters from Atlanta’s suburbs abandoned any thoughts of trying to drive into the city and took MARTA instead. The ripple effect then continued at stations further down the line.

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As MARTA works on possible parking solutions, it’s urging passengers to carpool to or get dropped off at stations. Some people seem to have turned to uberPOOL: Trips to or from MARTA stations increased by more than 80 percent this week compared to last week, Uber said on Friday. 

   RELATED: I-85 collapse: MARTA launches real-time parking tracker for commuters   

The 50 percent discount is good from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays on uberPOOL rides that begin or end at MARTA stations (a previously announced 25 percent discount on all uberPOOL rides in metro Atlanta was good this week only and is not being extended at this time).

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Those discounted rides may continue to come in handy: After all, this coming Monday brings the end of spring break. And with it, potentially, even more MARTA riders.

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