MARTA to restore 19 more bus routes to regular service Saturday

MARTA continues to restore bus service that was scaled back during the coronavirus pandemic. (File photo by Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

MARTA continues to restore bus service that was scaled back during the coronavirus pandemic. (File photo by Jason Getz /

MARTA will increase the frequency of bus service on 19 routes Saturday as it continues to restore service that was scaled back amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency also will change several routes as it tweaks bus service. The changes are the latest evidence that MARTA is gradually recovering from the pandemic, which saw its bus ridership plummet and its service reduced as it struggled to hire drivers.

MARTA operates 113 bus routes in Atlanta and Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties. At the beginning of the pandemic, the agency suspended most of its routes so it could provide more frequent service on the busiest ones.

It later restored most of its routes. But it struggled to maintain regular service frequencies because of driver retirements and illness. That led MARTA to reduce 96 routes to Saturday schedules in December 2021.

The agency has been gradually restoring service as it hires drivers. After Saturday, MARTA will have restored about 87% of its bus service.MARTA says it plans to restore all service to a regular weekday schedule by August as it continues to hire drivers.

The frequency of the routes affected by the latest changes will vary. For example, Route 180 on Roosevelt Highway will run every 30 minutes — up from every 45 minutes currently. And northbound and southbound service will begin 50 minutes earlier.

Meanwhile, service on Route 8 on North Druid Hills Road will run every 45 minutes — up from every 60 minutes. Northbound service will begin five minutes earlier and end 60 minutes later. Southbound service will begin 40 minutes earlier and end 60 minutes later.

The agency also is changing several routes because of various concerns. For example, because lane widths are too narrow, service on Route 183 will not operate along Niskey Lake Road and County Line Road north of Campbellton Road for now. Service will be provided on County Line Road south of Campbellton.

For details on all the route changes, visit

The moves come as MARTA plans a major redesign of its entire bus network. The agency’s board of directors recently opted for a system that provides more frequent service on fewer routes — a move MARTA believes will increase overall ridership. The agency plans to offer on-demand transit service in some areas where fixed-route service is eliminated.

MARTA plans to unveil the details of its new bus system this summer. After seeking public input, it will implement the final changes next spring.