A red line train leaves the North Springs MARTA Station in Atlanta, Georgia, where parking is a major issue after the I-85 collapse. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)
Photo: David Barnes/DAVID BARNES / SPECIAL
Photo: David Barnes/DAVID BARNES / SPECIAL

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

On the heels of an unforeseen event that forced many metro Atlantans to collectively turn to public transit, MARTA will officially launch a webpage that tracks the status of some of its parking decks and reports that to commuters. 

Following the Interstate 85 collapse on March 30, many who drove to MARTA stations were confounded with a new frustration: There was nowhere to park. 

MARTA quickly said it was well aware of the need to address parking shortages after enormous parking decks at several stations filled or neared capacity early during morning rush hours. 

To help alleviate some of these concerns, MARTA briefly soft-tested a website — at itsmarta.com/parking that shows when parking lots are full. 

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The updates apply to 10 stations that are prone to filling up quickly, based on recent trends. Free daily parking is available at 23 rail stations.

The site will be active Monday to Friday, using a mix of staff and surveillance cameras to monitor and reflect the real-time status from 6 to 10 a.m. Periodic updates will occur after that time. 

The stations where parking will be tracked are North Springs, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Doraville, Chamblee, Brookhaven, Lenox, Lindbergh Center, College Park and Kensington. Additional station tracking may be added later, a MARTA spokesman said.

MARTA is also reaching out to businesses and other community partners in hopes of finding more parking in the vicinity of stations. And late Friday, MARTA announced it would be adding 1,200 additional parking spaces Monday at five of those high-traffic stations: Chamblee, King Memorial, Brookhaven/Oglethorpe, Kensington and East Point.

The Georgia Department of Transportation expects to reopen I-85 in Buckhead by June 15 – just 11 weeks after the accident. Local law enforcement has charged a homeless man with starting the fire that caused the collapse.

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VIDEO: Following the collapse, MARTA encouraged passengers to use Kiss/Ride to and from MARTA stations

MARTA is encouraging passengers to use Kiss/Ride to and from MARTA stations due to extra riders.
Video: www.accessatlanta.com

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