MARTA expands service for Georgia-Alabama football championship

MARTA is expanding rail service for Monday’s national college football championship between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Spokeswoman Stephany Fisher said Thursday the transit agency will offer additional service from 5 a.m. Monday until 2 a.m. Tuesday to help deal with the large crowds expected for the game.

The championship, which President Donald Trump plans to attend, begins at 8 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Kendrick Lamar is also scheduled to perform a free halftime concert at Centennial Olympic Park.

Central Atlanta Progress is encouraging downtown commuters to use public transportation or work remotely.

“Beginning during the afternoon travel peak on Monday, downtown Atlanta expects to increase its typical daytime population of 176,000 people by approximately 57 percent,” said Paige Sullivan, the spokeswoman for the downtown business association.

An additional 100,000 College Football Playoff National Championship fans, media and event staff are expected in the area, Sullivan said.

And multiple roads will be closed, including Marietta Street between Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard and Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Centennial Olympic Park Drive between Portman Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and eastbound Baker Street between Luckie Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive.



MARTA rail service will operate on a weekday schedule starting Sunday, with trains arriving more frequently, Fisher said.

On game day, all rail lines will run more frequently and additional trains will be added as needed.

“Purchase a round-trip ticket at the beginning of your trip to avoid long lines on the return,” Fisher said.

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