MARTA says more than a third of its bus stops in Clayton County will soon offer shelters, benches or other enhancements for south metro residents taking public transportation.
In a recent update before the Clayton Board of Commissioners, MARTA Assistant Manager of External Affairs Virgil Fludd said the transit system will install 30 benches in the county in the first year of a five-year bus stop improvement plan it recently launched.
Once installed, about 38 percent of bus stops in the county will have enhancements of some sort, which include trash cans, solar-powered lighting, leaning rails and cases for schedules and maps.
“Simply put, we heard you and we’re responding, Fludd said. “Just recently MARTA signed a contract with Creative Outdoor Advertising of America to install up to 300 bus benches in Clayton County over the next 12 to 18 months.”
Leaders and MARTA riders have decried the lack of shelters, benches and other amenities at Clayton’s bus stops. MARTA has said it failed in the past to secure advertising for the Clayton bus stops. MARTA uses revenue from advertising to pay for the enhancements.
Clayton has more than 600 bus stops, Fludd said.
The first installations in the new roll out will occur in July at Forest Parkway at Bartlett Road, Garden Walk Boulevard and West Lee Mills Road, Mount Zion Road and Tara Boulevard, Upper Riverdale Road and Arrowhead Boulevard and 618 Lamar Hutcheson Road.
The advertising revenue will be shared between MARTA, Clayton and its cities. Fludd did not breakout how much each municipality would get.
Clayton Commissioner Felicia Franklin Warner said MARTA appears to repeating its plans.
“It seems like I’m seeing the same presentation over and over again,” she said. “I need to see some time stamp dates.”
She also said that enhancements for 30 stops seems miniscule given the total number of them in the county. MARTA needs to demonstrate progress, not repeated pledges to fix the same problems, she said.
“The next time we need to be able to put some check marks by completed,” she told Fludd, referring to MARTA’s fall update to the board.
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