Q&A on the news

Q: Maps on MARTA trains now show that the lines have been color-coded. Directions of the lines are apparently being phased out, and the station numbers have been eliminated. When and why did MARTA make these changes, and are the signs on the trains and in the stations going to be changed?

— Richard H. Siegel, Atlanta

A: MARTA began its color-coded rail line identification system on Oct. 1. With 37 million people visiting Atlanta each year, MARTA officials said they wanted to ensure that even first-time customers could quickly and conveniently find their way throughout the system. The main rail lines — and their deviating branches — are now identified by four primary colors. The identification system is designed to minimize confusion for those traveling on lines that split, as well as for visitors from other cities who may be more accustomed to color-coded rail systems, officials said. Maps in stations and on trains have been updated. Placards are at the front of each train displaying the rail line color and the station at the end of each line. MARTA is updating permanent signs in stations to reflect the rail line colors. Directional signs will remain, and color-coded stripping will be added. All customer communications had to be updated as a result of the Oct. 1 fare increase, making it economical to include the color system at the same time, officials said.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).