The I-85 bridge collapse has caused a surge in MARTA ridership and the demand for parking at its stations, and Monday may present an even bigger challenge as spring break comes to an end.
Whether you're a new rider just learning how to navigate MARTA or a regular who's now having trouble finding a parking space, here's what you need to know about MARTA's parking:
What is MARTA doing to deal with the increased need for parking?
Some stations have been running out of available spaces early in the morning, so MARTA is adding 1,200 new spaces starting Monday at these high-traffic stations: Chamblee, King Memorial, Brookhaven/Oglethorpe, Kensington and East Point. Some staff members will also be reassigned to help first-time riders at some locations.
MARTA is also rolling out a site – itsmarta.com/parking.aspx – to let commuters know which parking lots are full. Staff and surveillance cameras will be used to monitor lot availability and update the site in real time starting Monday from 6-10 a.m. After that time, the site will be periodically updated to reflect changes in parking availability. Updates will cover the following 10 stations, which tend to fill up quickly:
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North Springs, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Doraville, Chamblee, Brookhaven, Lenox, Lindbergh Center, College Park and Kensington.
In addition, parking availability will be updated on Facebook and Twitter under @MARTA service. You can also download MARTA's On the Go app to receive schedules, real-time Next Train and Next Bus tracking and other information.
Which MARTA stations have parking?
Parking is available at most – but not all – MARTA stations.
The following MARTA stations have parking:
- Medical Center (short-term and long-term)
- Dunwoody (short-term and long-term)
- Sandy Springs (short-term and long-term)
- North Springs (short-term and long-term)
- Lindbergh Center (short-term and long-term)
- Lenox (short-term and long-term)
- Brookhaven/Oglethorpe University (short-term and long-term)
- Chamblee (short-term)
- Doraville (short-term and long-term)
- West End (short-term)
- Oakland City (short-term)
- Lakewood/Ft. McPherson (short-term)
- East Point (short-term)
- College Park (short-term and long-term)
Indian Creek (short-term)
- Kensington (short-term and long-term)
- Avondale (short-term)
- East Lake (short-term)
- Edgewood/Candler Park (short-term)
- Inman Park/Reynoldstown (short-term)
- Ashby (short-term)
- West Lake (short-term)
- Hamilton E. Holmes (short-term)
All of MARTA's parking decks are open 24 hours a day, except for the Kensington and Lenox stations, which are open from 5:30 a.m.-midnight.
What's the different between short-term and long-term parking?
Short-term parking is for 24 hours or less, and long-term parking is for periods of time beyond that, such as using MARTA to catch a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Long-term parking is available at Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and North Springs on the red line; Lindbergh Center, Lenox, Brookhaven/Oglethorpe University, Doraville and College Park on the gold line; and Kensington on the blue line.
How much does parking cost?
Short-term parking is free. You'll get a free parking ticket from the ticket dispenser when you enter a lot, and when you leave, give the ticket to the parking staff.
Long-term parking is either $5 or $8 per day, depending on the lot, and can be paid by cash or credit card. You'll also receive a ticket that you'll need to hold onto and present to parking staff when you leave.
How can you avoid having to park?
In some cases, you may need to drive and park at a MARTA station. However, you can also arrange to have someone drop you off in the Kiss/Ride lanes, or, if possible, bike to a MARTA station. Each MARTA vehicle is equipped with a bike rack.
In addition, MARTA has partnered with Uber, which is offering a 50 percent discount off of their pool fare for trips to and from MARTA stations. You can also carpool to help reduce the number of cars that need to park.