Public Encouraged to “Decide Their Ride,” Help Shape Regional Transit Look for Generations to Come
ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is seeking public input on many of the interior features that will be designed into the fleet of new rail cars, the first of which will arrive in metro Atlanta in 2023. While some interior elements of the rail car have been decided—for example, each pair of cars will have an open gangway—there are a variety of design solutions for other elements.
Daily riders, occasional riders and potential future customers can navigate to a crowdsourcing platform through the MARTA homepage, at www.itsmarta.com/yourride or on MARTA’s social media pages. Participants can express their priorities and preferences by voting on options for seating, luggage storage, bike areas, maps/wayfinding, handrails/stanchions, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility. In the coming months, the public will be asked for input on exterior features of the new rail cars.
“Most importantly, these new rail cars will provide a safer, more efficient ride, improving reliability and reducing rail delays caused by the aging fleet,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “We also want these trains to be comfortable, look good, and have all the bells and whistles that make riding convenient and enjoyable.”
MARTA entered a contract to purchase 254 rail cars from Stadler US in November 2019 for $646 million, representing the single largest procurement for either organization, and a milestone in MARTA’s capital improvement program aimed at more efficient performance and enhanced customer experience.
The new rail cars will complement other investments aimed at enhancing the customer experience such as a new station audio-visual information system, systemwide elevator and escalator upgrades, restroom modernization, and rehabilitation and restoration program to refresh MARTA rail stations.