The great MARTA experiment
April 19, 2007 § 10 Comments
Since moving OTP, my typical morning commute has been like this:
Get in car. Get on 400. Drive, drink coffee, sing aaaaaannnnnnddddd STOP. Somewhere between exit 9 and 7 everything goes wrong and I’m in a parking lot for 20 minutes. It doesn’t matter if there’s a traffic “incident” (as GaNavigator calls them) or if the weather is bad or whatnot. It just happens so I suck it up and I’ve now become someone who “brings things to do/ work in while in the car.” I’ll make phone calls, email, read over some paperwork, and even eat breakfast. Some days I could probably have a full 3-course meal. But after around exit 5, everything runs smoothly (at least until I hit I-85 and that’s a whole other story).
So this morning I decided to experiment with public transportation. I packed my things and drove over to the Mansell Park & Ride lot. Once parked, I looked up and realized a bus was just. pulling. away. Ugh. So I waited another 15 minutes for the next bus. After handing over my $1.75, the driver gave me a bus-to-rail transfer. Sweet! I guess I initially thought I’d have to pay again at the train station.
Then I realized that even though I was on the bus, I was STILL stuck in traffic. Silly MARTA. Why don’t you have dedicated bus lines on the highway like other cities? I’d totally give up my transfer thingy for that. Riding did have a nice feature, though: I did doze off for a little while. It took about 20 minutes to get to the train station, then I rode to Midtown where I got off and hopped on the Tech trolley into campus. Total cost = $1.75. Total time spent = 1 hour and 45 minutes.
I guess the driving expenses I incur one way would be approximately $3 for gas and $.50 for tolls, plus wear and tear and all the horrible awful no-good stuff I’m doing to the environment. But still, I did just pay another $560 for my parking space, so while MARTA’s not too terrible, I’ll probably stick with driving for now.