Atlanta is the home to one of the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The city is the largest in the state of Georgia and a major transportation hub. Due to how busy the airport is, there are several travelers visiting the city.
Atlanta balances southern old charm with modern edge and if you are in the city whether to explore it or you are moving in you would need to get yourself acquainted with the transportation services so that getting around the city wouldn’t be challenging.
In this city, there are several attractions in Atlanta to explore and lots of fun things in Atlanta to do that would make your stay a fun and memorable one. From museums to parks, and lots of other iconic landmarks. Living in Atlanta is affordable, unlike some popular cities in the country.
Atlanta is an inland city surrounded by major highways so it’s easy to get to the city by car, there are boundaries via I-85 from the northeast and southwest, I-20 due east or west and from northwest to south I-75. Around these enteries are several capillaries and major streets that crisscross and loop around the city.
Traffic in Atlanta can be scary, rush hour is usually between 6:30am to 9:00am and then 3:30pm to 7:00pm. It can even get more intense if you are traveling into town in the morning or out of town in the afternoon on any of the interstates. Regardless of the boundaries you choose it is almost always congested even on non-rush hour and the reason is because travelers on these routes join locals that are making their way through the city.
Drivers in the city are usually courteous but they tend to drive on a high speed and it’s always advisable to take away from the interstate route during peak hours. I-285, which circles the city of Atlanta and aids a lot of truck traffic should be avoided by all means.
You can reach most major sights in the city through transit system (MARTA), and using public transportation is the best during entertainment events, conventions and sporting events. But if you are in the city for a few days and you really want to explore and see all the city has to offer, you will have to be careful to be fall prey by dozens of streets with Peachtree.
The state law requires the driver and front-seat passengers to use seat belts while the car is in motion. And children from the age of 4 and below must be buckled into safety seats at the back and those from the age of 5 to 12 years must sit in the back seat of the car has an air bag.
In Atlanta, there are several parking lots and gas stations and toll roads are almost non-existent. In outlaying areas of the city there are several places to part but downtown and in some commercial areas of Buckhead and Midtown, it can be a little challenging and expensive most especially during conventions and other major events like Atlanta festival, etc.
If you are an international tourist and you plan to rent a car in the United States, please note that foreign driver’s license are usually recognize in the United States but if your license is not in English you would need to an international driver’s license.
Insurance and taxes are not included in quoted rental-car rates in the country for international visitors so ensure to ask your rental agency if they added additional fees.
Getting around with taxi in Atlanta is easy, there is always a car waiting at major hotels, airport, most MARTA stations, etc. Although getting a cab in Atlanta is not as easy as it is in New York but it’s also not difficult either. If you don’t get a cab at MARTA, you can make a call for it using the white assistance phone.
In Atlanta, taxi fares are a little complicated, around Downtown, a passenger can pay a flat rate of $5, and if you’re two then additional $1.
The issue with the rate is that it also applies to any direction you are going whether you are just going to the next block, you are required to pay the same amount regardless of how long or short the destination is and this also applies to Buckhead not just Downtown Atlanta.
From downtown and the airport, there is a different flat rate. It is $30 for one passenger and additional $2 for for an extra passenger.
From the airport to Midtown, the rate is $32 for one passenger and an additional $2 an additional passenger.
From the airport to Buckhead, the rate is $38 for a passenger and additional $2 for an extra passenger.
Apart from these specified zones, cabs in Atlanta charge a minimum $1.50 for the meter drop and first 1/6 mile, 29 cents for each additional for every additional 1/6 mile for first passenger and $1 flat rate for every additional passenger whether adult or child. $15 per hour for waiting time.
In Atlanta, there are several taxi companies such as Atlanta Lenox Taxi (telephone: 404/872-2600), Yellow Cabs (telephone: 404/521-0200), Checker Cabs (telephone: 404/351-111), Buckhead Safety Cab (telephone: 404/875-3777), etc.
If you heading to a destination that is outside the zone system, the meter will only begin to run when you enter the cab and some of these taxi companies accept credit cards.
You can call the Taxi Bureau of you have any complain (telephone: 404/658-7600).
By Public Transportation
The subway and bus network is operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, MARTA. You can get to most part of the city using public transportation either via bus or subway, the service is limited to some areas outside the city. To use this services, you would need to get to a station or stop and they re t various points within the city.
In Cobb County, suburban which includes the city of Marietta, operates a bus system Cobb Community Transit, CCT, different from the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, MARTA. This CCT has five local routes as well as express routes that operate from Cobb to the Arts Centers, H. E Holmes MARTA stations to Dunwoody.
In Buckhead, they operate the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association, BATMA. This shuttle bus runs every 8 to 15 mins between Lenox and Buckhead MARTA rail stations as well as malls, hotels, and other businesses along Peachtree and Piedmont roads. The buses operates everyday of the week from Monday to Friday from 7:00am to 7:00pm. On weekends, from 10:00am on Saturday to 9:00pm.
MARTA Rapid Rail
Since 1979, the MARTA rapid rail (subway) system has been running and serving the whole area within this city. The stations are clean and with modern facilities and the service is reliable. Although the means of transportation is convenient and reliable but like in many cities, subway travel can be unsafe.
MARTA conveys over half five hundred thousand people every day and most consistent riders have more confidence in the security of the trains and stations than those who are not so conversant with it.
The most pleasant time to take this ride is during the day and early-evening hours when there are a lot of people. It is faster than bus but this issue with this transit system is that not enough part of the city is served by rail.
MARTA will have 45 stations but it has only 40 presently. There are two lines that travel between the airport and Doraville and North Springs and eastwest trains. While the other lines travel between Hamilton E. Holmes and Indian Creek (east of Decatur). At Five Points station in downtown Atlanta, they intersect and from there you can transfer to another train free of charge.
In late 2000s, they added two newest stations Sandy Springs and North Springs, to the north line that parallels Georgia Hwy. 400.
The fare cost $2 for any ride and passengers must buy the new Breeze Card sold at the station vending machines to ride. Passengers can purchase multitrip passes and 7-day or 30-day passes.
MARTA trains arrive and depart 7 days a week every 8 to 10 mins from 5:00am to 1:00am. You can get a free transfer from bus to rail when you board a bus or enter a rail station. Parking is free but it is limited for almost all the rail stations. If you want to park overnight, there is the long-term secured parking you must use and it’s available at these stations. Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Lindbergh, Doraville, Lenox, Medical Center, College Park, Sandy Springs, and North Springs. This overnight parking cost $3 per day.
To get all the information, schedule route of MARTA kindly visit www.itsmarta.com or call 404/848-4711. Monday to Friday, from 6:00am to midnight, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00am to 10:00pm. You can get printed schedules from racks at Five Points and various other stations. These instructions are available in different languages such as English,, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.
MARTA Buses operate on a 1,550 mile network of 150 routes, you can get anywhere within the city by bus but it’s not always efficient. The bus route will take you to most major attractions and sightseeing stops but travel can be slow.
The fare system is like the rail service system described above. To get a bus, you can call 404/848-4711. The route information is the same as described above.
Special shuttle buses operate from downtown alongside with major stadium sports events and conventions.
This is the newest transportation option in the city of Atlanta, this transportation services runs 2.7 miles and makes 12 stops connecting several areas in Atlanta east of Downtown, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, and Centennial Olympic Park, etc. With direct connection MARTA’s Peachtree center station s well as other transit services.
Atlanta Streetcar offers additional access to the city’s public transportation system in a phenomenal way. There are several reasons why you should use this transportation service, these include the following;
• Atlanta Streetcar offers safe, timely transportation services to visitors and residents in Downtown area.
• Top eateries in Atlanta are close to the Atlanta Streetcar, and after your streetcars ride, you can easily walk through the Centennial Olympic Park District to any of the fancy restaurants in the convention and entertainment district.
• Atlanta Streetcar offer easy and convenient movement from hotels to conventions or sporting events.
• Atlanta Streetcar provide a superb transportation service which enable visitors and residents explore downtown Atlanta
• With Atlanta Streetcar, you can access the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, all you need to do is alight at the Centennial Olympic Park stop.
Atlanta Streetcar Operation Hours
Atlanta Streetcar operates from Monday to Thursday from 6:00am to 11:00pm.
On Saturdays, it begins operation from 8:15am to 1:00am.
On Sundays, it begins operation from 8:30am to 11:00pm
Atlanta Streetcar fare is $1 for a one-way ride and $3 for a one-day pass.
Renting a car
To rent a car in Atlanta is easy, there are several rental agencies scatter around the city. For example, a local independently owned company, Atlanta Rent-A-Car has been in operation for over 25 years and it has the lowest rates compared to most agencies in the state.
This company has 20 metro locations, with one close to the airport providing free courtesy pickup anywhere in metro Atlanta.
You will have to pay a 10% government tax if you pick up your rental car at the airport. The tax include a 7% local sales tax and 10% airport tax.
Other places within the metro area, car rentals incur only the local sales tax which is usually with the range of 5% to 7%.
Car rental rate vary, and this depends on a whole lot of factors. For example, the price your pay to rent a car depends on the size of the car, where and when you pick the car up and where you’d be dropping it off affects the rate. The length of the rental period, where and how far the car is driven and whether or not you purchase insurance, all these affect the rental cost.