The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) just made commuting easier for bike enthusiasts with the installation of new bike racks and repair stands at 37 train stations. In a move to improve first and last mile connectivity, the Authority installed the new kiosks to enhance station amenities to better accommodate those biking to and from various rail stations.
Each biking kiosk is equipped with newly installed bike racks, fix-it stands and tire pumps, making way for nearly 500 bikes to be parked throughout the system at any given time. “Our new bike racks help us accommodate a growing population of commuters who are looking for alternative means to get from point A to point B,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker. “All of our new bike racks are located within the fare gates, protected from the elements and under our security surveillance system.”
The biking kiosk are located at all of MARTA’s rail stations except the airport. Currently, all MARTA buses are outfitted with bike racks to accommodate cyclist in areas outside of our rail access areas.
In addition to the added convenience and security, this new cyclist-focused improvement provides an additional way for local commuters to travel the city in the wake of the I-85 collapse, while making MARTA an even more bike-friendly transit system.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition assisted MARTA with implementing the initial phase of the bike kiosks. “The I-85 collapse underscores the importance of prioritizing transportation options that improve access for people who bike, walk and use transit,” said Bennett Foster, with The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. “The more options we have, the less vulnerable we are to sudden shocks to our transportation network.”
“Some individuals took buses and trains while others found alternative routes to their destinations,” said Parker. “However, we also see a number of people choosing two wheels instead of four to commute on a daily basis. Our new bike kiosks will serve as another resource for those integrating MARTA into their daily transportation plans.”
All MARTA bike kiosks are equipped to inflate flat tires, tighten handlebars and perform general bike maintenance and repair. “The repair kiosks create a way for people who bike to complete the first and last mile of their trips to MARTA. It’s especially important for areas that may not have local bike shops,” said Foster. “The primary goal is to remove as many barriers to biking as possible.”
In an additional move to make the transit agency and the city even more bike friendly, MARTA is partnering with the City of Atlanta’s Relay bike share program. The program, which started with 100 bike at 22 sites is now expanding to 500 bikes at 65 locations around the city. “We are proud to partner with Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta in the expansion of their bike share programs that allows riders to reserve, ride and return a bike to the same location or another Relay hub,” said Parker. “We know that this program will continue to offer our customers with an added benefit that promotes health and exercise while getting them to their destinations.”
Arts Center, Civic Center, Inman Park/Reynoldstown, King Memorial, Peachtree Center, West End, and North Avenue MARTA stations are identified as Relay bike share hubs that are currently in the development phase.
Each station will have a bike share hub that accommodates ten bikes. For more information on the Relay bike share program, visit relaybikeshare.com.