Decatur Stations Affected By Proposed MARTA Bus Service Cuts

Leigh wrote in yesterday with an alert she was sending out to her building’s listserv about the impact of potential cutbacks of MARTA’s bus service in light of an $120 million deficit in its operating budget.

Of particular concern to Leigh is the future of MARTA’s #2 bus route.  Instead of operating from Avondale Station to North Avenue Station along Ponce de Leon Ave., the new #2 would only operate between Inman Park Station and North Avenue Station, leaving Decatur behind entirely.

However, that’s only one of MANY bus routes modified or eliminated by the proposed service cuts that run through, begin or end, inside the Decatur city limits.  You can access the full list of proposed changes here (Excel), but I’ve also compiled a condensed list of those that directly affect Decatur’s three MARTA stations, which you can peruse after the jump.

MARTA will next meet to discuss the proposed changes on Saturday, February 20th from 10a-12p or 3p-5p at MARTA Headquarters at  2424 Piedmont Road NE Atlanta, GA 30324 (across from the MARTA Lindbergh Train Station).

  • Route 2 – Ponce De Leon Avenue – Proposed modification includes Route 2 operate from Inman Park station via Moreland Ave. (currently served by Route 6-Emory) Freedom Parkway and Ralph McGill Blvd (currently served by Route 16-Noble), continuing via Blvd,and North Ave. terminating at North Ave. Station. Service will no longer be provided from Avondale Station along Ponce de Leon Ave. to Moreland Ave.
  • Route 8 – North Druid Hills Road – Discontinue Service – Service along the Valley Brook Rd segment will be provided by modifications to Route 75. Service along N. Druid Hills Rd segment between Clairmont Rd & Briarcliff Rd will be provided by modification to Routes 19 and 30. Service will no longer be provided along N. Druid Hills between Lawrenceville Highway and Clairmont Rd, Briarcliff Rd, Sheridan Rd and Executive Park Dr., North Druid Hills Dr. to Briarwood Rd.
  • Route 15 – South DeKalb – Proposed modification includes maintaining current service from Decatur Station to Clevemont Rd and Clevemont Court with selected trips operating via the Gallery at South DeKalb. Additionally, selective trips will provide service along Hosea Williams Dr. and E. Lake Dr. currently served by Route 24, continuing Oakview Dr. to Decatur Station operating the current Route 18 routing. Service to Clifton Springs Health Center will no longer be provided by Route 15, instead modifications to Route 114 will provide service to the Health Center.
  • Route 18 – South Decatur – Discontinue Service – Hosea Williams segment will be provided by Route 86; Grady Hospital will be serviced by Routes 21 & 99.
  • Route 19 – Clairmont Road – Proposed modification includes maintianing current service from Decatur Station along Clairmont Rd. Route 19 will continue Clairmont Rd terminating at Chamblee Station instead of Brookhaven Station. Selective trips will continue to provide service to the North DeKalb Health Center. Service will no longer be provided on Dresden Dr., Peachtree Rd, North Druid Hills Rd and MARTA’s Brookhaven Station.
  • Route 22 – Second Avenue – Discontinue Service – Proposal includes service on Memorial Dr. will be provided proposed modification to Route 21. Service on East Lake Blvd and Second Ave. between Glenwood Ave. and McAfee Rd will be provided by proposed modification to Route 86. Service along Glenwood Ave. will be provided by Route 107. Service to Wal-Mart on Gresham Rd will be provided by modifications to Route 34. Service will no longer be provided between East Lake Station and Second Ave. at Memorial Dr., Second Aveune between McAfee Rd and Flat Shaols Rd and Brannen Rd.
  • Route 24 –  Belvedere – Discontinue Service – Service will be provided on Hosea Williams by Route 86; Additional service will be provided by Route 15, Route 21 and Route 114.
  • Route 36 – North Decatur Road – Discontinue Service – Service on N. Decatur Rd between Clifton Rd and Briarcliff Rd will be provided by Route 6. Service between Arts center Station and Piedmont Ave. at Monroe Dr. will be provided by Route 27. Service on N. Decatur Rd between Ponce de Leon Ave. and Glendale Rd will be provided by route 75. Service on N. Deactur Rd between Winn way & Ponce de Leon Ave. will be provided by Route 120. Service will no longer be provided between Piedmont Ave. at Monroe Dr. along E. Morningside Dr., E. Rock Springs Rd to Briarcliff Rd and North Decatur Rd at Clifton Rd to Winn Way.
  • Route 75 – Tucker – Route will remain the same between the end of the line and the intersection of Lawrenceville Highway & North Druid Hills Rd; Route will continue to Valley Brook Rd, E. Ponce De Leon Ave., North Decatur Rd; Continue Glendale Rd through the Cedar Park area back to E. Ponce De Leon Ave. to Avondale Station.
  • Route 114 – Columbia Drive – Proposed modification includes Route 114 will maintain current routing From Avondale Station to Clifton Springs and Flat Shoals Rd. Proposed Route 114 will then terminate at the Clifton Springs Health Center.
  • Route 119 –  Avondale Estates/North Hairston Road – Discontinue Service – Service on N. Hairston segment will be provided by Route 121; Redan Rd segment will be provided by Routes 115 & 116; S. Hairston segment will not be provided direct service; However, Route 117 will provide service at Rockbridge Rd & S. Hairston Rd. Service will no longer be provided on segments between Avondale Station & Kensington Station and Holcombe Rd.
  • Route 120 – Stone Mountain – Route will provide services to DeKalb Medical Center via Winn Way, continuing N. Decatur Rd to E. Ponce De Leon Ave.; From Ponce De Leon Ave. route will travel the Mountain Industrial Blvd/Idlewood Rd segment from Route 121.
  • Route 122 – GA Perimeter College –  Discontinue Service– N. Indian Creek Dr. segment will be provided by Route 125 servicing the GA Perimeter College and other schools; Cedar Park area will be serviced by Route 75.
  • Route 123 – Church St./N. Dekalb Mall – Discontinue Service -Proposal includes proposed modification of Route 120 will provide service to the DeKalb Medical Center. Proposed modification of Route 75 will provide service to N. DeKalb Mall (Lawrenville Highway & N. Druid Hills Rd). Service will no longer be provided between Candler Park Station and Decatur Station and the Church St. and DeKalb Industrial Way segments.
  • Route 125 – Avondale/Northlake – Proposed modification includes Route 125 will maintain current service from Northlake Mall to N. Decatur Rd continuing to Northern Ave., Memorial Dr., Kensington Rd into Kensington Station. Proposed Route 125 will operate from Kensington Station instead of Avondale Station.
125 Avondale/Northlake DeKalb County Proposed modification includes Route 125 will maintain current service from Northlake Mall to N. Decatur Rd continuing to Northern Ave., Memorial Dr., Kensington Rd into Kensington Station. Proposed Route 125 will operate from Kensington Station instead of Avondale Station.

18 thoughts on “Decatur Stations Affected By Proposed MARTA Bus Service Cuts”


  1. I can’t say that I completely understand all the changes but they look pretty draconian.

    Discontinuations of service for routes 18 and 22 would virtually eliminate bus service in Oakhurst. The No. 18 is particularly sad since it pretty much follows the historic Decatur trolley line between downtown Decatur and downtown Atlanta.

    1. Mary, I agree. Since we as Decatur residents are walking, riding bikes and taking MARTA more. It’s a shame that the bus service in Decatur will decrease to almost nothing. Also looked over the other routes outside of the City limits and it’s shameful as well. MARTA officials need to ride the service now and see how bad it is. The train arrives when the buses leave. The wait between trains are terrible. At one time, MARTA provided the best service.

  2. Wow–discontinuing the #36 from Avondale down N. Decatur will really screw up the lives of a lot of people who commute to Emory every day. When my office was right on North Decatur Rd., I used it, too, for several years.

    (Thanks, DM, for condensing this critical information into a Decatur-specific summary.)

  3. DM – The #22 is not on your condensed list. Runs from the East Lake Station down East Lake through 2nd Avenue.

    This is really, really depressing.

    Marta should be trying to provide more connections to its rail stations, not less, and making them more convenient.

    I know they have to cut the budget. But these cuts will result in less revenue (and less Marta riders) as well.

      1. we live on tilson rd.we have to ride the bus everyday other families,they stoped the 22second ave.bus from coming down tilson rd. we have doctors appt. we have to get to work,children has to get to school,sometimes we have to walk to candler rd.to get the bus,if you have a dr, appt, you do not feel like walking that far to catch the bus,what about us the ederly

        1. Write a letter to the AJC. It’s important that people see the human face of these service cuts. The phrase “service cuts” doesn’t convey the hardship like describing the elderly trying to walk a half mile to catch a bus to their doctor’s appt.

  4. My next door neighbor won’t be able to get to work. She does not know how to drive and takes the 18 to work every day.

  5. Remember that MARTA is the largest public transit system in the country that receives no state aid. Also remember that some people in the Georgia legislature who have no interest in MARTA and don’t use it continue to exercise their power play ego trips to keep MARTA from running business the way MARTA needs to. This issue is again symptomatic of Georgia’s total lack of vision as far as transportation is concerned.

  6. I think ultimately it comes down to this and this is true whether the state helps fund MARTA or not. If we want to live in a community that has quality public transit, then we actually have to RIDE IT! And very few of us actually do. We have to get over our phobias about riding a bus and ride them. Otherwise, they are going to go away.

    I’m sure that the proposals that MARTA has made are based on ridership levels and it doesn’t take a genius that many of the buses on these routes run empty or with one or two riders on them much of the time. So, thus, they are the first to get cut.

    We say we like public transit, we say we want public transit, but we have to actually ride it for it to be sustainable. Even though most of us say this, we daily choose the convience of our cars instead. That’s why transit is being cut.

    1. No, Mary, actually state and local governments must plan, design, fund and build workable alternatives to cars so that you can actually get somewhere on public transit so people want to use it. Saying people have phobias or don’t like public transit is an easy way to blow off the deeper issues of the “two Georgias”, the regime politics that have characterized metro Atlanta since the 1940s and the poor management of our cities, counties and state by our elected officials. Of course, I am not going to bring in the massive issues of NIMBYism in counties that benefit from proximity to metro Atlanta but don’t want to participate in regional transit planning….

      1. I don’t disagree with you Nelliebelle. Land use and planning is probably the most important thing in whether public transit works or not and our governments have failed us.

        But I do think we as a people in this region are at fault too. The voters of this region had a choice to make in whether they wanted to pay for a first class transit system and in the end only two counties decided to do so (and Fulton only by a hair). The people of this region also seem to have a preference for auto centered development and transportation.

        We all make decisions every day (myself included) to use my car to get from place to place just because it is easier instead of using transit when it does let you “actually get somewhere.”

        When was the last time you took the #18 bus to get to downtown Decatur instead of driving? It runs about every 30 minutes. How many Decaturites work or go to school in Downtown Atlanta and live within a 10 minute walk of a rail station, but drive anyway? Plenty. Enough so that if they actually used the existing transit lines they would not be shutting down service.

        So yet it is our governments fault, but our government only reflects ourselves, sadly.

        1. Actually, the number 18 drops off behind my house. My son and I walk dt and then take the bus home all the time- usually once or twice a week when the weather is nice.

  7. I ride the MARTA train for work and pleasure and love it. I have tried so hard to ride the buses in conjunction with the train and they just run too infrequently to make them practical for most of my trips. I can’t go from work to the doctor’s office and then back home in time to pick up my kids from school. So I resort to train from work-to-home-to car-to doctor’s office-to home-to train to work–to school to pick up the kids. If the buses ran more frequently, me and the kids would be on them. Discontinuing or reducing service aggravates the situation and leads to a downward spiral of reducing service leads to reduced ridership leads to more reduction of service and so on. I had elderly neighbors at one time that stopped going downtown once direct bus service along Scott Blvd to downtown ceased. They were just too old to negotiate the wait and complexity of transfers.

    One thing that has improved over the years is the presence of attendants and MARTA police at the stations. I remember an earlier time when you’d often be alone at night at a smaller station and it could feel scarey. After a murder at the Inmark Park Station, that changed.

    Emory’s Cliff buses work great but only if you’re going where they go.

    Seems like both ingredients are needed–a commitment by the public to use mass transit and a commitment by someone to provide it. If not the government, then who? Are there any models out there of the private sector providing effective community mass transit? If not, how can we persuade our elected officials that it’s their responsibility?

  8. Yeah it really will be saying a big forget you to a lot of dekalb and the rest of Atlanta and I understand it’s a money issue, and for that reason i wish we could get rid of money, because more often its a reason things don’t get done.
    It does need to reach out to places people get to faster in order to make money because Marta cutting service will reduce revenue.
    Maybe it could create custom routes by users registering who use it frequently for the same to and from location.
    Make applications like on IPhone 3G (I don’t use them) to say when the next bus/train is coming and interactive trip planners, like tracking packages on UPS.
    Maybe reducing some low volume but still need routes to every couple of hours so people will have a chance.
    Reach out to every major shopping center including the Flakes Mills one.
    Make shuttles to Dunwoody to Doraville, Doraville to Indian Creek, Indian Creek to Airport, Airport to HE Holmes, HE Holmes to Cumberland, Cumberland to Dunwoody, and sometimes they make stops to intermittent locations such as Mercer University, Northlake Mall, and Dekalb tech on the Northeast side.

Comments are closed.