Getting Around Atlanta

The best way to get around Atlanta is the MARTA, the city's public transportation system. MARTA operates both bus and rail lines throughout the city and into nearby suburbs. For $2.50 per person, you can take the red or gold rail lines from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), which sits about 10 miles south of downtown. Driving — though notoriously hectic in this city — is another option, and you'll find rental car kiosks in the airport. Taxis are also available, but expect high rates due to time spent sitting in traffic.


The MARTA subway is the quickest way to get around but — at times — the subway can be inefficient. All four lines intersect at only one point (the Five Points Station) making the train most effective for trips going north to south or east to west. Fare is a flat $2.50 for a one-way trip, with day passes costing $9. Train times vary by line, but generally run every 15 to 20 minutes starting as early as 4:45 a.m. and continuing past midnight.


MARTA buses operate throughout downtown and the suburbs. The system has 91 lines covering more than 1,000 miles, which can get confusing for some travelers. Buses are scheduled to arrive every 12 to 15 minutes during the weekday and on the half hour on the weekend, but times vary depending on the line. Fare is the same $2.50 flat rate as the rail system, although transfers are only available to Breeze smart card and ticket pass holders.

Car Driving can be a real pain in Atlanta; you should really only use a car if you're trying to get somewhere beyond the MARTA's range. Beware of the terrible congestion, the local motorists' hectic driving style and scarce parking. Hotels can also charge up to $20 or more per night to park. The city can be confusing to navigate — there are many one-way roads, frequent road name changes and several roads even share the same name. If you do decide to drive, consider bringing a GPS or renting a car that has one installed. Rental agencies are located in the airport and throughout the downtown area.
Taxi In Atlanta, the taxis hang out by the airport, hotels and special events. Flat rates from the airport to the business district — downtown, Buckhead and Midtown — are available for between $30, with each additional person costing adding $2 to the fare. Using a taxi within those areas is fairly reasonable, but rates outside the business district are calculated with a meter and tend to be pricier. If you need to call for taxi service, bring printed directions for lesser-known destinations — the streets are so confusing that even cab drivers get turned around. Uber and Lyft are also available in Atlanta.

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