MARTA, or the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, is generally a safe public transportation system. In fiscal year 2019, there were a total of 421 reported crimes, which averages out to 35 crimes per month. These took place on trains and buses, in parking lots and at other MARTA facilities.
In comparison, Washington D.C.’s transit system had 1,355 crimes in 2019 (but also has a higher population than Atlanta).
Even though MARTA has low crime rates, large parts of Atlanta does not. So if you are planning to ride MARTA at night, consider the following to improve your experience.
It is always good to be aware of your surroundings when on trains and buses and when walking to and from stations and bus stops. Some basic guidelines: ride and walk with others, look at your surroundings vs. staring at your phone, walk in well-lit areas, avoid walking near suspicious persons and move to a different rail car if you feel uncomfortable.
Never leave anything visible inside your car when parking anywhere in Atlanta, including at train stations or park and ride lots.
If you ever feel uneasy or unsafe on MARTA property, contact MARTA police for help (404-848-4900 for non-emergencies or 404-848-4911 for emergencies).
Additionally, you can report nuisance or criminal behavior to MARTA Police via phone or the MARTA See and Say app. No cell phone? Look for free phones inside train stations that can be used to reach police or MARTA operators.
Sit in the First Rail Car
Sit in the front rail car near the train conductor if you are concerned about safety. Intercoms are also in all rail cars that you can use to contact the conductor if needed. The number of the rail car is listed next to the intercom, which can be used to identify your location or location of any issues.
Identify Safer Areas
Some stations and bus routes are in safer areas than others. Many neighborhoods south and west of downtown Atlanta have higher crime rates than neighborhoods on the north and east sides. View this recent Atlanta crime map to learn more about high-crime areas in the city.
In terms of MARTA stations, the stations with the most reported crime in fiscal year 2019 included Five Points, all stations south of Five Points except for the Airport, Ashby and Lindbergh Center. View the station map to view these station locations.
Know the Crowd
At night there can be fewer riders as the 9-5 workers and day-time students are not commuting. However, trains are often packed before and after major concerts and sporting events, so riding at night at these times doesn’t feel isolating. Additionally, there is always a group of people boarding trains at the Airport MARTA station, so you’ll be with airport travelers on your commute.
Use Caution at Five Points
After dark, we recommend using the Five Points MARTA station for train transfers only. The area around the station tends to have high crime rates. The neighboring stations (Georgia State, GWCC/CNN and Peachtree Center) are in safer areas as alternate stations to use.