MARTA’s bus service is usually seen as the ugly duckling of transit, and some riders who ride the train wouldn’t dream of getting on a bus. But, if you are visiting from out of town or just trying to get to some of Atlanta’s major attractions (or your job) without driving, there are a few bus routes that actually go places and are worth the extra effort. Read on for the list of routes you should consider riding.
Bus 2 was nominated by Creative Loafing as the best bus route of 2011. It travels down colorful Ponce de Leon Avenue, where you’ll see a bit of everything, from street personalities to landmark buildings. Plus, it offers access to Ponce City Market, Masquerade, Poncey Highland, Virginia Highland, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and downtown Decatur. It is a great commute option for those who live in the nearby neighborhoods as well as a solid tourist route.
Bus 16 is often overlooked, but it’s also a great route for locals and visitors. It starts downtown at the Five Points MARTA station and travels near Peachtree Center, Civic Center, Atlanta Medical Center, Carter Center and then travels up popular N. Highland Avenue to destinations such as Poncey Highland (Manuel’s Tavern, Plaza Theatre and Highland Inn Ballroom), Virginia Highland and Morningside. Ride the route for a day of sightseeing, including plenty of options for nightlife (Blind Willie’s, Family Dog, 10 High and bars galore), or for those living in the above mentioned neighborhoods, the bus is a great way to get to work downtown.
Also called “The Peach”, bus 110 (formerly 10) has views of the famous Peachtree Street and Peachtree Road from downtown to Buckhead. You can see a great deal of both historic and modern Atlanta from your seat. Stops off this route include the Shakespeare Tavern, Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles, Fox Theatre, Churchhill Grounds Jazz Cafe, Midtown business and nightlife district, Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, Woodruff Arts Center, the Amtrak station, Peachtree Battle shopping area, Atlanta History Museum, Buckhead Theatre, Buckhead business district and Lenox Square Mall. It is also one of the more frequent bus routes, though traffic can be heavy. Get a daily pass so you can spend your day exploring with unlimited rides. There are also several hotels off this route, which can make seeing the sights convenient.