How to Ride MARTA Trains

MARTA, or the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, is one of the easiest rail systems to use (and one of the safest). There are only four rail lines: red and gold (north/south) and blue and green (east/west). Plus, the fare is the same no matter how far you travel. To learn how to ride the trains, view the video above and see the tips below.

1. Start at a Train Station

MARTA rail station map
Click for larger map

First, start your trip at a MARTA rail station. You can walk to a station, drive to one with a daily parking lot and park, get dropped off or take a bus to one (almost all bus routes connect to one or more stations).

If you aren’t sure of your nearest station use Google Maps with your start and end address and click on the transit icon to view your bus and rail options. Or view the MARTA station map.

2. Purchase Fare

You can purchase fare at all MARTA train stations via vending machines or online if you allow time for shipping. A $1 paper ticket OR a $2 reloadable plastic Breeze Card must be purchased for each person in your group. The next step is to add one-way trips or day passes to each ticket or card. Simply follow the vending machine prompts to make your selection.

Riders should always purchase a roundtrip fare unless only a one-way trip is needed. Children under 46″ ride free (limit two children per paying adult). See MARTA Fares for more information.

Once you have a Breeze Card or ticket, tap it on the blue circle to the right of a train station fare gate to enter. It will beep and open. There is one extra wide gate available at every station, which can be used by families with children and commuters with wheelchairs, bikes, strollers or luggage.

3. Follow Signs

Signs in all stations provide directions to the train platforms. There are Northbound, Southbound, Eastbound and Westbound platforms based on the direction of train travel. Trains are also marked with the last station they travel to. Look at a MARTA map ahead of time to know your direction of travel, or look for a rail map in the station. Common directions are:

Airport – South
North Springs/Doraville – North
Indian Creek – East
H.E. Holmes, Bankhead – West

Some station signs also indicate which platform to use if you are traveling to Five Points/downtown Atlanta and the airport. When the train arrives, pay attention to the destination marked on the train and announcements made by the train operator to make sure you are traveling in the right direction.

4. Transfer if Needed

If you need to transfer to a different line, you can transfer between all rail lines at Five Points or between the red and gold lines at the Lindbergh Center station.

5. Tap to Exit

After exiting the train at your destination station, tap your Breeze Card again to open the fare gates. Tapping your card when you exit also puts a free transfer to a bus on your card.

More Information

Train Schedules

Station Guides
How to Ride MARTA Buses
Top 10 Stations for Tourists
5 MARTA Tips for New Riders