Emergency situations on MARTA are rare, but they come as a surprise to some commuters who aren’t familiar with common procedures. See below for information on how to navigate around service problems and learn what typically causes MARTA to temporarily shut down. Remember to use the MARTA on the Go app for real-time train and bus arrivals during delays.
MARTA station emergencies or problems with rail lines commonly occur when there are mechanical or electrical problems, fires, flooding, injuries or bomb scares/threats. Typically one or more stations are shut down until the issue is resolved.
If an incident happens on a rail line and there is a need to evacuate a rail car, use caution and be sure to avoid the electric “third rail” and stay on walkways to reach an exit. Watch the video above for more evacuation information.
A bus bridge is bus service that picks up passengers at a closed rail station and transports them to the next open station, so even if rail service is discontinued, MARTA provides bus shuttles as quickly as possible.
If you don’t want to wait for and use the bus bridge, Uber and Lyft service much of the Metro Atlanta area. Uber now offers a carpool option for cheaper rates if you want to ride with other commuters.
Depending on your location, a local bus stop might be nearby that can help you continue your commute. Use the MARTA on the Go app (Nearby menu option) or use Google Maps to view all your transit commute options by clicking on the train icon.
If you used a Breeze Card to pay your fare, it is free to transfer to another bus, from bus to rail and rail to bus, so it won’t cost you a thing to change your travel route.
Some of the top bus routes to know that are helpful during rail emergencies:
Bus 40 and 110 (red/gold line alternative)
If your train stops or gets stuck near the Lenox, Arts Center, Midtown, North Avenue, Civic Center, Peachtree Center, Five Points or Garnett or West End MARTA stations, two buses essentially travel the same route as the red/gold line about a block away on Peachtree Street and Road.
Bus 110 travels on Peachtree Road between the Lenox and Arts Center MARTA stations, and the new bus 40 between Arts Center and the West End station.
Bus 6 and 36 (red/gold line transfer to blue)
Avoid a problem at Five Points and travel between the red/gold line and the blue line via bus 6, which departs from the Lindbergh Center and Inman Park MARTA stations.
Bus 36 also connects the north/south and east/west lines. The bus travels between the Midtown and Avondale MARTA stations.
Bus 42 (south line alternative)
At Five Points, transfer to bus 42 to reach the Lakewood MARTA station to avoid a problem on the south line at Garnett, West End and Oakland City.
Bus 3 (west line alternative)
Bus 3 is a great east-west route. The bus travels between H.E. Holmes and Five Points.