Transit Use Spikes After Atlanta Bridge Collapse

Atlanta Bridge Collapse event on I-85 is putting more riders on public transit. Shown is aftermath of the fire and collapse.
Image: AP Photo/David Goldman

The Atlanta bridge collapse halting I-85 for the foreseeable future is putting many commuters on public transit. Volunteers are eager to help new riders.

By Rikki Klaus

ATLANTA — More than 50 volunteers are expected to gather at MARTA stations across the metro Monday to help first time riders navigate the rail system.

On Friday, the transit system saw a 25 percent jump on ridership on its trains after a massive fire caused an overpass bridge to collapse Thursday along Interstate 85, causing the expressway to be shut for at least several months in both directions.

The shutdown has more people looking to MARTA for their commute. Channel 2’s Rikki Klaus found out that first-time riders will have extra help to navigate the rail system Monday.

Raheem Franklin has ridden MARTA ever since he was a little boy. He’s bracing for ridership to grow, following the bridge collapse.

“As they say, MARTA is smarter,” Franklin told Klaus. “I just was trying to show a lady how to reload her Breeze card just a second ago, so it’s just about learning the schedule, learning the routes, learning how to load your cards.”


Continue reading the story on

Read about Atlanta’s transit investment and sprawl history on Streetsblog USA’s website.

Hear from political analyst Ed Kilgore, a former Georgia state staffer, on how the politics of Georgia’s 159 counties stymied regional planning in the 1980s and 1990s, on New York Magazine’s website.

About the author

EfficientGov Staff

EfficientGov is an independent information service providing innovative solutions to fiscal and operational challenges facing cities and towns around the world.