MARTA shortens trains to save money

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 2, 2013

MARTA is avoiding cutbacks to its train service by cutting the length of its trains.

A reader of Decatur Metro sent along a memo from MARTA explaining that the east to west line no longer requires eight cars on the weekday morning commute. The reader had asked MARTA about this, because he noticed his morning ride to work felt a bit more crowded than usual.

MARTA has reduced the number of cars from eight to six, according to the Nov. 1 memo from E/W Line General Superintendent Henry Woods. The cuts have been in effect since Nov. 4.

Decatur Metro got the reader’s permission and forwarded the memo to me. DM asked if I could look into it. I reached out to MARTA for more information and received the following response from MARTA chief spokesman Lyle Harris.

“MARTA constantly evaluates its transit service based on research conducted throughout the system in order to maintain the appropriate and prudent use of equipment and personnel,” Harris said. “Recent data shows that the ridership during the weekday, morning peak service period on the Blue Line did not require the use of the 8-car configuration during that time of the day. As a result, the configuration was changed to the standard 6-car train. This configuration will remain in place for the foreseeable future. MARTA will continue to monitor ridership and make adjustments, as needed.”

There you have it. Hope the smaller trains aren’t cramping your commute. If it makes you feel any better, I’d take a cramped MARTA train over I-285 any day of the week if I didn’t need 24/7 access to my car.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • SB

    This makes complete sense. Good work Marta.

  • How much money could this possibly save MARTA? Is it really that costly to attach an 8th car? Any ideas?

  • M. Whisenhunt

    Now I see why there is standing room only in the mornings by the time it arrives at East Lake station.

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