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MARTA Hopes To Address Declining Ridership

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(credit: Jean Ross/WAOK-AM)

(credit: Jean Ross/WAOK-AM)

ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Atlanta’s transit system is facing a decline in the number of commuters it attracts.

Officials say that ridership has fallen by about 15 percent on MARTA trains since 2001, and it’s down 31 percent on buses. MARTA’s rider numbers were down 8 percent last year.

Figures show the system’s passenger load is in decline even through figures from the American Public Transit Association show ridership is increasing on systems in other cities.

Some customers blame inconvenient schedules, rude workers and safety concerns for avoiding the system.

MARTA’s new general manager, Keith Parker, says the system is installing security cameras and plans to expel riders who exhibit what he calls “knucklehead behavior.”

Parker also says the system wants to hire workers who will provide better customer service.

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