Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Major changes to Xpress bus service approved

The board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority on Wednesday approved major service changes, including the addition of three new cross-suburb Xpress routes to serve the Perimeter Center area.

That means that starting next year, buses originating in park-and-ride lots in Cobb, Gwinnett and Forsyth counties now will begin to carry weekday commuters to the bustling office towers near Perimeter Mall.

On a typical workday, about 9,000 passengers from a dozen counties board an Xpress bus. Most of the routes -- 21 of 25 -- are still going to be heading to either Downtown or Midtown Atlanta.

Changes will be made to all existing Xpress bus routes as part of GRTA’s new service plan." They could include retiming departures/arrivals, adding or subtracting stops, or changing dropoff and pickup points. Wait times during peak periods will be shortened from about every 30 minutes to 15 or even as few as 10 in some cases.

One route from Mableton to Downtown that has low ridership will be eliminated.

“After more than 18 months of examining Xpress service from top to bottom, I believe we have developed a service plan framework that will enhance the commuter experience for our current riders and make Xpress more attractive to new customers,” said GRTA Executive Director Chris Tomlinson. “Direct Xpress will transform our service into something that is more unde

rstandable, marketable, accountable, and best positioned to meet the needs of metro Atlanta commuters and businesses. We are confident that these changes will lead to greater ridership and a more valuable service.”

More information about Direct Xpress can be found at www.directxpress.xpressga.com.

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