HT
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Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:40 pm

On its website, the operator of Atlanta, GA's metro rail system MARTA promotes Park & Ride service.
While detailed info about the number of parking spaces at each station is available, I wonder what the typical situation on any given weekday is: Do the free parking lots fill up early leaving late-comers with no available spaces left ?
I am more interested in the situation at the stations north, west and south of city center which are relatively good to be reached from the Interstates, but not within the city center itself.
Info will be used as one deciding factor for hotel selection for a trip planned for April.
-HT
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jcs17
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:09 pm

I haven't lived in Atlanta for eight years, but from what I remember, you shouldn't have much of a problem. There is usually plenty of parking. That said, most hotels/motels in major metropolitan areas have a van that can take to/from the station if you want to leave your car there.
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N776AU
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:13 pm

Parking usually isn't a problem On weekdays it does get crowded, but there have always been spots open. I usually travel from the East Line, but I know many other stations have a ton of parking. Which station(s) did you have in mind?
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dl021
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:35 pm

It really does depend on the station. The busier stations fill up fast on weekdays, but the less so remain fairly easy. That said don't plan your trip based on MARTA train convenience, because it's not that convenient. The city is fairly linear from south to north (with a rising eastbound slant) but the MARTA trains only take you 4 directions.

If all you want to do is go downtown or to the airport (or perhaps a mall) you're going to be fine. But if you want to hit the major attractions you'll need wheels or be willing to take the bus.

Feel free to drop a pm and ask any particular questions and I can try to advise on how to accomplish your itinerary vis-a-vis where to stay and how to get around.

Have fun in ATL......there's plenty to do with scenery, museums, attractions and nightlife, and the restaurant scene is great.
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HT
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:58 pm

Quoting N776AU (Reply 2):
Which station(s) did you have in mind?

Likely to stay in the area of Cumberland Mall (actually an the far side of I-285; near Smyrna) I figure, "Ham. E. Holmes" station is my best option ?
Alternative could be "Lindbergh Center" ?
"Lakewood/Ft. McPherson" also shall be an option, but would require a longer drive ...

And: What is more convenient ?
To park at College Park and pay for the ride to Hartsfield Airport (for a daytrip, thus parking less than 23 hours; might even have a multi-day pass at hand) or to park in parking garage "Daily" at ATL with a charge of $14, but some walking. The difference in money is not really a deciding factor seeing the overall budget I need to allocate for the whole trip.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 3):
Have fun in ATL......there's plenty to do with scenery, museums, attractions and nightlife, and the restaurant scene is great.

I know, that's why I am planning to return (and use LH's offer); I've been to Atlanta twice on business, but each time with (very) limited time off only (having to work even on the weekend   ).
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
PPVRA
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:21 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
Likely to stay in the area of Cumberland Mall (actually an the far side of I-285; near Smyrna) I figure, "Ham. E. Holmes" station is my best option ?
Alternative could be "Lindbergh Center" ?

Buckhead Station might be a better choice. There's lots around there, and you can get there through Paces Ferry Rd/ West Paces Ferry Rd/Peachtree Road from Cumberland Mall instead of getting on the interstates. Not that traffic on those streets is much better.

For interstate traffic:
http://www.georgia-navigator.com/maps/atlanta

[Edited 2010-02-05 09:28:21]
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HT
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:54 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 5):
Buckhead Station might be a better choice. There's lots around there,

These are parking lots then that are not operated by MARTA, as on its website it is stated that no spaces are provided at Buckhead ?
Buckhead surely would be an option, as it could be combined with some dining in the evening ...   
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
PPVRA
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:34 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 6):

Whoops, goes to show how much I use Marta. . I guess then you have Lenox station, with parking.

http://www.itsmarta.com/ne-len-overview.aspx
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Springbok747
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:19 pm

I've used MARTA many times, and parking was never a problem...but I always felt security was a bit of a problem in the parking lots. I used to board from Doraville to the city..and found many shady characters around the parking lots there. My car was never broken into or anything, but I just didn't feel safe walking back to the car in the evenings.

ATL is a great place though..try to do the Segway tour..I think they have their offices in Underground Atlanta.
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N776AU
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:16 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 6):
These are parking lots then that are not operated by MARTA, as on its website it is stated that no spaces are provided at Buckhead ?

That's true, there is no parking at Buckhead (at least that I've ever seen, and I go there relatively frequently). Are you planning to rent a car?
Careful, Doors Are Closing And Will Not Reopen. Please Wait For The Next Train
 
HT
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:57 pm

Quoting N776AU (Reply 9):
That's true, there is no parking at Buckhead (at least that I've ever seen, and I go there relatively frequently). Are you planning to rent a car?

Car rental is affirmative; is needed for several daytrips (among others to Warner Robins for the aviation museum).

One more question: There seem to be a number of Shopping Centers located directly around Buckhead Station ....: Do these locations charge for parking a car (for several hours) ?
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
PPVRA
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:30 am

I've left my car at a Wal-Mart pretty much all day and there is no way they'll figure out what you are doing. I've had friends do that over a few days while we went on a ski trip, but I wouldn't do that to my car. You can generally do that at most shopping centers though, but look for the ones that have bigger stores like super markets, and if possible, 24-hour ones (better security at night).

I'm pretty sure Phipps Plaza charges for their parking deck, though not (I think) if you park by where they have some restaurants (Twist and Grape or something like that). I don't know about Lenox Square Mall, I haven't been there in a long time. Downtown is a different story - definitely no free parking, and it isn't cheap.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
474218
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:48 am

Just word of advise from someone who lives near and travels in Atlanta frequently: Rent a car and stay away from MARTA. Also, never use a taxi cab in Atlanta.
 
Airstud
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:14 am

I can't imagine why there are any variables in hotel selection...at the Westin Peachtree Plaza you can stay on the 70th floor!! Case closed!!!

 
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HT
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:51 am

Quoting Airstud (Reply 13):
I can't imagine why there are any variables in hotel selection...at the Westin Peachtree Plaza you can stay on the 70th floor!! Case closed!!!

Sounds tempting, but when in the U.S. I somehow prefer to stay either at a motel-like establishement, preferrably with a full kitchen if staying for more than 3-4 days.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 11):
Downtown is a different story - definitely no free parking, and it isn't cheap.

I know from prior experience. Thankfully it was a Sunday afternoon, so parking was not a big deal.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 12):
Just word of advise from someone who lives near and travels in Atlanta frequently: Rent a car and stay away from MARTA.

Like I said, car is a must.
However, riding MARTA likely will be conducted just for the fun of checking it out, rather than having to arrive somewhere at a given time.
-HT
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luckyone
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:09 am

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 8):
I used to board from Doraville to the city..and found many shady characters around the parking lots there. My car was never broken into or anything, but I just didn't feel safe walking back to the car in the evenings.

Likewise with Chamblee-Dunwoody. Most of the outlying stations are in rather sketchy neighborhoods, which is why many people avoid MARTA.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 12):
Just word of advise from someone who lives near and travels in Atlanta frequently: Rent a car and stay away from MARTA. Also, never use a taxi cab in Atlanta.

Agreed. As an Atlanta native, your options with be much broader.

Quoting HT (Reply 14):
However, riding MARTA likely will be conducted just for the fun of checking it out, rather than having to arrive somewhere at a given time.

Does getting mugged or harassed by a homeless person sound like a good time to you? Both of those are serious problems on MARTA.
 
HT
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:36 am

Quoting luckyone (Reply 15):
Does getting mugged or harassed by a homeless person sound like a good time to you?

Hardly.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
luckyone
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:55 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 16):
Hardly.
-HT

Unfortunately MARTA is not a very efficient transportation system for Atlanta. I'm not quite sure what came first, but Atlanta is very spread out (as I'm sure you know   ) and the stations are far apart, and not convenient for a lot of people. Hence our well-known drive times, though our traffic rarely gridlocks. If you want to get the MARTA experience (a good one that is) I would recommend limiting your treks to between Buckhead and Midtown. For the authentic experience, take a trek through College Park or East Point  
 
Springbok747
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:55 pm

I think using MARTA during the day is ok. I've travelled alone on it during working hours and I've rarely come across dodgy-looking characters. It was mostly people getting to work or tourists going to downtown Atlanta. But it is better to drive IMO..

Quoting 474218 (Reply 12):
Also, never use a taxi cab in Atlanta.

Why is that? Risk of getting mugged or worse..? I thought all cabs were regulated with cameras etc. I actually took a cab from the airport once (Atlanta Checker cabs I think), it was ok..fixed fare ($30 from airport to midtown..not bad).
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dl021
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:16 am

Quoting HT (Reply 4):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 3):
Have fun in ATL......there's plenty to do with scenery, museums, attractions and nightlife, and the restaurant scene is great.

I know, that's why I am planning to return (and use LH's offer); I've been to Atlanta twice on business, but each time with (very) limited time off only (having to work even on the weekend ).
-HT

I understand. If you decide to stay in Buckhead (near Lindbergh Center, close to my office BTW) you'll find you're in the epicenter of ATL and closest to the MARTA lines that take you near the places you may want to visit.

Email me and we'll take you to lunch when you visit, and I can help you find some places to go. MLK Tomb and Ebenezer Church, Carter Center, Cyclorama, Aquarium, World of CocaCola, Stone Mountain perhaps a race or a game, and plenty of other things. Mountains and beaches reachable in hours by car, and easy to do.

I sound like an Atlanta Ambassador, but there it is. Home is a great place to visit....damn there I go again!
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
474218
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:20 am

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 18):
Why is that? Risk of getting mugged or worse..? I thought all cabs were regulated with cameras etc. I actually took a cab from the airport once (Atlanta Checker cabs I think), it was ok..fixed fare ($30 from airport to midtown..not bad).

It has nothing to do with being mugged, but the majority are poorly maintained and filthy. While any cab from the Atlanta area can take you to the airport. Only special cabs can pick people up at the airport, as with any monoploy they don't have do any more than the mininum to their cabs.
 
HT
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RE: Parking At Atlanta's Marta Stations

Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:43 am

Thanks for all replies.
I will be in town for a week over Easter.
Longhaul flights are booked with LH, seats reserved.
Hotel (studio) is reserved in Smyrna (but subject to review/change)
Car is reserved; looking forward to use the new consolidated rental car facility incl. the Skytrain.
Currently I am working on my day excursions (i.e. those 1 or 2 that include flying).
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !

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