The MTA, like many transit systems in the US, is facing a lot of budget cuts right now, and unfortunately that means longer commutes for many passengers affected by route cuts.
Where I live, the local county bus service was shut down by the county commission back in March when they pulled the funding for it (The county was spending $10 million a year on the service and only getting $2.5 million in fare revenue.). It was a joke of a bus system anyway, as there were only five routes that all terminated at ATL and if you needed to get from a city on one side of the county to the other, you pretty much had to ride to the airport and switch buses as the way the system was setup, it was primarily to connect folks to MARTA. There was legislation passed in the State legislature here that would allow the residents of the county I live in to vote on a referendum on whether to levy a 1 cent sales tax to fund the system. Even if the referendum were to pass, the County Commission would have to approve restarting the service, and when you consider they voted 4-1 to shut down the system, they may not be willing to restart the service. Right now, the only bus service is operated by a state agency and provides express bus service to Downtown Atlanta from several locations in the county. I actually would not be surprised if within a few years, our county joins MARTA (For much of the time we had a bus service here, MARTA had been contracted to run the service on behalf of the county.).
Here MARTA is facing a major budget crisis and is looking to ax routes or cut back on the frequencies on many routes. A few months ago, to demonstrate the severity of the potential cuts, MARTA painted a purple X on every bus or rail car that could potentially be off the system if they had to make all of the cuts needed. In some areas, MARTA has competition from private bus services whose routes mirror MARTA's bus routes (they operate primarily in areas that are predominantly Latino) and stop at MARTA bus stops. They actually undercut MARTA's fare and there have been occasions where MARTA drivers have gotten into altercations with these drivers. I'm actually surprised that these private bus services didn't start up operations where I live when our bus service was stopped.
Public transportation seems to be one of the easiest targets for budget cuts since by nature, they are subsidized by the local governments as well as by local sales taxes. When a government is facing budget shortfalls due to a drop in their own tax collections in which to fund services, public transit seems to get the short end of the stick since it is a service that is not considered to be an essential one. Eliminating a fire station or a police precinct is seen as a riskier move PR-wise than cutting bus service of subway routes. Throw in a drop in sales tax revenue used to fund public transit, and you've got a double whammy for public transportation.