Atlanta Image (MARTA Train Car)

Love it or hate it, MARTA is a vital piece of Atlanta’s infrastructure. Additionally, it can serve multiple purposes for different people. For example, it may be a person’s primary transportation to work or school. A person may take MARTA to get to a concert or festival. Although there are infinite uses for the train, everyone’s experience is similar in the regards that MARTA gets you where you need to be.

A person’s journey on MARTA begins when they approach the ticket kiosk. After receiving your ticket, you then arrive at the gate where you must touch your ticket to the column in order to open the gate. After looking at the signs, you then stand on the platform and wait for your train to arrive.

Once on the train, you begin to look around. (In many cases it’s crowded, but on the day I took this picture it was strangely empty.) The car is a uniform beige, with plastic seats and metal railings. As seen in the picture, there are small television screens that play ads, but more common than not they show nothing at all. You hear over the loud speaker that eating and drinking is illegal on MARTA, which is followed by a repetition of the same message in Spanish. As your ride continues, you enter a dark tunnel. When you look outside your window it is black but safety lights flash by at an alarming rate. You close your sound and listen to the train’s heartbeat: the conductor’s rhythmic pounding of the brake. Then all at once, light has returned and you see green all around. The loud speaker then says, “The next station is Kensington.” You then gather your belongings and shuffle towards the doors trying to keep your balance by grabbing onto the railings. Finally, the doors abruptly open.