The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will restore 58 previously suspended bus routes on Saturday, April 24.
This comes after completing the installation of state-of-the-art air filtration and purification systems on all buses and receiving support from the federal government to enforce mask wearing.
MARTA suspended 70 of its 110 bus routes on April 20, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was intensifying and the need for maintaining social distance was paramount to reducing the spread of the virus.
In the months since, 12 routes have been reinstated as conditions allowed.
“We understand the reduction in bus routes created a hardship for many of our customers, and we are appreciative of their patience as we balanced providing a service with protecting public health,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “Public transit by its very nature goes against social distancing and by placing all 540 buses in our fleet on a reduced number of routes a year ago, we were able to provide more room for our customers and hopefully slow the spread of the virus. With the installation of filters that rid the air of harmful pathogens and the new federally mandated mask requirement, we feel we can now safely return to full bus service.”
Over the past few months, MARTA has installed Bipolar Ionization air filters on all buses, in addition to the antimicrobial filters already in place.