With the snow and ice thawing quickly, MARTA announced Thursday afternoon that its resuming modified bus and paratransit service Friday.
Rail service is set to continue on a weekend schedule on all lines, with the first trains rolling out at 4:30 a.m. Friday, spokesman Lyle Harris said.
The bus and paratransit services will begin on 30 “life-line” routes, beginning at 7 a.m. Friday and running until 11:30 p.m.
The first round of bus routes being restored provide transit access to some of the region’s major hospitals, job centers and commercial corridors.
Customers may experience extended waits on some routes and are asked to allow extra time to complete their trips. Based on specific road and traffic conditions, more routes may be added throughout the day and real-time adjustments to the bus schedule are possible, Harris said.
MARTA train service were off to a slow start Thursday as snow and ice continued to challenge metro Atlanta and other parts of the state.
But people were getting on board, and ridership was lower than normal but up from Wednesday, said Lyle Harris, MARTA spokesman.
The transit system had about 5,400 riders in the first three hours of rail service Thursday morning.
“That’s fewer than usual but more customers than we carried” by the same time Wednesday, Harris said.
Train service didn’t start until 8 a.m., and MARTA officials were saying only that they would be running “as frequently as conditions allow” or about every 20 minutes.
MARTA bus service was cancelled again for Thursday, and Gwinnett’s transit system also suspended service for the day due to icy and dangerous road conditions.
Gwinnett County Transit will resume its regular service schedule Friday for local, paratransit, and GCT express service. GCT-operated GRTA Xpress will start service for trips scheduled at 7 a.m. or later.
Meanwhile, Cobb Community Transit will be running regular express routes 100/101/102 and local bus service Friday. Full complimentary paratransit service also will be provided. Cobb suspended all bus service Wednesday and Thursday, and paratransit service was running Thursday on a limited basis for riders with scheduled dialysis appointments.
On Wednesday, MARTA trains operated but at slower-than-expected times. About 12,000 people rode the trains, and service was suspended at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday because of weather-related problems.
On Thursday morning, trains were running on 20-minute frequencies, compared to the normal 10-minute frequencies on a typical weekday. But no significant delays were reported, Harris said.
A shuttle service was running on the Red Line between Lindbergh Center and North Springs, requiring customers traveling south to the airport to transfer at Lindbergh for a Gold Line train.
“As the day wears on, and as weather conditions improve, we anticipate increasing our rail service and ending the shuttles on the Red Line so those customers can travel to the Airport without transferring,” Harris said around noon.