marta in black and white

i am going to go ahead and warn you, iwill be talking about race in this post. i am going to be honest and clear in what i think. this may even include what some people might call ‘playing the race card.’ i want to get that out there up front so that if you are offended by that you can go ahead, scroll down to the comments and tell me what a communist i am without considering what i have to write.

just kidding.

the genesis for this post is the discussion that came about in annie’s post just a few down from it titled “i thought i was fearless.” it’s perhaps the most commented on post since i have been writing for the atlanta metblog which at least tells me that somebody is interested in the topic. if you haven’t read it and the ensuing comments i would encourage you to do so as it may make this post a little more understandable.

assuming that you didn’t follow my instructions here is just a tiny bit of background – annie posted about being afraid to take marta home from the dome/phillips arena station one night; frequent commenter bti questioned her about whether her fear might be racially motivated and the whole thing took off from there.

keep with me, this background is really important to the meatier discussion that is going to follow.

ok, final piece of background is on where this author comes from. first, i am a white male. second, i am a daily user of marta. several months ago i made a decision to ditch my car and take marta for my commute from north ormewood (near the zoo) to alpharetta (you can read about the decision here) and have been riding it ever since (for a running commentary of my marta adventures check out here).

okay, that’s the background, now for the meaty racial stuff after the jump –

right, still with me?

good.

here is the sad truth folks, a lot of white people in atlanta don’t ride marta because the clientele is overwhelmingly black and working class. there i said it and i’ll stand by it. and before you accuse me of being a liberal or something you should know that since i have been allowed to vote i have voted thus – bush 41, dole, harry brown, bush 43 and i plan on voting for mccain in this election -so for me to come out and say this you have to know i really believe it.

i wish it weren’t so, but i have heard and read the comments ever since i started riding marta, things like “i don’t want to hear someone’s t.i. music blaring from their headphones,” as if it’s somehow worse because it’s t.i. or “are you going to wear your pants down on your ass now?”

i am not making this up, i wish i was.

but by far the most obvious code-word used for white atlantans racially motivated attitude toward riding marta is ‘safety.’ you hear this all the time, that marta just isn’t safe. and then it is almost immediately followed by one of the comments i wrote above.

of course the stats and my personal experience and that of marta riders everywhere don’t bear out that riding on marta is any less safe than just living. in fact marta is actually a ton safer tan driving your car around.

as i mentioned in my comments on annie’s post i have riden marta trains and buses at night, walked through stations and parking lots at night, frequently been the only white person on the bus and often been on buses bound for some of atlanta’s roughest neighborhoods and have never felt any hostility or felt my safety threatened.

now i don’t know if this is out and out racism or if some of it is just white atlantans being uncomfortable being in a situation where they are in the minority. i think it may be a combination of the two. i know that i honestly took some time to get used to the situation where i was the overwhelming minority. while blacks face this every day, for me and other white people it’s not something we ever have to encounter and i think there is some unease in being in that situation.

but in the end there is no denying for me at least that race plays a part in the refusal of many people to even consider marta even if it could make their lives better save them money and help the environments.

the real question i want to address though is was commenter bti right to confront this attitude where he thinks he sees it like he did in annie’s post (remember that, many words ago i know).

i have to answer with an unqualified yes. here is why.

traffic is choking our city. it is the thing keeping us from becoming a world class city. every day it gets worse and worse and worse. good public transportation would be the best thing that would ever happen to our city, and yet year after year after year, we talk about it and it never comes to fruition.

why?

simple. people don’t ride.

i just got back from london. now when you speak of coverage, marta actually covers the city with buses about as well as the buses cover london, but frequency-wise, not a chance. you can stand on a street in london and have three buses go by in three minutes. on marta you may wait 30, or even an hour on a weekend.

the difference is voume. people ride in london. lots of them and thus they have an extensive system. that is really what it boils down to. we can talk about funding and poor management and lack of suburban support all we want, but it really boils down to ridership.

and that is where the racial component comes in. the more white atlantans refuse to consider marta because of outdated racial attitudes the longer it goes on. the more this myth of the unsafe marta train continues based primarily on silly racial attitudes in perpetuated the longer it goes on.

and so our city chokes, day in day out, on it’s own exhaust fumes.

and that is why i am convinced bti was right to confront this attitude.

all right have at me. i have thick skin so let ’em fly.

27 Comments so far

  1. anonymous (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 10:10 am

    I resonated with Annie’s post (although I didn’t comment on it) more based on my experiences as a woman on Marta and as a woman walking alone at night. I have used Marta to commute, I have used Marta for special events, and as a woman, I do not want to be out at night by myself. End of story. I don’t care if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or any other ethnicity, as women, we are subject to more harassment and more attack. Annie was right – having fear is being smart. I honestly have no more fear of being the only woman on a bus with people of other races than I do of being the only woman on a bus filled with white men. I’m not a man-hater (au contraire), but I have enough experience to be smarter than to put myself in situations in which I can’t protect myself, and that often means not riding Marta by myself at night. I would rather be in a car accident than I would be the victim of a violent attack.


  2. Another Strong Woman (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 10:54 am

    I guess only a woman can understand what Annie meant when she said she was uncomfortable riding home on Marta at 10 at night ALONE. Even though she is a strong, independent woman the truth is she is easier prey to a crime (than a man) when she goes anywhere ALONE which could mean taking out the trash, going to the mall, taking a hike or putting groceries in her car. My female friends of all races feel the same and NONE of them would ride MARTA ALONE at 10pm because they still would have to make it to the car ALONE or walk home ALONE! Too bad you men saw a racial issue when really it is a woman’s issue. Men are much more free to do what they want ALONE. SUCKS doesn’t IT?


  3. Adam (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 11:02 am

    Turn on the news, open the paper. 9 out of 10 stories dealing with crime concern black participants. That is not an exaggeration, it’s simply fact. There’s a problem in the black community and it’s both perception and reality. The reality is that a small collection of n*****s are ruining the perception of the black community as a whole. I don’t think there is anything that whites and other races can do to change the black community. That change needs to come from within. Honestly, I’ve given up hope that change is possible. If change never comes, then the race card will continued to be played in all aspects of living in the US. That includes fears of riding MARTA.

    If the black community wants to be accepted as who they are (human beings) rather than judged from the color of their skin here are a few suggestions. (1) Keep your kids in school. (2) Use a condom. Sure teenage pregnancy can be fun [see Juno], but it’s not doing much for poverty and welfare. (3) Enunciate. Also use verbs and nouns to form complete sentences. (4) If you’re going to hang out on street corners begging for money, don’t just ask the white folks for a dollar. The four well dressed black men that preceded me may also have spare quarters in their pockets. (5) Respect other people and their personal spaces. If I can hear your headphones at the other end of the train, it’s too damn loud. Do you want to hear the screeching headphone overflow of some talentless white band [see Creed, or Rusted Root]? Didn’t think so. (6) Quit killing, mugging, raping, and stealing. It doesn’t matter who is the target of the crime, it’s far more likely to be other black folk, but it’s still wrong. (7) Have your community leaders quit playing the race card. If you’re breaking into a house in Texas, and you get yourself killed when exiting the premises, race didn’t get you killed. Your actions sealed the deal. (8) Don’t refer to your bastards father as "my babies daddy". It sounds trashy and uneducated. (9) Don’t litter. Respect yourself and your neighborhood. (10) Don’t accuse successful blacks of "not being black enough". There’s nothing wrong with being successful, speaking proper english, living in a nice community and having ties with white america. Quit tearing down those in your community who have different aspirations. (11) Enjoy life. Live the american dream. Earn a fare wage for a fare job. Make small steps towards financial solvency and hope your kids continue to scale societies ladder. Things aren’t going to change overnight and it’s futile to expect they will.


  4. james (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 11:11 am

    anonymous and another strong woman – interestingly, i ride the marta at night and seee many women riding it ALONE. granted most of them are african american, but i see them. all the time. and there is a racial component to this. not for annie, i think i pointed that out in my comments on her post and she agreed. this post wasn’t about that but then i can tell my the comments that you didn’t even really try to follow the logic of it.

    adam, you scare me, man.


  5. Jam (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 11:28 am

    I feel safe on MARTA. Safety isn’t the issue for me, convenience is.


  6. anonymous (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 11:28 am

    No, I followed your logic. Even in and out of all of your self-aggrandizing preaching (I really don’t care who you voted for or for your ongoing, blatant promotion of your personal blog), I think I got it. What I got that you are saying that white people are reluctant to use Marta and they use excuses like coverage and safety because the majority of the population on the trains and buses are black, despite the wide coverage of the bus system and statistics indicating the relative safety of the buses and trains. I was only trying to point out that for me, whether its on Marta or not, I don’t feel safe going many places alone, and I don’t feel that that usually has to do with my race or the race of the people around me. About 15 months ago, I was exiting a Marta station in the evening (about 8 pm), and was attacked by a racially mixed group of men. I don’t go places on foot or on Marta by myself anymore. It only took one time to learn that lesson. Thanks for letting me share.


  7. Adam (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 11:43 am

    James, nothing I said was scary. It’s my view point and venting. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I will say this… Nothing Annie said in her previous post was racist. She wasn’t using ‘safety’ as a synonym for ‘black’ or anything else. Crime has been rising in her neighborhood and it’s making her feel uncomfortable. Her reaction to neighborhood crime is simply that, a reaction. How anyone could not expect her trepidation in riding MARTA and crossing a darkened parking lot while alone is not living in the real world. I’d expect her to have the same feelings if she lived in the whitest neighborhood in Wisconsin with a rising tide of crime. Her post was honest, forthright and should be accepted at face value. That said, the questions you pose in post are also valid. Sure race plays a part in MARTA ridership. To state otherwise would be to revel in ignorance. The only way to combat MARTA and racism is by personal experience. We can talk about it as much as we like, but it won’t change things. We can change the perception of MARTA by encouraging our friends and family to ride the trains and buses and experience it for themselves. You’re to be commended for doing just that. I ride MARTA trains to work 5 days a week. Occasionally ride the buse, but I hate the waiting. I speak up when others are tearing down the system, and encourage them to try it for themselves before accepting anecdotal evidence of MARTA’s safety. That’s all we can do though, try and get more white folk on the trains.

    MARTA… Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta.


  8. Another Strong Woman (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

    James– I too followed what you were saying, but I think you lack the ability to see the issues from other points of view. I second everything anonymous wrote. You jumped pretty wide off of Annie’s post to go in this direction. I just wish you would try to see the big picture and realize the issues around ridership on MARTA cannot be boiled down to race. I don’t think you will follow my comments either so good luck with your narrow view of the world.


  9. Ben K (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

    I’ve read a good number of the comments on the other post, and I wanted to point something out. I can sympathize with Annie’s concern of walking to her car alone late at night. And it has been pointed out, but I think the divide is more a gender divide than a racial one. And its a perspective that I can’t understand, although I think there are rational limits to how far one can play the gender card in this particular debate. If you let fear dictate your actions that is your own fault. Lord knows it happens to me enough…

    I also think that there has been a lot of focus on MARTA, and not enough focus on the real impetus for the post – the increase in crime in-town. I’m guessing that the portion of Annie’s hypothetical trip that would be the most scary would be AFTER she got off MARTA. At least for me.

    I am a native of the city proper, spent nine years in the Atlanta Public School system, and spent a lot of high school hanging out in the Fourth Ward before it was hip. I never was that concerned with crime until the last year or two. I hear about the anecdotes a lot more often now than I ever did growing up. I spent the last year living in Grant Park, and never was very concerned about my safety. But a friend told me a week ago that he’d been car-jacked two blocks from my old place. That kind of rattled me. I’ve read the police reports from my neighborhoods email list, and found myself surprised at where and when some crimes were taking place. (I also learned that doggy doors are an invitation for home invasion!)

    I have to second Annie’s concern about the state of crime in town. The police department is a MESS, the mayor is absent on the issue, and crime IS rising. I think its safe to say that the issue has gotten a lot of play because there have been a number of high profile issues in whiter parts of town, but I don’t think you can deny that this is an issue in town right now. It makes me really angry, and will probably determine who I vote for in the next mayoral election. Her concern about the rise in crime is valid.

    I would also like to defend James’ world view. It is not narrow. He is one of the most intellectually honest people I know – if you disagree with him and make a valid argument, he will concede your points. He is also one of the last people I would have expected to ride MARTA, and the fact that he has found religion about the system is a testament to how open-minded he is. He is one of the few folks I know who really puts their money where their mouth is on these issues.


  10. Ben K (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

    All that said, I think James makes excellent points about the general picture of race, Atlanta, and MARTA. My personal perspective on the low ridership issue includes quite a lot of land-use and density issues, in addition to the racial stuff.


  11. Rashid Z. Muhammad (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

    Okay I just can’t say anything productive here ’til I get on Adam’s post.

    1) The six o clock news is what you would call "not statistically representative" of the distribution of crime in Atlanta. Discarding that, the very fact that you are ignoring the Hispanic component shows your inability to parse even that flawed data set.

    2) So let me get this right, the overwhelming minority of black people are responsible for the bad image of the race in the eyes of whites, therefore it’s on all black folk to work extra hard to counteract this perception as opposed to whites using a halfway rational statistical model to mediate their discriminatory impulses?

    WTFever.

    It’s people like you that make me love the human institution of discrimination so much. First, because your ability to make decisions based on empirical data is flawed, so if I were ever in a situation where my destiny were subject to such judgment (e.g. as an employee) I would be taking on a considerable risk. Secondly, one exhibiting such laziness in evaluating other human beings isn’t worthy of benefiting from the value that I and my various networks can offer.

    Lastly, your flawed reasoning would manifest itself sooner or later and I’d end up spending some considerable amount of time (i.e. more than one second) telling you how much of a lightweight you are. *sigh*

    3) You patronizing "advice" to black folk isn’t worthy of comment and I’m ashamed that I even wrote this much about it.


  12. tiffany (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 7:13 pm

    I think Annie’s fear is understandable. I don’t think it is "smart" as she put it. In the case of MARTA, specifically, it’s not supported by statistics. But it is understandable, both as a woman, and as a friend of those who have been affected by crime.

    That said: I agree with you James. For most Atlantans — hell most Americans — "feelings of safety" is proportional to "# of white faces they see." And this is despite the fact that most crimes are intra-racial, and most physical crimes happen between people who know each other.

    @Adam: Trailer parks aren’t exactly overrun with successful examples of upstanding, law-abiding white people. Please stop stereotyping black folks by the poorest and/or most-knuckleheaded among us.


  13. Kelly (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

    I commented on Annie’s earlier post from the perspective of a woman riding MARTA. To me, it is a gender issue. I’m from Boston and moved to Atlanta a little over 1.5 yrs ago. This is the first time I’ve ever owned a car. In Boston I trained, bussed and walked everywhere. Thousands of other various colored people, of all age, gender and income brackets did to. I was still on guard, but at least comforted by knowing that if I had to take the train somewhere at 10 at night there would be multiple other people doing the same. This is not true for Atlanta and one of the reasons I do not feel comfortable by myself, outside, alone at night. I feel more vulnerable, more alone, more female and way less self-sufficient and I hate it.


  14. scotty (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2008 @ 1:47 am

    When I first moved to Atlanta, I decided (well, actually, it was sort of decided for me as I didn’t have a car) to use MARTA exclusively and did so for 2 years. This is *before* east intown had any decent grocery stores and today’s "resurged" ATL.

    I was luck that I lived near the Inman Park station and worked at a building close to Arts Center Station. My life was pretty easy, MARTA-wise. But once I got further from a station and had to rely on buses, it was over. I bought a car. Your basic premise is absolutely correct: until people actually ride the system, it will be minor league in a major league city.

    I can certainly relate to a woman being unwilling or at least hesitant to ride alone at night. That’s just commons sense in a sparsely populated system whether it’s all-white, all-black, all-pink or all-checkered and mixed. If there are men around, there’s at least a small chance of danger, IMO.

    And you are also correct that many white people are completely unwilling to consider riding MARTA because of the huge proportion of the ridership is black. If you’re a white person and mix at all in the world of other white people in Atlanta, you will hear the commentary.

    Soon after I first arrived in the ATL, I announced at a party that I was MARTA-only for transit. A white man said, "you know what MARTA stands for, right? Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta."

    As the fresh product of a liberal arts college, I almost shit myself.

    But the fact is that I rode *everywhere* on that system for over 2.5 years almost every day and I never encountered a single hostile or dangerous-seeming scene. Sure, I saw some weirdos and freaks, I witnessed a man puking in his hard hat. But mainly, I was most often harassed by Jesus Freaks.


  15. Reco (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2008 @ 3:25 am

    I think we’ve determined that MARTA is actually relatively safe, so other than the obvious threats faced by single women, what are the reasons you think some whites have a negative view of MARTA and its black constituency?


  16. Susan (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2008 @ 10:33 am

    Are you all really so sure that it is only white people who don’t feel safe on Marta? Here’s a bit from Cynthia Tucker (black female AJC columnist) titled "I just don’t feel safe on MARTA."

    http://www.accessatlanta.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/town-talk/entries/2007/02/09/i_just_dont_fee.html

    That article (from a year ago) also states that someone was robbed or beaten up on MARTA property on average twice a week. But how relevant could that be?

    I think that if MARTA increased their security presence in and around their stations, and dealt with the panhandlers better, it would go a long way in making EVERYONE feel more comfortable riding MARTA.


  17. Rashid Z. Muhammad (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

    "someone was robbed or beaten up on MARTA property on average twice a week. But how relevant could that be?"

    2.5 million people per week ride MARTA. The odds are over twice as good of you winning the Georgia Lottery’s Fantasy Five (Fantasy five ~1:500,000 – MARTA assault ~1:1.25 million).

    So to answer your question empirically, practically not relevant at all.

    Tucker was just expressing her opinion which she and everyone else has the right to do, but that doesn’t make her emotionally resonant argument any less intellectually bankrupt.


  18. jeff (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

    regardless of safety statistics, a single unfortunate personal experience defines how i feel about riding marta – that it is a necessary, although not entirely safe means of transit. riding to sandy springs from the airport, a fourteen-year-old (approximately, could have been younger) got onto the train with a hand in his pocket. not having much else to do, i watched him for a bit, and was shocked when i saw him pull the gun up to his waistline, then put it back into his pocket. never made eye contact, but felt somewhat intimidated nonetheless. and unsafe. doesn’t happen every day, but all it takes is once.


  19. shane (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 4:28 am

    I grew up in an Atlanta suburb where Marta didn’t reach. We used it to go to the airport or for baseball games, but even then we had to drive 30 min. to get to the closest station anyway. A little inconvenient.

    Then I went to college in Midtown. Marta was great for a college student, but being a girl who didn’t even walk around campus at night by myself, or even drive around the city without my doors locked, I didn’t ride Marta alone at night, as much as I used it during the day or with a group of people.

    Then I graduated and moved a little farther out. Marta trains still came to where I lived, but no buses, and it would take me 30 min. to walk to a Marta station vs. 30 min. to just drive downtown.

    Now I live in Germany (coming back to ATL in May) and I use the public transportation system all the time- don’t even have a car. The main factor in Marta being inconvenient is definitely volume- there are always people on the buses and trains where I live now, no matter what time of day, including school kids (no dedicated school buses), people with 8-5 jobs, and elderly. It’s always clean, there’s plenty of security, it’s RELIABLE and on-time (another factor, i think) so I don’t risk waiting at an abandoned station for 45 min. like I did in Atlanta while I was in college.

    I agree that Marta can only do so much to improve the situation without people expressing the volume demand, but it’s hard to use it when it’s so inconvenient. It’s a never-ending circle in my opinion, and I’m not hopeful it will change all that quickly. Such is life.


  20. CD (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 9:07 am

    I’m a white female and I ride MARTA every day. I don’t care at all about the racial percentages – we’re all just humans.

    However, I will not ride MARTA at night. Not because I’m afraid of members of any *race* but because MARTA doesn’t enforce rules and I have been cornered by aggressive panhandlers and mental cases with nobody around. There isn’t a police presence at my station and there are lots of opportunities for a woman alone to be jumped.

    During the rush hour, trains come quickly. At night you not only have to deal with fewer people on a platform (safety in numbers), but you have to stand there alone for 20 minutes.

    I do my part. I commute daily via MARTA, but I don’t take unnecessary risks. I’m a realist, and Atlanta’s crime rates speak for themselves :(


  21. james (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 11:29 am

    wow – lots of comments here.

    a few thigs. first, i am not trying to make this a gender vs race debate. honestly, i decided to write this post because the comments on annie’s post were veering away from her topic of safety.

    i did want to address the racial predjudices that DO exist in white’s opinions about marta and why it think confronting them is important.

    nothing in this post was meant to imply that women or anyone else shouldn’t take whatever precautions they feel necessary to protect their own safety.

    nor did was there any intention of claiming that crime doesn’t happen on marta. of course it does. i even linked to marta’s crime statistics. then again, the crime statistics on marta do tell the story that overall the system is very safe.

    also, let me point out, that i do see quite a few women riding marta by themselves at night; buses and trains. maybe it’s necessity for them, i don’t know, but they do it.

    anyway, the point of this post was exactly what scotty pointed out in his comments. i can’t tell you how many times i have heard the same things.

    ben k, thanks for the backup buddy. you have taught me a lot about being open-minded and willing to consider viewpoints other than my own. marta does have lots of problems with land use and other things, but most of them would have solutions found for them if the demand was there. the lack of ridership continues to be marta’s biggest problem.

    reco – interesting question. if i have to search my own soul for why i feel that way, i think it’s because it is very unsettling to be in the minority. riding marta is the first time i have ever consistently been in the minority in my life and it takes getting used to. funny, because you and other blacks deal with it every day, but most of us never have to.

    great comments and a great discussion. keep it up.


  22. Pumpkin (unregistered) on February 4th, 2008 @ 11:41 am

    I think you should take the mass transit, Miss.

    http://pecannelog.com/2008/01/31/bitch-you-ride-the-marta-bus/


  23. roxie (unregistered) on February 9th, 2008 @ 8:08 am

    Thanks Rashid and Tiffany for addressing Adam’s "comments" before my head exploded.

    James, welcome to the wonderful world of recongizing your white privilege: what it means and what you can do about it (which should be googled as soon as you get soem free time).

    Everything that could have been said has been I believe.

    I just wanted to add…I remember a news report on Lenox station back when I was about 6 or 7. They intereviewed ppl about it and the first words out of their mouths was how they didn’t believe it was "safe" and how they thought it would make it easier for criminals–you know, those criminals that don’t bother stealing cars but would rather pay $1.75, wait for a bus or a train, ride up to Lenox station, walk across the street into the mall, steal *something* then make it back to the station, pay another $1.75, wait for another train as their get away–to make it up to Lenox.

    That was the first time I recognized when he said "criminals" it meant "read: black"


  24. brian (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 11:45 am

    I’m a white liberaltarian male who voted for Kerry in the last election and wanted to vote for Ron Paul in the next one, but Obama is an excellent second choice (why any of this matters, IDK). When I lived in Atlanta, I rode the MARTA buses and train most of the times when I wasn’t riding my bike. I remember it being fast, convenient, and headache free…..not to mention safe.

    In fact, my experience with MARTA was joyous in comparison to my time riding MUNI these last 10 years in San Francisco. I never could understand why more people didn’t use the system. It’s actually the best way to traverse Atlanta’s sprawling environs in my opinion.


  25. james (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    thanks for the comment brian….i mentioned who i voted for mainly to underscore the point that i am not naturally inclined to see things through a racial lens.

    i feel like that only makes it more stunning that i notice this so often….


  26. happybrowngirl (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

    Wow, thanks for laying it all out there like that!

    I must admit these conversations have slightly amused me (and I do not mean that snarkily). I’m originally from the suburbs of a boring mid-Atlantic state and city living schooled me fast after riding the subway in NY at all hours of the day and night on different lines.

    Once you have confronted or been confronted by all manner of crazy, aggressive, weird people, you know how to roll with it and stay on course.

    Perhaps I got a little too recklessly comfortable walking home late at night from the subway stop with my ipod on, but conquering that beast fostered a weird sense of invincibility regarding riding public transportation.

    I had no idea people were actually scared to ride MARTA! Riding it is fun to me, like a little adventure. I don’t ride it as much anymore because it just feels like trains don’t arrive consecutively as fast as I would like them to and so I would rather be in control and drive.

    But let people stay scared, that’s just fewer people getting in the way of those who really enjoy its convenience. If more people actually found out what a little gem it can be to get around on, it could get even more crowded and wind up like….New York.


  27. Borovets apartment (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2008 @ 3:44 am

    AOA to alls

    It is a good post of MARTA and I feel safe on MARTA and I think you should take the mass transit, Miss.



Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.