Atlanta is well known for its traffic and, yes, it’s a reputation very well deserved. But do not despair weary traveler, Atlanta is absolutely accessible to those without a car.
Getting around Atlanta from within Atlanta:
Midtown is a very walkable area and you will rarely need to rely on transportation if you are staying within midtown. However, the core of Atlanta is divided into two fairly distinct areas: Midown and Downtown. Depending on where you are, you will probably want to hop on MARTA to get between the two. MARTA trains are also a great way to get to the Buckhead area and MARTA buses will take you pretty much everywhere else. And, there’s always the option of taking a cab.
Take MARTA, it’s smarta! Seriously, MARTA is a very easy to use system and will get you pretty much everywhere you will want to go. In fact, if you’re planning on seeing the sites while you’re here, you’ll probably find it useful to buy a 4-day or 7-day pass. You can pick one up at the airport through the handy dandy fare machine.
If you’re now thinking that you must run and find some sort of MARTA related app for your smart phone – don’t bother! MARTA is a simple enough system that the public transportation routes on the standard Google Maps app works great (at least on the iphone and, likely, others). However, MARTA has a few pages that might be helpful: Trip Planner and Popular Destinations & Routes for visitors.
There are a number of cab companies operating within Atlanta however they do not do street service. You will have to find a hotel to hail you one (usually no more than a minute or two wait) or call one yourself (could be up to 15 minutes). Atlanta taxis operate on a flat rate zone system – travel within a zone (for example Midtown) is set at $8 + $1 for each additional person. If your travel takes you outside of the zone (for example starting in midtown and ending in downtown), your trip will be metered.
Checker Cab: (404) 351-1111
Buckhead Safety Cab: (404) 875-3777
Atlanta Lenox Taxi: (404) 872-2600
Getting to Midtown from the Airport:
Unless you’ve decided to rent a car, the best bets are going to be using MARTA or getting a taxi.
Option 1: MARTA
MARTA is super cheap & easy. If you don’t have a ton of luggage to haul with you, this is probably the way to go. The MARTA airport station is right near baggage claim and fairly well marked. It will cost $2.00 and is a direct 20-25 minute trip to the Midtown stations.
Option 2: Taxi
Cabs between the airport & Midtown operate on standard pricing. The trip will cost $32 and take about 15-20 minutes. Most drivers in Atlanta do not take credit cards, so be sure to get some cash while you’re in the airport. There is a line up for cabs outside of the terminal at the far end of the building.