MARTA Midtown Station (Courtesy MARTA)

A realistic “crisis scenario” complete with explosions, smoke and actors in injury make-up will be staged at the Midtown MARTA station on Saturday, Sept. 30 beginning at 10 p.m. and lasting until 3 a.m.

MARTA is calling the training simulation for first responders the region’s largest emergency preparedness exercise

“These exercises are a critical tool that enable us to assess our response to crisis situations and identify areas for improvements,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker. “The recent terror attack on London’s rail system as well as natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma underscore the importance of running various scenarios.”

Beginning at 9 p.m. on Sept. 30, service on the north and southbound red and gold rail service lines will be interrupted. MARTA will establish a bus bridge to bypass the exercise. Patrons utilizing the bus bridge will be directed to exit at Arts Center Station or North Avenue Station and board a MARTA bus that will take them to the next available station.

MARTA officials are contacting local businesses and residents about the planned exercise to minimize confusion and alarm.

“Businesses and residents in a five-mile radius of the MARTA Midtown Station may hear loud noises and see heavy police activity as part of this year’s exercise,” MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said.

There will also be a number of road closures due to the exercise:

• Peachtree Place NE from West Peachtree St. NW to Peachtree St. NE beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30.
• 10th St. NE from West Peachtree St. NW to Peachtree St. NE beginning at 9 p.m. on Sept. 30.
• Road closures will remain in place until 5 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1.
• Limited access will be provided for the Regency Suites parking deck and the Alta Midtown parking deck.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.