MARTA has unveiled the customer-chosen design for 254 new rail cars coming to the fleet beginning next year.

The reveal was made during its annual State of MARTA event on Wednesday, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 surge. Riders were given the opportunity to vote online to choose the design of the carriages.

According to MARTA, the car interiors will have an open gangway so riders can move freely between cars, forward and inward seating, spacious luggage and bicycle areas, and large, accommodating ADA doorways and spaces.

The new trains, designed and built by Stadler, will also have charging stations for phones and devices, digital system maps and service information, and improved heating, cooling and lighting systems.

The exterior of the care will feature the “minimalist” design with a stripe of MARTA’s colors chosen by customers. The most prominent feature is a lighted “smile” on the front of the train that denotes the color of the rail line – Red, Gold, Green or Blue – so riders will know from a distance that their train is approaching.

The new trains are part of a busy year for MARTA as the transit agency moves to open the city’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) along Hank Aaron Drive from Downtown through Summerhill; introduce high-capacity transit along the Campbellton Corridor and in Clayton County; and station rehabilitation projects at Airport, Indian Creek, and Bankhead rail stations.

“I see transit as a combination of lines and dots, with the lines being our buses and trains and the dots being the communities we connect and serve,” said MARTA GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker. “This next year will be one of enhancing the dots and expanding the lines, reimagining what transit can and should be for the metro Atlanta region as it continues to grow.”

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.