Hatfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has been the busiest airport in the world since 1998. Today, this 8-terminal airport hosts 100 million passengers per year with flights to every large city in North America, plus many to Europe, Latin America, and Africa. It is the hub for Delta Airlines, Frontier, Southwest, and Spirit airlines. Runways support the humongous Airbus A380 Jet. WiFi, charging stations, retail shops, dining & lounge options, meditation room, business services, and artwork lovingly populate each terminal. ATL Rental Car Center houses all major car rental agencies and features 9,900 parking spaces. ATL Skytrain People Mover between Terminals and Car Rental Center is fast and frequent. ATL Airport partly honors the late Mayor Maynard Jackson, who pushed through expansion funding that enabled it to also become one of America’s best functioning large airports. ATL Airport Terminal Map
Atlanta transportation options from the airport are excellent. MARTA rapid transit runs every 6 minutes from ATL Airport Station for the 20-mile ride to Downtown, then continuing northbound to Midtown, Bulkhead, and Dunwoody. Taxis and Super Shuttles (800-258-3826) are plentiful at the ground transportation level. Uber and Lyft service are available. Car Rental Center features Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty brands. Board the ATL Rental Car bus after exiting any airport terminal.
Atlanta Penn Station, with its neo-classic architecture, café, gift shop and airy atmosphere is a small, but ok venue for travelers. Located in Midtown at 1688 Peachtree Street, NW, it also hosts a small taxi depot streetside for this Amtrak route:
Crescent: NYC-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC-Richmond-Raleigh-Charlotte-Greenville-Atlanta-New Orleans
Daily Amtrak trains currently run slow between Atlanta, Greenville, and Charlotte. Studies are advancing Faster Amtrak speeds as part of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor. Like all other U.S. High-Speed Rail projects, these are subject to funding by the Presidential and Southeast governor administrations.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) provides 4 heavy rail lines (subway and elevated) radiating from Downtown to ATL Airport, colleges, and entertainment and centers. MARTA uses a fare card similar to transit systems worldwide and operates 5a-Midnight with a 6-15 minute train frequency. Pre-pandemic, MARTA attracted over 232,000-weekday patrons to its 38 stations and 48 miles of track. See routes on MARTA SYSTEM MAP
In 2016, a half-cent sales tax was passed by voters to raise billions of dollars for MARTA improvement via Heavy Rail, Light Rail, and Bus Rapid Transit expansion and better bus service. Its unclear which MARTA rail expansions will happen, as represented on this Unofficial MARTA 2040 Vision Map. Post-pandemic, only two seem certain: Clifton Corridor Light Rail connecting CDC/Emory University to 4 MARTA Heavy Rail lines and Gold Line heavy rail extension to Gwinnett Place.
DESCRIPTION: Excellent tour guides, they create special events on comfortable tour buses to African American Landmarks, particularly along Auburn Avenue; reservations required
Tourists can enjoy Atlanta Streetcar running a circulator route between Auburn Avenue and Centennial Olympic Park. You can’t beat the convenience or slow-moving views for a $1 fare. Atlanta Streetcar runs every 10-15 minutes daily.
Atlanta Freeway System features a “wheel and spoke” network of 6 freeways that mostly go Downtown Atlanta. Each freeway has 8-12 lanes with well-designed intersections and exit/entry lanes better maintained than most contemporary freeways in the Northeast. Nevertheless, the freeway network is a victim of decades of suburban sprawl growth, stalled MARTA expansion in four corridors, and a lack of good Amtrak service between Atlanta, Greenville, and Charlotte.