Home of the Atlanta Braves, Turner Field is a popular MARTA destination, especially on Fridays when car traffic can stall plans to tomahawk chop and enjoy a hot dog at the stadium. Whether you are a new rider or a seasoned commuter heading out to the game, these five tips can help make the process easier.
1. Purchase Fares in Advance
Lines at the Breeze Card machines often form before large events, including right before Braves games. If you don’t want to wait in line, keep in mind that you can refill your Breeze Card online in advance or stop at any rail station at a non-peak time to add trips or passes to a Breeze card.
Remember to always purchase a roundtrip fare to save time. In most cases you’ll want to select “Add Trips” and select two trips for the roundtrip option. For more information, see Breeze Cards 101.
2. Know the Rail Schedules
MARTA schedules vary depending on time of day and day of the week, with trains on a 20-minute frequency after 9 p.m. and on the weekends accept for the stations sharing the red and gold line trains. If you are traveling at an off time, it is helpful to check the rail station schedules online. Even better, download the MARTA on the Go app for real-time train arrivals to plan your trip.
If you are traveling back to Buckhead, Medical Center, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs or North Springs after 9 p.m., you’ll need to board a “Doraville” train and take it to Lindbergh Center to transfer to the “North Springs” train.
A special note if you are traveling during weekday rush hour — you’ll want to allow plenty of time and leave early if you can as the trains are also crowded with work commuters. Trains will be most crowded at this time and may be standing room only.
3. Pick a Good Parking Spot
To improve the efficiency of your commute if you plan to park and ride MARTA, use a station that offers the shortest travel time to downtown Atlanta. With traffic particularly bad on Friday evenings, sometimes parking at the station nearest you makes the most sense, but otherwise, parking at the Lindbergh Center MARTA station (pictured here) is a great option for those coming from north of Atlanta. Twice as many trains come through the station as it is on both the red and gold rail lines, and there is easy access to Ga. 400 and I-85 in addition to three parking decks in a secure area.
For those coming from the east side of the city, the Inman Park or Candler Park stations are good for parking. The Ashby station is closest to downtown on the west side.
4. Don’t Forget to Travel to West End
The West End MARTA station is the new location of the free shuttle to Turner Field for the 2015 Atlanta Braves season. Fans traveling from the blue or green rail line will need to transfer at Five Points to the first southbound train to reach West End. Once at the station, there are really only two ways to exit: toward the buses or the street. Follow any sign pointing to buses to reach the shuttle, which will be on the northeast side of the station.
5. Know Your Options
Most riders take the Braves Shuttle to Turner Field, but this isn’t the only option. You can also walk 25 minutes from the Georgia State MARTA station to Turner Field (or bring your bike on MARTA to speed up your commute). Take the Piedmont Avenue exit out of the station and turn left. See Navigating the Georgia State Station and 5 Common Mistakes Made by Braves Game MARTA Riders for more information.