Thank you, Atlanta Journal Constitution for reporting on the changes and upgrades MARTA is doing before the Super Bowl. Here is their report:
July 18, 2018
By Becca J. G. Godwin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
In 200 days, a giant swarm of fans, tourists and media will descend on Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Hundreds of thousands of them are expected to use MARTA during the 10-day occasion that culminates with the game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
With an event of this magnitude, officials at the transit agency know they have their work cut out for them. That was made clear in January, when delays and crowd control problems ensued at MARTA’s Five Points Station after the college football national championship. Officials later said inadequate staffing was among the reasons for the issues.
The agency is preparing for the Super Bowl in ways that will hopefully prevent the kind of problems that took place early this year.
One course of action is a series of tabletop exercises that focuses on topics such as safety and security, managing crowds on train platforms and communicating clearly to riders.
The first exercise, attended by the entire MARTA executive team, was held June 21. Senior directors from each department worked through scenarios, and exercise participants dealt with simulated situations such as severe weather, protests, service disruptions and station overcrowding, said Stephany Fisher, MARTA’s acting senior director of communications.
More tabletop discussions and a full-scale exercise will be held over the next seven months. Officials will also assess MARTA’s preparedness during large-scale events being held before the Super Bowl, such as the MLS All Star Game on Aug. 1, Labor Day weekend events including Dragon Con and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff; as well as Music Midtown in September, the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1 and the Peach Bowl early next year.