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MARTA's Sustainability Programs  


 We are all concerned about the quality of our community's environment, from clean air to clean water.  MARTA is proud to be more socially and technically competent in raising our community's awareness for sustainable development and a cleaner Atlanta environment.

How do we at MARTA help with the environment? 

  • Less Traffic, less carbon -  With less traffic clouding our roads and highways, we lower traffic and reduce the resultant emissions. By placing 20 riders (who would normally each drive a car) on one bus for the same total mileage, we have reduced the greenhouse gas emissions by 90%.

  • Early adoption and use of Natural Gas Vehicles -  A majority of MARTA's fleet is powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), a clear, odorless, and non-corrosive gas. MARTA is committed to reducing emissions and pollutants for an easier breathing Atlanta. 
  • Commuter Options - MARTA offers several sustainable commuting options: parking and kiss-ride; advanced route planning; bus/HOV lanes commuting; employer incentive programs, etc.
  • Regional Partnerships – MARTA serves as the backbone of a growing transit network with connections to Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties by saving customers time, stress, gas and oil, maintenance, tires (wear of tear on your vehicle) and parking.
  • Multi-Modal Connections – MARTA is the only multi-modal transit system in the State, reducing the need for taxis while lowering emissions.

Click here to view CNN Heroes Video

Click here to view Sustainability video

MARTA’s Sustainability Program

MARTA’s Sustainability program has proven to be a true commitment to environmental stewardship. The 2009 initial baseline of the Authority’s carbon footprint created a foundation for the program to kick off the various initiatives.

Environmental and financial benefits abound since the implementation of the various initiatives such as integrating LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) into recent design efforts,

The award of a major grant for solar panel installation to create green energy and offset energy use, as well as smaller efforts such as recycling, LED light installations, and the use of high power hand dryers in place of paper towels

APTA’s Sustainability Commitment

  • MARTA became a founding signatory of the 2009 Pilot Phase of APTA’s Sustainability commitment
  • This commitment offered all APTA members the opportunity on a voluntary basis to commit to putting processes and actions into place which allow for continuous improvement on environmental , social, and economic sustainability

 Clean Cities Lifetime Appreciation Award 

  • In 2009, MARTA received the Clean Cities Lifetime Appreciation Award from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for its partnership with the City of Atlanta to significantly reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector
  • The 411 CNG buses that MARTA currently utilizes in its fleet, displaces more than 7 million gasoline gallons equivalent of petroleum a year

Laredo Bus Canopy PV Installation

  • On September 21, 2009, MARTA successfully secured the largest federal Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Grant in the country.
  • The $10.8 million full funding grant for Laredo Bus Facility in Decatur, GA provided funding to install shade structures with an array of 4,888 energy-efficient solar panels.
  • This installation is the largest solar PV installation in Georgia and generates over 1.2MW of green power
  • The steel structure shades approximately 220 buses with a perforated canopy and has LED lights to accommodate the 24/7 operational needs of the facility
  • The project improves the energy efficiency of the operations
  • Cuts fuel consumption and emissions, and enhances the work environment,



Bus Fleet 

  • MARTA continues to make significant contributions to improving the environment and the quality of life in this region
  • MARTA’s entire bus fleet uses clean fuel technology with part of the fleet comprised of full size clean diesel buses and the other being Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses which reduce carbon monoxide by a full 95%



  • In 2010 MARTA implemented a recycling program for its Headquarters and Annex Facilities since implementation
  • The facilities average about 36 tons of recycling material on annual basis that get diverted from landfills
  • In 2012, MARTA implemented recycling throughout all of its operating facilities. In addition to the Headquarters and Annex recycling efforts these additional facilities generated over 100 additional tons of recyclables being diverted from the landfills.


Hand Dryers

  • As part of the Authority-wide Board authorized Sustainability “GREEN LIGHT” Program
  • MARTA eliminated the use of paper towels throughout the agency’s restrooms and installed over 290 high efficiency, low energy hand dryers in all restrooms
  • The Authority has saved over $160K per year in paper toweling and labor cost.


Light Switches

  • MARTA implemented the Retrofit of Motion Detecting Sensor Light Switches
  • This program replaces standard light switches with motion detecting sensor light switches in multipurpose rooms that have moderate to infrequent use
  • The ROI of this project was within 3 months of implementation


LED Lights 

  • MARTA is using more LED lights due to their longer life span, their low energy consumption and their better quality of light output
  • Their brighter light quality makes their usage  better candidates for overall security camera resolution and their long lifespan reduces long term maintenance and replacement cost


Utility Manager Pro

  • Working in conjunction with Maintenance Department, the Sustainability Program has initiated a Utility Analysis for Gas and Water Usage that can verify correct billing rates by providers

Clean Air Act Campaign

  • The Authority partnered with the Clean Air Act Campaign on November 1, 2011 to launch the “reduced Idling” initiative to improve air quality affected by the idling of MARTA vehicles
  • The no idling campaign reduced unnecessary vehicle idling at MARTA’s bus garages, kiss and rides, loading docks, and taxi stands. to improve the health of our workforce, visitors and the general public
  • This initiative improves overall air quality and reduces wasted fuel.

LEED Design

  • MARTA has implemented LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in the design of new facilities and implements the same design principles in existing facility renovations.
  • LEED is used as a standard to promote Green buildings which are environmentally responsible buildings and resource-efficient throughout their life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction.


Water Filling Stations 

  • In an effort to reduce use of natural resources and continue the Authority’s green efforts for environmental sustainability
  • MARTA has installed water filling stations for employees at all operating facilities to eliminate the use and Authority’s cost of plastic water bottles
  • Part of the initiative includes providing all employees with refillable stainless steel water bottles to promote the elimination of plastic bottles and reduce cost to the Authority
  • MARTA employees are drinking more natural water than ever
  • The initiative has also eliminated thousands of plastic bottles from going to a landfill and the Authority’s cost of purchasing water bottles.
  • MARTA has installed 22 water filling stations at various operating facilities at a cost of about 80K.
  • The Authority continues to reduce its dependence on natural resources and kept approximately 141,555 plastic bottles out of landfills.
  • Previously MARTA spent over 100k annually on purchasing plastic water bottles alone.


Environmental Management System (EMS) 

  • MARTA adopted an Environmental Management System (EMS) in 2011 for Armour Yard Rail Facility
  • EMS is a set of management processes and procedures that allows an organization to analyze, control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, products and services
  • EMS helps an organization address its regulatory demands in a systematic and cost-effective manner
  • The EMS process will allow the facility to be ISO 14001 certified.

Click here to view information about MARTA Environment Management System

Water Reclamation 

  • MARTA washes hundreds of buses and rail cars and that effort consumes many hundreds of gallons of water
  • MARTA uses at least 200 gallons of water to wash a single bus  and 1500 gallons to wash a six car train
  • MARTA’s Vehicle washer reclamation system makes sure that all that water is not lost down the drain
  • The filtered clean water is then reused with new chemicals and is used over and over again
  • MARTA reclaims up to 90% of the water



  • MARTA’s Board Room Process went paperless in 2012 saving MARTA over 960,000 sheets of paper annually as well as about $40,000 in paper, printing and courier costs.
  • MARTA installed projectors and interactive boards in conference rooms to reduce paper usage

ZIP Cars 

  • MARTA partners with ZIP cars to extend the reach of our service area
  • Sharing services allow people to use public transportation and still reach their specific destinations.


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