FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2020
MARTA TO PROVIDE DIRECT TRANSIT ACCESS TO GEORGIA’S LARGEST-EVER VOTING PRECINCT
MARTA to Open Refurbished Mercedes-Benz Stadium/State Farm Arena Rail Station by July 20
ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will provide direct transit access to Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct at State Farm Arena for the upcoming Georgia General Primary Runoff Election and the General Election in November.
MARTA joined Fulton County and the Atlanta Hawks as they announced the creation of the voting precinct – the largest in the country – at a virtual press conference this afternoon.
“MARTA is proud to support the right to vote and in fact, exists because of that right,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “Voters in Fulton and DeKalb Counties and the City of Atlanta decided in 1971 they wanted public transit, and Clayton County followed in 2014. As more jurisdictions consider joining MARTA, the right to vote and direct access to voting is paramount. With the unprecedented challenges we’ve all faced this year, we don’t want voter access to be one of them.”
The rail station that services State Farm Arena was closed at the onset of COVID-19 as sporting events and concerts were cancelled. This gave MARTA the opportunity to complete needed repairs and deep clean and sanitize the entire station. Improvements made over the past three months include refurbished elevators that feature new doors, controls, interiors, and LED lighting. The 8 escalators at the station underwent heavy cleaning and the fire protection system was upgraded. Portions of the roof have been repaired and the trackway thoroughly cleaned.
“Seeing the unique opportunity to have direct transit access to this voting precinct at State Farm Arena, I contacted Jeff and MARTA immediately,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts. “He assured me the repairs and cleaning are near completion and the rail station will be open in time for early voting on July 20.”
The precinct will allow tens of thousands of voters to maintain CDC-recommended social distancing requirements while voting in the primary runoff on August 11, and in the general election on November 3. With limited parking around the arena and Atlanta traffic approaching its pre-pandemic congestion levels, taking MARTA to State Farm Arena will be the easiest and most stress-free way to cast your vote.
MARTA remains committed to protecting the health of our customers and employees and encourages social distancing while on the system. Rail stations are cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and all trains are cleaned and sanitized overnight. All MARTA employees are required to wear masks and we ask that customers wear a mask or facial covering while riding.