I've wanted to try out some of the county transit systems for the past few years. It's ironic that my first trip on the Cobb Community Transit system (CCT) was to pick up my automobile from a garage in Mableton.
The garage was located on Veteran's Memorial (the old Bankhead Highway) about midway between Oakdale Road/Discovery Boulevard, and Floyd Road/Mableton Parkway (Veteran's Memorial seems to be the dividing point for a number of name changes of roads).
My original plan was to cycle to the train station, ride the westbound train to the Holmes station, and cycle to the garage. But the car was ready a day early, and I'd taken the train to work with no bike. So I got the brainstorm of trying to make connection with the CCT. I knew absolutely nothing about the routes, fares, or schedules of the CCT, so I hit the CCT website.
So far so good. The website indicates that the CCT actually wants people to ride the system. I don't know what made me think they wouldn't. I then hit the link to the system map. Hmmm...
Weird. One would think that a route straight out Veteran's Memorial would be a natural, since it would run through the center of Mableton and Austell. But the closest route was the 30, which departs from the Holmes MARTA station and intersects Veteran's Memorial where Mableton Parkway becomes Floyd Road, very near the Mable House. I checked the map legend, and determined that if I got off there the walk would be two miles at the most. Good enough. I then
phoned the CCT to find out how to transfer from MARTA to the CCT. I found that transferring from
MARTA to the CCT at the train station was no extra cost with my monthly Breeze ticket.
So I walked the half mile from my workplace to the Georgia State MARTA station at about 3 PM on a Friday. I took the westbound train to the Holmes Station, and asked one of the MARTA staff the location of the CCT stop. He pointed it out to me. When the bus arrived (about fifteen minutes later) I boarded and asked if the Veteran's Memorial stop would be announced. The driver said yes. The bus was crowded at around 4:30 PM, the stops were frequent along it's meandering route with people both boarding and exiting along the entire route through South Cobb.
The woman seated next to me, who'd overheard me ask the driver about the stop, let me know about two stops in advance that my stop was nearing.
I disembarked, crossed Veteran's Memorial, and walked to the garage. The sidewalks along my path to the garage were smooth and walkable, although needless to say the overall streetscaping along Veteran's Memorial is dismal.
The entire trip, from boarding at the Georgia State station to arriving at the garage took about an hour and twenty minutes. I could probably have cut the time by calculating the connection schedule better. But all in all that wasn't too shabby.
I intend to explore the CCT more thoroughly over the next few months. But overall my first experience was very positive. I generally evaluate public transit routes based on how good they are in getting me from East Atlanta to some useful or interesting destination. Looking at the CCT's system map there are routes to the Mable House/Barnes Amphitheater, the Silver Comet Trail, the Marietta town square, Kennesaw Mountain, and a route within walking distance of Smyrna's well designed town center. The question is how efficiently the CCT can get me there.
I'll keep you posted.
I do intend to contact the CCT and request that they consider a route running straight out Highway 78 (Veterans Memorial). One of my longstanding notions is that the towns formed by the railroad to Birmingham would be a logical extension of the westbound MARTA rail line (Mableton, Austell, Powder Springs, Douglasville, Villa Rica). Since Cobb doesn't have a rapid transit system yet, at least they could fill in that gap with a bus line within their own boundaries.