MARTA’s Open Restrooms Mostly on North Lines


marta map

By Adrian Coleman, Special to Atlanta Progressive News 

(APN) ATLANTA — MARTA’s open public restrooms are disproportionately located on the MARTA North Lines (Doraville and North Springs Lines), whereas few restrooms are open on MARTA’s East, West, and South Lines.


Given the fact that the North Lines tend to disproportionately serve MARTA riders who are White and affluent; and that the East, West, and South Lines tend to serve MARTA riders who are people of color and working class, this distribution of restrooms is racist and classist.


In recent weeks, MARTA announced “Changes to Public Restroom Availability” on its website: “As of August 26, 2020, Restrooms are available at Arts Center, Avondale, Bankhead, College Park, Decatur, Doraville, Five Points, H.E. Holmes, Indian Creek, Kensington, Lindbergh, Midtown, North Avenue, North Springs, Peachtree Center, and West End.”


Of MARTA’s 38 rail stations, only sixteen currently have open restrooms.




Nine of the twenty-four MARTA rail stations located in Atlanta have restrooms available.   


According to calculations by Atlanta Progressive News, commuters on MARTA’s North rail line have five times greater access to public restrooms than those traveling East, West, and South rail lines.  


Within the City of Atlanta, nine stations have open public restrooms.  


Five of them are on the North Line.  One is at Five Points.  Two are one the West Line; and one is one the South Line.


North Line – Restrooms are open at five of the seven rail lines between Peachtree Center (N1) and Lenox (N7) rail stations.   


West Line –   Only one of the five rail stations have a restroom available. Traveling west from Five Points, commuters must “hold it” until they reach the end of the line H.E. Holmes station (W5).  The Bankhead Station, which splits off from the West Line, also has an open restroom.


East Line – None of the east line rail stations located in Atlanta have a restroom available.  Traveling east from Five Points, commuters must travel to Decatur rail station (E6) to use a public restroom. 


South Line – Traveling south from Five Points, West End (W2) is the only Atlanta rail station with a public restroom available. 


MARTA has the power to decide who may whiz and who must hold it.


As it turns out, working class people and people of color also need to use the restroom.


(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2020)
Editor’s Note: Adrian Coleman is a Canopy Atlanta fellow.

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