Hundreds of MARTA buses roll through the city of Atlanta every day. MARTA's mission is to provide a "safe and customer-focused regional transit system," but during the past year our cameras have spotted drivers making stops that endanger both passengers and other drivers.
We recently found a bus parked in a lane of traffic on Marietta Boulevard with the door open and the engine running. We had no trouble boarding the bus and didn't have to pay a dime.
The driver was nowhere in sight and didn't return to the bus for at least 20 minutes - long enough for someone to get behind the wheel, release the parking break and drive off.
In early April, we spotted a MARTA driver leave her bus running and unattended while she walked nearly a quarter of a mile to a convenience store.
Then there was a driver who parked his bus in front of the CVS on Marietta Boulevard, which is not a bus stop. We watched as he too left the bus running with the door open and passengers on board.
"Why would you do that?" CBS46's Adam Murphy asked.
"Sir, no comment," the MARTA bus driver said.
We alerted MARTA at that time, and a supervisor showed up to talk with employees. But since then, angry Atlantans have sent CBS46 dozens of photos showing nothing has changed.
Like a bus on Coronet Way with no driver in sight. Another photo shows a bus on Marietta Boulevard with the door open and passengers on board. The driver was spotted in a nearby store. And then a viewer photo on Bolton Road shows a bus blocking the only southbound lane. Meanwhile, the driver was seen walking out of a convenience store.
One resident, Tim Gravitt, took it a step further. He confronted a MARTA driver for leaving his bus unattended on Marietta Boulevard.
The policy MARTA implemented after our report aired a year ago states bus operators are prohibited from blocking or obstructing the flow of traffic while in service at any time, except in the case of an emergency.
MARTA states drivers in violation will be warned, suspended and ultimately fired for failing to follow the rules.
So how many drivers has MARTA disciplined? None.
"If they violate the policy and we can confirm that they did then sure we'll take action against that or any other rule infraction that operators commit," MARTA COO Richard Krisak said. "We're doing a route by route analysis to make sure that we've got good places for operators to stop. We're making sure supervisors are looking at it when they stop to make sure they're not blocking traffic or blocking a business and we're going to continue to refine that policy."
If you've seen a similar problem with public transportation in your neighborhood carefully snap a photograph or take some video and send it to Adam.Murphy@cbs46.com.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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