With Skyrocketing Gas Prices, Atlanta Commuters Are Opting for Public Transportation

As gas prices continue to soar, some Atlanta commuters have traded in their car keys for a MARTEN pass.

Jermaine Stubbs, an elementary school teacher, is one of them.

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“I usually have no problem getting to work with my car,” Stubbs said, “but gas prices are just insane right now.”

Stubbs usually drives from his home to work in Sandy Springs, but now he says he takes the Red Line every day and then takes a rideshare from the station to work.

“It just forced me to make a decision, where I have to save money,” Stubbs said. “This [became] much more convenient and cheaper to use MARTA.”

The average gas price in metro Atlanta was 50 cents higher on Tuesday than it was a week earlier, according to the AAA.

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At Dean’s Midtown Shell on 14th Street, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $4.79 on Tuesday.

Refueling drivers said public transit was simply not an option for them.

“Not from my house, I can’t get him from Loganville to where I work,” Marcelo Villatoro said. “If I lived near Chamblee or Doraville, I would.”

A MARTA spokesperson told FOX 5 they don’t have the ridership data to definitively link an increase in ridership to soaring gas prices.

“This thing here [a Ford Explorer] about $60 in two days, so it goes up. It goes up,” Neco Johnson said. “It takes about $90 to fill up.”

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Johnson said his family business, D&N Auto Sales in Jonesboro, is feeling the ripple effects.

“I’m starting to slow down, man. Normally this time I do 10 or 20 cars a week, now we’re down to five to seven,” he said. “They start taking MARTA and finding other means of transportation because it’s getting really ridiculous.”

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Melvin Z. Madore