The pictures below are of bus stops and train stations that are part of my everyday commute from Avondale estates to Downtown and vice-versa. Public transportation is a key part of my life and many others lives that reside in or around the city. Public transportation has been an iatrical part of the development of the city. Gunther Barth in City people expresses this importance, “In the modern city forms of public transport unified the divided public space. They linked residence, place of work, shopping areas, and centers of entertainment, and kept suburbs an integral part of the city.” The efficiency of MARTA is a whole other story, but the concept remains the same.
The pictures start with the bus stop in my ‘suburb’ of Avondale Estates (Within 10 miles of the city) and end with pics of Georgia State and Five Points stations. In between are pics of the busses and trains themselves with a pic of the Atlanta skyline thrown in (Taken when approaching Ga State station). These pics were taken to discuss how Public transportation has done its part in widening access to the city and expanding the metro area itself. By widening or expanding the city I mean it makes one feel more connected. After all the downtown area ;the heartbeat of the city, is only a few stops(By bus or train) away!
In the land of the automobile and highway systems public transportation is a hard sell. This is to not to say people are not riding public transportation. In fact, “In recent years, transit use has increased more rapidly than any other mode of transportation. Ridership increased by 25% from 1995 to 2005—to 10.3 billion trips a year.” No, the main problem is not “ridership”, it is infrastructure. More money needs to be put into public transportation. So much money is spent on highways and “hot lanes” only for the roads to stay congested. I understand that politics is involved and do not want to rant too much but it is pointed out that, ”While mass transit can be an affordable and environmentally friendly travel alternative to automobiles, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimates that approximately half of Americans do not have access to reliable transit systems.”
I got a little off subject, but the key fact to remember is that public transportation gives greater access to the city and downtown areas. It gives people who are not necessarily living in the city itself, the feel of urban life. As Barth points out about streetcars, “no matter how far away people lived the street car tracks radiating from the city center tied them to the downtown business district.”This is still relevant today and hopefully more relevant in the near future when people realize that mass transit is an integral part to the recovery and development of our cities and nation.
 Gunther Paul. Barth, City People: the Rise of Modern City Culture in Nineteenth-century America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 57.
 “Transit | Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” Home | Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, 2010, section goes here, accessed November 13, 2011, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/transit.
 Gunther. P. 57