When I started a post-doc at Georgia Tech in 2010, I started bike commuting to work to avoid the $600 annual parking costs. It was easier then: it was just 3 miles from where I live in East Atlanta Village.
Several years later, when I got my first non-contingent faculty job at Southern Polytechnic State Univ. (now Kennesaw State), I wanted to be able to keep riding to work. I thought it would be impossible; it isn’t! If you are student, staff, or faculty at the KSU/Marietta Campus (former SPSU) here’s how you do it.
I ride 7 miles from EAV to the Arts Center MARTA station (behind the High). At least half of that ride is on the Beltline. It takes about 35 mins. Anyone located downtown or in Inman Park, Cabbagetown, Little 5 Points, or Kirkwood would have a shorter ride.
I get on CCT (Cobb County Transit) bus 10-C which goes nonstop from Arts Center to the Marietta Transfer Station which is about .75 miles to campus. The bus ride takes about 20 mins. My advice: DON’T ride the remaining distance to campus on S. Marietta Parkway. It’s more dangerous for cyclists than anything you find in the city. Instead, take a right away from S. Marietta into the baseball complex behind MTS. There is a newly paved walking path that leads into the back of campus by the soccer fields. You’re there! If you’re headed to the Kennesaw campus, you could find another CCT to get you there or take the new BOB shuttle on campus.
The 10-C is great on time (enjoy blowing by all the traffic on the bus) but there are only about 6 buses out of ATL in the morning and 6 later in the afternoon. You have to time things right. If you miss one, you can always get on the 10 bus (which runs every 15 mins all day) going to Marietta or home to ATL, but that bus makes lots of stops and takes about 50 mins.
You’ll have to purchase a bundle of CCT rides ($18 for ten) and put them on a MARTA card. But seriously: $1.80 for one way to Marietta? I can’t beat that in gas in my car.
If KSU ever negotiates to offer student/staff discounts on CCT/MARTA cards, it would make it completely feasible for students living in Atlanta to get to school without a car. Something for the future.