MARTA mulls drastic bus route cuts, prays for legislative action

Community forums scheduled for Feb. 20, March 1 to discuss service cuts

UPDATE: Some proposed modifications that have already undergone public comment and board approval will take effect in April. MARTA tells us the current round of meetings and route changes discussed below will go into effect in August. I’ve altered the text below to note the correction.

Thanks partly to the economy and some Gold Dome hubris, MARTA is currently facing a $120 million deficit in its operating budget. And in an effort to balance its books, the transit agency is once again considering service cuts — this time to more than 100 bus routes.

And if the transit agency can’t find cash, most of its bus route or other service changes could change as early as April would go into effect in August.

What’s worse: For people who rely on the buses to shuttle them to work, school or errands, more than 60 routes could be discontinued. Riders would have to jump on other routes or find another way to get around.

The transit agency is holding community forums to hear public comments on Feb. 20 at its Lindbergh headquarters and March 1 at its North Fulton Service Center. If you rely on public transportation and can attend, you might want to drop by.