Planning, leveraging staff and relationships — and expecting the unexpected — helped the transit system handle massive crowds for the 2019 Super Bowl.

By Lori Johnston


MARTA’s ability to move record crowds during Super Bowl weekend in Atlanta meant more than just making sure more than half a million fans arrived at the game, concerts and fan festivities, day and night. The Super Bowl was a reputation building-moment for the transit system among locals, visitors and naysayers.


“There were a lot of people who wanted to see MARTA fail so they could talk about, ‘There they go again,’” says Jeffrey Parker, MARTA General Manager and CEO.


MARTA leveraged police, administrative staff, rail and bus operations staff, as well as relationships with a dozen local public safety agencies, from police departments in Decatur and Johns Creek to the Georgia State Patrol. All 4,300 MARTA employees assisted during the 10-day operational period in some way, says Rhonda Allen, Director of Executive Strategy, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Georgia Tech. Those employees included more than 600 administrative staff, called Transit Ambassadors, who were positioned in MARTA’s 38 rail stations and worked over 3,320 additional hours to provide customer service to riders. Read More