MARTA to Public: ‘Your Ride, You Decide’ on Railcar Exterior Design

The move follows MARTA’s May request for input on interior railcar design features. (Find those results below.)

The agency awarded Stadler a $646 million contract for 127 two-car rapid transit trainsets (with an options for up to 50 additional sets) in 2019.

MARTA riders and potential riders can now take part in the exterior design work by voting for one of four themed graphic options—“inspired by MARTA colors, and the dynamism and movement of trains”—via the agency’s website or social media pages.

Each design theme—Minimalist, Flowing Ribbons, Neighborhoods and Tracks—has two options for design size and placement. They follow.

Minimalist:

Minimalist, Option A: “This simple, yet striking design flows MARTA’s primary colors into a seamless stripe running along the length of the train’s mid-section and across the front/rear cabins, accenting the vehicles’ kinetic energy.”
Minimalist, Option B: “An understated, tri-color MARTA stripe along the front/rear cabins and lower edge of the train frames the railcar’s aerodynamic profile and its silvery, sheet metal skin.”

Flowing Ribbons:

Flowing Ribbons, Option A: “Unfurling like a wind-whipped banner, MARTA’s logo colors are incorporated in this fanciful design that streams prominently along the length of the train and across the front and rear cabins.”
Flowing Ribbons, Option B: “A scaled-down version of this undulating pattern rendered in MARTA’s logo colors sweeps across the front/rear cabins and the mid-section of the railcar creating a sense of movement, speed and excitement.”

Neighborhoods:

Neighborhoods, Option A: “Overlapping ovals in varying colors span the length of the railcar exterior from floor-to-ceiling and across the front/rear cabins to represent the deep inter-connections between the diverse communities MARTA serves.”
Neighborhoods, Option B: “Like a string of colorful beads gracefully looped along the railcar’s mid-section and front/rear cabins, this scaled-down option subtly signals the linkage of people, places and spaces in metro Atlanta.”

Tracks:

Tracks, Option A: “Large geometric shapes in MARTA’s iconic colors are interspersed with bold white lines covering the sides of the railcar and the front/rear cabins, vividly evoking the railroad tracks that define metro Atlanta’s historic prominence as a major transportation hub.”
Tracks, Option B: “A series of bold lines in MARTA’s primary colors running in varied and intersecting angles span the length of the railcar’s sides and the front/rear cabin; an abstract interpretation of the trackways used to transport people to and from their destinations.”

More than 1,300 riders shared their railcar interior-design preferences in the spring. After analyzing 17,000 votes and 700 comments, MARTA reported that the most popular features are digital maps, next station and destination displays, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible seating and signage.

MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker

“As a result of this feedback, passenger seats will be more accommodating; railcars will offer more options for those who are standing; there will be specially marked areas for bikes and strollers; and dedicated spaces for wheelchairs will optimize entry and exit points,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said. “Other design elements include an open gangway so riders can move freely between railcars, and convenient charging stations. We were thrilled with the response we received on the interior features and are eager to see what riders think of the exterior design options.”

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