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The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has added 1,200 new parking spots at five high-traffic rail stations.The agency's Chamblee, King Memorial, Brookhaven/Oglethorpe, Kensington and East Point stations now include additional parking for morning commuters, MARTA officials said in a press release.MARTA's police department also will have an increased presence around the expanded lots, while other reassigned agency staff will be placed at designated locations to assist first-time customers.The agency's ridership has been on the upswing following the fire and bridge collapse on Interstate-85 late last month. MARTA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Keith Parker last week said ridership jumped as much as 25 percent following the incident.Meanwhile, the agency on Monday launched a web-based parking tracker tool as ridership continues to grow.The webpage provides up-to-the-minute capacity updates for 10 parking facilities across MARTA's rail system. The site offers real-time updates for the morning rush hour Monday through Friday, with periodic updates made throughout the business day."The launch of this real-time parking platform enables riders to plan their morning commutes to our various stations that have been near or at capacity since the I-85 bridge collapse," Parker said. "With the increase in ridership, it is imperative that we look to enhance our communications to help make everyone's commute as worry-free as possible."To help alleviate parking congestion, MARTA has encouraged riders to use ride-sharing services, carpool or bike. The agency also has partnered with Uber to provide a 50 percent discount off the ride-sharing company's pool fare trips to and from MARTA stations.
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