MARTA Official Reveals Neat Facts About System’s Elevators, Escalators

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Bill Thomas of the Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority (MARTA) was among those who braved ice and snow to attend the Annual General Membership meeting of the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) February 10-12 at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport North in Atlanta. During a roundtable discussion on Day Two, Thomas spoke about progress that has been made to revitalize MARTA, which has a reputation for broken-down elevators often used as urinals. Recently, such incidents came to a virtual halt, he said, after MARTA installed a urine-detection system. In addition, many of the units are in the process of being replaced or upgraded. The system has 111 elevators and 149 escalators, and approximately 420,400 passengers use the system daily. New MARTA CEO Keith Parker remains focused, Thomas said, on turning the system around, and elevators and escalators are an integral part of that. Remarkably, he said, the most frequent reason elevator passengers call for help is not due to malfunction at all, but rather their failing to press a button to activate the elevator and believing they are stuck. New signage should alleviate that situation, and MARTA also plans to look into integrating some EESF safety signage into the system.

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