10 Years of MARTA Cards

When I first started riding MARTA to work I would buy weekly or monthly passes made out of paper. They would be a different color each time and the monthly cards had a pattern on them. But nothing exciting. Then, in September 1995, they started making plastic cards. These had full-color pictures on them and they started with a series of cards with pictures of Olympic athletes for the upcoming 1996 Olympics. After the Olympics they started other series featuring local colleges, MARTA station artwork, MARTA employees, holidays, and even had one with the color-coded terrorism threat levels (I guess it would make a handy reference . . . they said “red”, now is that good or bad?).

Deck of Cards

I’ve gotten my money’s worth from each one, using one 40 times or so a month. Then they go into a drawer with all the others. With each trip being 10 miles, I have saved 48,000 miles of wear and tear on my car and saved about 2,000 gallons of gas from being burned. So now I have 120 cards. At about $40 each, that’s almost $5,000 worth of MARTA cards in my drawer. Now worth zero.

Marta Card Collection

5 thoughts on “10 Years of MARTA Cards

  1. Would you sell me all of those cards for $100? (If you wouldn’t, then they are worth more than nothing.)

    Per Eric’s question about a digital picture. You can have my broken Kodak digital camera. I’ll show you how it can be turned on (when disassembled), but I think a switch could be soldered in place to make it useful. It would require more delicate engineering than your PowerBook Bolt-on fix.

  2. I don’t know that I’ve saved a lot of money by riding MARTA, but mileage is often reimbursed at 28 cents a mile, so that means a 10-mile trip is worth $2.80 and I probably paid $1 for the fare. But realistically my car costs less than 28 cents per mile to operate because it is low maintenance and gets good mileage.

    Maybe I could spread the cards out and take a picture. I can borrow Susan’s camera or the one from work. I’m terrible at soldering.

    Jeb’s comment was filtered at first because he had a link in it.

  3. Today I got a flyer about MARTA’s upcoming Breeze cards which have a smart chip and can be recharged. They are supposed to be introduced later this year, so that will be the end of monthly MARTA cards and I will have a complete set (except for one).

    I looked up the spelling of flyer, thinking it might be flier. The dictionary said both were okay. So I did a search for “hand out flyers” and got 71,800 results. Then I did one for “hand out fliers” and it asked if I meant flyers, but still got 35,200 results. I went with flyers.

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