Parking supply policy and transit use: Case study of Atlanta, Georgia

Arthur C. Nelson, Michael D. Meyer, Catherine B. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


For two decades, the city of Atlanta, Georgia, has used special public interest districts (SPIDs) to attract new development to and improve transit ridership around Midtown rail transit stations operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Buildings locating inside SPIDs need not provide any parking facilities and can be developed more intensively than buildings located outside SPIDs. Buildings constructed outside SPIDs must have at least two parking stalls for every 1,000 ft2 (92.9 m2) of gross leasable area and are limited to about 30 floors. The extent to which these policy objectives have been fulfilled by Atlanta's parking supply policies as they are applied around Midtown MARTA stations is analyzed. Findings are mixed. Development was attracted to SPIDs, and transit ridership among employees working within SPIDs was substantially higher than among those working outside SPIDs. On the other hand, new parking has proliferated throughout Midtown with some evidence to suggest that transit ridership has fallen as a result. It is concluded that without areawide parking supply efforts, policies patterned after Atlanta's SPID program will have limited success in improving transit ridership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1604
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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