MARTA's new pass to cost $5 after June

LAWRENCEVILLE - For the next few weeks, passes that will keep travelers from having to pay twice when they ride MARTA will be available free of charge.

After June 30, the Breeze cards can be purchased for $5.

Cara Hodgson, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, said the cards will be the only way riders can transfer from a bus to a train or bus to bus without having to pay a second fare. The system will stop using paper transfers at the end of the month.

Weekly and monthly passes will also be available on the Breeze system, which has been in use since September.

Tim Collins, Gwinnett's transit director, said the county's buses will be equipped with Breeze readers in December.

A card will not be required to ride county buses, he said, but will keep passengers from paying a fare twice if they ride between those buses and MARTA.

The cards are designed to last four years, Hodgson said, and balances can be recovered from lost or stolen cards as long as the card is registered. A replacement card will be subject to a $5 fee, but will include two one-way rides, as well as the recovered balance.

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and other groups will also start to use the Breeze cards at the end of the year.

To get a free card, call 404-848-5000, visit www.breezecard.com or pick up an application in a MARTA station.