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New bus service links Atlanta to Stone Mountain

STONE MOUNTAIN -- A new bus service will begin connecting people from Stone Mountain to Atlanta.

The Xpress Route 424 will pick up passengers Monday at a park and ride lot at 1475 E. Park Place Blvd. in Stone Mountain, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority officials announced. The lot is in the former Cub Foods parking lot in the former Eastmont shopping center south and east of the Stone Mountain Freeway/East Park Place Boulevard intersection, a press release said.

Officials added the route to help relieve congestion on U.S. Highway 78 and to provide another option for riders using the current Route 418 from Snellville and Hewatt Road, the release said.

Beginning at 5:30 a.m., the buses will operate every 30 minutes through 8 a.m., providing six morning trips. Another six trips are planned for the evening, beginning at 3:37 p.m. and ending at 6:10 p.m. from the northbound side of the Civic Center MARTA station on West Peachtree Street.

The trip to and from the Stone Mountain Park area is expected to take 50 to 60 minutes via U.S. 78 and Interstates 285 and 20 East. Two morning and two evening reverse commute routes will also be provided, departing at 6:15 and

6:45 a.m. from the MARTA Civic Center Station and at 4:40 and 5:10 p.m. from the Stone Mountain park and ride lot.

Fares, which can be purchased at www.XpressGa.com or from Breeze Card vending machines at MARTA stations or the GRTA office in Peachtree Center, will be $3 one-way and $5 round-trip. Twenty-ride, 40-ride and 31-day unlimited ride passes are also available at $45, $85 and $80, respectively, the release said.

The release said Route 424 will travel on a new routing plan through Downtown Atlanta that will primarily use Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Spring Street as it travels in the morning through Downtown Atlanta from the Capitol to the Five Points MARTA Station to the Civic Center MARTA Station and on to Spring Street just north of Linden Avenue.

In the evening, Route 424 will begin service on the northbound side of West Peachtree Street at the Civic Center MARTA station, travel north to North Avenue and then south on Spring Street, stopping just north of Linden Avenue, and traveling down the west side of downtown and back to the Capitol before returning to the Stone Mountain Park area.

A complete schedule and list of morning and afternoon stops follows and is available on the Xpress Web site at www.XpressGa.com. For more information, people can also call GRTA's customer service line at 404-463-4782.