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Talking Chop Exclusive: Braves May Fund MARTA Shuttle To Stadium

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Last week the MARTA board officially cut the 2011 funding for the MARTA Braves shuttle, which runs before and after games to take fans to and from Turner Field and the Five Points MARTA station. Thousands of fans rely on this shuttle to get to the stadium every game.

As has been reported here previously, MARTA is restricted from allowing other entities to subsidize non-regular bus service, which would be considered charter bus service. It was thought that this would preclude the Braves organization from paying for the shuttle, and there was also some question about whether the Braves would even be willing to pay for the shuttle.

It now seems that both both of these hurdles could be cleared in the coming weeks. Talking Chop has learned that MARTA is seeking permission from the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) to reclassify the MARTA Braves Shuttle as an extension of rail service, which would allow the Braves to fund the shuttle.

Talking Chop has also learned that Braves officials will be meeting with MARTA personnel to discuss ways to fund the shuttle should MARTA get the waiver it is requesting from the FTA.

This is good news for Braves fans who rely on the MARTA Braves shuttle. Obviously there are still hurdles to cross -- the largest being the reclassification waiver of the Shuttle by the FTA -- but these positive developments should make Braves fans hopeful that their access to Turner Field via public transportation will not canceled.

Talking Chop will keep you updated on any new developments as we become aware of them.