United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and associated states. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution; the U. S. Mail traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general; the Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation. It was elevated to a cabinet-level department in 1872, was transformed by the Postal Reorganization Act in 1970 into the USPS as an independent agency; the USPS as of 2017 has 644,124 active employees and operated 211,264 vehicles in 2014. The USPS is the operator of the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world; the USPS is obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. The USPS has exclusive access to letter boxes marked "U.
S. Mail" and personal letterboxes in the United States, but now has to compete against private package delivery services, such as United Parcel Service and FedEx. Since the early 1980s, many of the direct tax subsidies to the Post Office, with the exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters, have been reduced or eliminated in favor of indirect subsidies, in addition to the advantages associated with a government-enforced monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail. Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume, after which Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act which mandated that $5.5 billion per year be paid to prefund employee retirement health benefits, revenue dropped due to recession-influenced declining mail volume, prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit. In the early years of the North American colonies, many attempts were made to initiate a postal service.
These early attempts were of small scale and involved a colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony for example, setting up a location in Boston where one could post a letter back home to England. Other attempts focused on a dedicated postal service between two of the larger colonies, such as Massachusetts and Virginia, but the available services remained limited in scope and disjointed for many years. For example, informal independently-run postal routes operated in Boston as early as 1639, with a Boston to New York City service starting in 1672. A central postal organization came to the colonies in 1691, when Thomas Neale received a 21-year grant from the British Crown for a North American Postal Service. On February 17, 1691, a grant of letters patent from the joint sovereigns, William III and Mary II, empowered him: to erect and establish within the chief parts of their majesties' colonies and plantations in America, an office or offices for receiving and dispatching letters and pacquets, to receive and deliver the same under such rates and sums of money as the planters shall agree to give, to hold and enjoy the same for the term of twenty-one years.
The patent included the exclusive right to establish and collect a formal postal tax on official documents of all kinds. The tax was repealed a year later. Neale appointed Governor of New Jersey, as his deputy postmaster; the first postal service in America commenced in February 1692. Rates of postage were fixed and authorized, measures were taken to establish a post office in each town in Virginia. Massachusetts and the other colonies soon passed postal laws, a imperfect post office system was established. Neale's patent expired in 1710; the chief office was established in New York City, where letters were conveyed by regular packets across the Atlantic. Before the Revolution, there was only a trickle of business or governmental correspondence between the colonies. Most of the mail went forth to counting houses and government offices in London; the revolution made Philadelphia, the seat of the Continental Congress, the information hub of the new nation. News, new laws, political intelligence, military orders circulated with a new urgency, a postal system was necessary.
Journalists took the lead, securing post office legislation that allowed them to reach their subscribers at low cost, to exchange news from newspapers between the thirteen states. Overthrowing the London-oriented imperial postal service in 1774–1775, printers enlisted merchants and the new political leadership, created a new postal system; the United States Post Office was created on July 26, 1775, by decree of the Second Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin headed it briefly. Before the Revolution, individuals like Benjamin Franklin and William Goddard were the colonial postmasters who managed the mails and were the general architects of a postal system that started out as an alternative to the Crown Post; the official post office was created in 1792 as the Post Office Department. It was based on the Constitutional authority empowering Congress "To establish post offices and post roads"; the 1792 law provided for a expanded postal network, served editors by charging newspapers an low rate.
The law guaranteed the sanctity of personal correspondence, provided the entire country with low-cost access to information on public affairs, while establishing a right to personal privacy. Rufus Easton was appointed by Thomas Jefferson first postmaster of St. Louis under the recommendation of Postmaster General Gideon Granger. Rufus Easton was the first postmaster and built the first post office west o
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Xpress is a regional commuter coach service operated as a partnership between the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties. As of 2015, 34 Xpress routes are in operation. Operators of Xpress are contracted through Professional Transit American Coach. In Cobb and Gwinnett Counties Cobb Community Transit or Gwinnett County Transit provide Xpress service in addition to their own express services. Service hours are from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m weekdays, with most service being rush hours only. 400 Cumming to North Springs MARTA/Downtown Atlanta 408 Doraville MARTA to Johns Creek* 410 Sugarloaf Mills to Lindbergh MARTA* 411 Hamilton Mill/Mall of Georgia to Midtown Atlanta**** 412 Sugarloaf Mills to Midtown Atlanta* 413 Hamilton Mill to Downtown Atlanta**** 416 Dacula to Downtown Atlanta**** 417 Sugarloaf Mills to Perimeter Center 418 Snellville to Downtown Atlanta* 420 West Conyers to Downtown Atlanta 421 West Conyers to Midtown Atlanta 422 Panola Road to Downtown Atlanta 423 East Conyers/Panola Road to Midtown Atlanta 424 Stone Mountain to Downtown Atlanta 425 East Conyers to Downtown Atlanta 428 Panola Road to Perimeter Center 430 McDonough to Downtown/Midtown Atlanta 431 Stockbridge to Midtown Atlanta 432 Stockbridge to Downtown Atlanta 440 Tara Boulevard to Downtown Atlanta 441 Clayton County Justice Center to Midtown Atlanta 442 Riverdale to Downtown Atlanta 450 Newnan to Downtown Atlanta 451 Newnan to Midtown Atlanta 455 Union City to Downtown Atlanta 460 Douglasville to Downtown Atlanta 461 Douglasville to Midtown Atlanta 462 West Douglasville to Downtown Atlanta 476 Hiram/Powder Springs to Midtown and Downtown Atlanta** 480 Acworth to Downtown Atlanta** 481 Town Center to Midtown Atlanta** 490 Canton to Downtown Atlanta*** 491 Woodstock, Georgia to Midtown Atlanta**** Route is operated by, as a part of, Gwinnett County Transit** Route is operated by, as a part of, Cobb Community Transit*** Route is operated by, as a part of, Cherokee Area Transportation System **** Route is operated by American Coach All routes excluding routes 408, 410, 412, 470, 475, 477, 480 One-way: $3.00 Round-trip: $5.00 20-ride pass: $45.00 40-ride pass: $85.00 31-day/Monthly Pass: $80.00On off-peak runs and reverse commute runs, the fare is halved to $1.50 one-way, $2.50 round-trip and $40 for a 31-day pass.
Routes 408 and 410 One-way: $3.00 10-Ride Ticket Book: $30.00 Monthly Pass: $100.00Routes 412 and 418 One-way: $4.00 10-Ride Ticket Book: $40.00 Monthly Pass: $150.00Routes 470, 475, 477, 480, 481 One-way: $3.00 20-ride pass: $47.00 Monthly Pass: $90.00Free transfers are available between GRTA Xpress and MARTA via a reciprocal fare agreement. Routes 408, 410, 412, 470, 475, 477, 480, 481 DO NOT offer round-trip fares. At full system implementation, Xpress had planned to operate 27 routes traversing 12 metro area counties. However, due to the popularity of its bus service the agency has reached this goal. A second expansion phase is now being implemented to have 47 routes in operation by the 2013 fiscal year; these routes will connect the outlying suburbs with each downtown Atlanta. Though most routes go to downtown Atlanta, some routes terminate or make stops at MARTA train stations along the route. GRTA website Xpress website MARTA website CCT website GCT website CATS website
Marriage called matrimony or wedlock, is a or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity; when defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding. Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, libidinal, financial and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by gender determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire.
In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns of the infringement of women's rights, or the infringement of children's rights, because of international law. Around the world in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and recognizing the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; these trends coincide with the broader human rights movement. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community, or peers, it is viewed as a contract. When a marriage is performed and carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, without religious content, it is a civil marriage. Civil marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before the state.
When a marriage is performed with religious content under the auspices of a religious institution it is a religious marriage. Religious marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before that religion. Religious marriage is known variously as sacramental marriage in Catholicism, nikah in Islam, nissuin in Judaism, various other names in other faith traditions, each with their own constraints as to what constitutes, who can enter into, a valid religious marriage; some countries do not recognize locally performed religious marriage on its own, require a separate civil marriage for official purposes. Conversely, civil marriage does not exist in some countries governed by a religious legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, where marriages contracted abroad might not be recognized if they were contracted contrary to Saudi interpretations of Islamic religious law. In countries governed by a mixed secular-religious legal system, such as in Lebanon and Israel, locally performed civil marriage does not exist within the country, preventing interfaith and various other marriages contradicting religious laws from being entered into in the country, civil marriages performed abroad are recognized by the state if they conflict with religious laws.
The act of marriage creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, any offspring they may produce or adopt. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries developed democracies, have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice. Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.
In most cultures, married women had few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family's children, the property of the husband. In Europe, the United States, other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife; these changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, requiring a wife's consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage, traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, for
Atlanta is the capital of, the most populous city in, the U. S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is the 38th most-populous city in the United States; the city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County. Atlanta was founded as the terminating stop of a major state-sponsored railroad. With rapid expansion, however, it soon became the convergence point between multiple railroads, spurring its rapid growth; the city's name derives from that of the Western and Atlantic Railroad's local depot, signifying the town's growing reputation as a transportation hub. During the American Civil War, the city was entirely burned to the ground in General William T. Sherman's famous March to the Sea. However, the city rose from its ashes and became a national center of commerce and the unofficial capital of the "New South".
During the 1950s and 1960s, Atlanta became a major organizing center of the civil rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ralph David Abernathy, many other locals playing major roles in the movement's leadership. During the modern era, Atlanta has attained international prominence as a major air transportation hub, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998. Atlanta is rated as a "beta" world city that exerts a moderate impact on global commerce, research, education, media and entertainment, it ranks in the top twenty among world cities and 10th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $385 billion. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include transportation, logistics and business services, media operations, medical services, information technology. Atlanta has topographic features that include rolling hills and dense tree coverage, earning it the nickname of "the city in a forest."
Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods spurred by the 1996 Summer Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics and culture. Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek Indians inhabited the area. Standing Peachtree, a Creek village where Peachtree Creek flows into the Chattahoochee River, was the closest Indian settlement to what is now Atlanta; as part of the systematic removal of Native Americans from northern Georgia from 1802 to 1825, the Creek were forced to leave the area in 1821, white settlers arrived the following year. In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest; the initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would be linked to Savannah. After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points.
A year the area around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as "Terminus", as "Thrasherville" after a local merchant who built homes and a general store in the area. By 1842, the town had six buildings and 30 residents and was renamed "Marthasville" to honor the Governor's daughter. J. Edgar Thomson, Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, suggested the town be renamed Atlanta; the residents approved, the town was incorporated as Atlanta on December 29, 1847. By 1860, Atlanta's population had grown to 9,554. During the American Civil War, the nexus of multiple railroads in Atlanta made the city a hub for the distribution of military supplies. In 1864, the Union Army moved southward following the capture of Chattanooga and began its invasion of north Georgia; the region surrounding Atlanta was the location of several major army battles, culminating with the Battle of Atlanta and a four-month-long siege of the city by the Union Army under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman.
On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood made the decision to retreat from Atlanta, he ordered the destruction of all public buildings and possible assets that could be of use to the Union Army. On the next day, Mayor James Calhoun surrendered Atlanta to the Union Army, on September 7, Sherman ordered the city's civilian population to evacuate. On November 11, 1864, Sherman prepared for the Union Army's March to the Sea by ordering the destruction of Atlanta's remaining military assets. After the Civil War ended in 1865, Atlanta was rebuilt. Due to the city's superior rail transportation network, the state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta in 1868. In the 1880 Census, Atlanta surpassed Savannah as Georgia's largest city. Beginning in the 1880s, Henry W. Grady, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, promoted Atlanta to potential investors as a city of the "New South" that would be based upon a modern economy and less reliant on agriculture. By 1885, the founding of the Georgia School of Technology and the Atlanta University Center had established Atlanta as a center for higher education.
In 1895, Atlanta hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition, which attracted nearly 800,000 attendees and promoted the New South's development to the world. During the first decades of the 20th century, Atlanta experienced a period of unprecedented growth. In three decades' time, Atlanta's population tripled as the city limits expanded to include nearby streetcar suburbs; the city's skyline emerged with the construction of the
Atlanta metropolitan area
Metro Atlanta, designated by the United States Office of Management and Budget as the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area, is the most populous metro area in the US state of Georgia and the ninth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States. Its economic and demographic center is Atlanta, has an estimated 2017 population of 5,884,736 according to the U. S. Census Bureau; the metro area forms the core of a broader trading area, the Atlanta–Athens-Clarke–Sandy Springs Combined Statistical Area. The Combined Statistical Area spans up to 39 counties in north Georgia and has an estimated 2017 population of 6,555,956. Atlanta is considered a "beta world city." It is the third largest metropolitan region in the Census Bureau's Southeast region behind Greater Washington and Greater Miami. By U. S. Census Bureau standards, the population of the Atlanta region spreads across a metropolitan area of 8,376 square miles – a land area comparable to that of Massachusetts.
Because Georgia contains more counties than any other state except Texas, area residents live under a decentralized collection of governments. As of the 2000 census, fewer than one in ten residents of the metropolitan area lived inside Atlanta city limits. A 2006 survey by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce counted 140 cities and towns in the 28‑county Metropolitan Statistical Area in mid-2005. Nine cities – Johns Creek, Chattahoochee Hills, Peachtree Corners, Tucker and South Fulton – have incorporated since following the lead of Sandy Springs in 2005; the Atlanta metropolitan area was first defined in 1950 as Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Clayton counties. Walton, Douglas, Forsyth, Cherokee and Butts counties were added after the 1970 census, with Barrow and Coweta counties joining in 1980 and Bartow, Paulding and Spalding counties in 1990. Atlanta's larger combined statistical area adds the Gainesville, Georgia MSA, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia MSA and the LaGrange, Jefferson and Cedartown micropolitan areas, for a total 2012 population of 6,162,195.
The CSA abuts the Macon and Columbus MSAs. The region is one of the metropolises of the Southeastern United States, is part of the emerging megalopolis known as Piedmont Atlantic MegaRegion along the I-85 Corridor; the counties listed below are included in the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Gainesville CSA. However, most other entities define a much smaller metropolitan area by including only the counties which have the densest suburban development. Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Clayton were the five original counties when the Atlanta metropolitan area was first defined in 1950, continue to be the core of the metro area; these five counties along with five more are members of the Atlanta Regional Commission, a weak metropolitan government agency, a regional planning agency. The ten ARC counties and five more form part of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, created in 2001; the 12 counties listed above with under 75,000 residents are not included in any other metropolitan definition except the OMB/Census Bureau's MSA and CSA.
Hall County forms the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area, but with astronomical growth to over 190,000 residents, is now part of the Atlanta CSA. The official tourism website of the State of Georgia features a "Metro Atlanta" tourism region that includes only nine counties: Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Coweta, Douglas and Henry. Cumberland Perimeter Center Hartsfield-Jackson areaMore than one half of metro Atlanta's population is in unincorporated areas or areas considered a census-designated-place by the census bureau. Metro Atlanta includes the following incorporated and unincorporated suburbs and surrounding cities, sorted by population as of 2010: Principal city Atlanta pop. 472,522 Places with 75,000 to 99,999 inhabitants. 95,158 Sandy Springs pop. 93,853 Roswell pop. 88,346 Johns Creek pop. 76,728Places with 50,000 to 74,999 inhabitants Alpharetta pop. 57,551 Marietta pop. 56,579 Stonecrest pop. 53,490 Smyrna pop. 51,271Places with 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants Places with 24,999 or fewer inhabitants The area sprawls across the low foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the north and the Piedmont to the south.
The northern and some western suburbs tend to be higher and more hilly than the southern and eastern suburbs. The average elevation is around 1,000 feet; the highest point in the immediate area is Kennesaw Mountain at 1,808 ft, followed by Stone Mountain at 1,686 ft, Sweat Mountain at 1,640 ft, Little Kennesaw Mountain at 1,600 ft. Others include Blackjack Mountain, Lost Mountain, Brushy Mountain, Pine Mountain, Mount Wilkinson. Many of these play prominently in the various battles of the Atlanta Campaign during the American Civil War. If the further-north counties are included, Bear Mountain is highest, followed by Pine Log Mountain, Sawnee Mountain, Hanging Mountain, followed by the others listed above. Stone, Sweat and Sawnee are all home to some of the area's broadcast stations; the area's subsoil is colored rusty by the iron oxide present in it. It becomes muddy and sticky when wet, hard when dry, stains light-colored carpets and c
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is the principal public transport operator in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Formed in 1971 as a bus system, MARTA operates a network of bus routes linked to a rapid transit system consisting of 48 miles of rail track with 38 train stations, it is the eighth-largest rapid transit system in the United States by ridership. MARTA operates exclusively in Fulton, DeKalb counties, although they maintain bus service to two destinations in neighboring Cobb County. MARTA operates Mobility, a separate paratransit service for disabled customers; as of 2014, the average total daily ridership for the system was 432,900 passengers. MARTA was proposed as a rapid transit agency for DeKalb, Clayton and Cobb counties; these were the five original counties in the Atlanta metropolitan area, to this day are the five largest counties in the region and state. MARTA was formed by an act of the Georgia General Assembly in 1965. In the same year, four of the five metropolitan area counties and the City of Atlanta passed a referendum authorizing participation in the system, but the referendum failed in Cobb.
Although a 1968 referendum to fund MARTA failed, in 1971, voters in Fulton and DeKalb counties passed a 1% sales tax increase to pay for MARTA operations, while Clayton and Gwinnett counties overwhelmingly rejected the tax in the referendum, fearing the introduction of crime and supposed "undesirable elements" in an era of white flight to the suburbs. Gwinnett County remains outside of the MARTA system. In 1971, the agency agreed to purchase the existing, bus-only Atlanta Transit Company. Construction began on MARTA's heavy rail system in 1975, with the first rail service commencing on June 30, 1979; the system has since built most of the proposed rail lines, as well as stations in Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, North Springs which were not included in the original plan. The missing rail segments from the original plan include a Tucker-North DeKalb line with service to Emory University and North Druid Hills, a Northwest line with service to Brookwood and Northside Drive, extension of the West line to Brownlee-Boulder Park near Fairburn Road, extension of the Proctor Creek line to West Highlands, a branch off the south line to Hapeville and Clayton County.
MARTA is composed of a heavy rail rapid transit system, a light rail system, a bus system, all of which operate within the boundaries of Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb counties. In addition to Atlanta itself, the transit agency serves various suburbs within its service area, including Alpharetta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Doraville, East Point, Fairburn, Forest Park, Jonesboro, Lake City, Lithonia, Palmetto, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, Union City. MARTA serves the airport via a station located next to the main terminal. Although Cobb County is not part of the MARTA system, the agency operates one limited bus route to the Cumberland Boulevard Transfer Center and another to Six Flags Over Georgia. MARTA allows bicycles on its trains, buses have room for two bicycles on racks mounted on the front of the bus. At the airport, bicycles can be locked up in all of the parking decks, so long as they are not obstructing either pedestrian or vehicular traffic. In 2007, MARTA had 4,729 full and part-time employees, of whom 1,719 were bus drivers or train operators.
Rail and bus operators, station agents, rail maintenance workers, many other employees of MARTA are represented in negotiations by the Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 732. MARTA has its own police department with 300 badge-wearing officers, making it the ninth-largest police department in Georgia. MARTA's rapid transit system has 47.6 miles of route and 38 rail stations located on four lines: the Red Line, Gold Line, Blue Line, Green Line. The tracks for this system are a combination of elevated, ground-level, underground tracks; the deepest station in the MARTA system is the Peachtree Center station, located in a hard-rock tunnel, 120 feet beneath downtown Atlanta, where the highest hills in Atlanta are 1,100 feet above sea level. No tunnel lining was installed in the adjacent tunnels; the architects and civil engineers decided to leave these with their rugged gneiss rock walls. The highest station in the MARTA system is the King Memorial station, it rises 90 feet over an active CSX rail yard.
MARTA switched to a color-based identification system in October 2009. The lines were named based upon their terminal stations, namely: Airport, North Springs, H. E. Holmes, King Memorial, Candler Park, Indian Creek. During the transition between the two naming systems, all stations on the Red and Gold lines used their original orange signs, all stations on the Blue and Green lines used their original blue signs. All rapid transit lines have an ultimate nexus at the Five Points station, located in downtown Atlanta. MARTA trains are operated using the Automatic Train Control system, with one human op