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The Central Dekalb County Commute: Top 5 Tips to Get to the ATL Airport

Calling all Atlanta airport employees in Central Dekalb County!!

If you’re looking for the quickest and most efficient ways to get from your front door to Gate B18 (ok, anywhere at the airport really), we have some tips that will make your trip to work easier.

Do you ever find yourself feeling stressed and frustrated when trying to make it to the airport in Atlanta on time? Do traffic jams, road construction, or lack of parking leave you tearing your hair out? 

Don’t worry…. it doesn’t take rocket science (or even brain surgery) to turn that commute into calmness–our simple tips offer surefire ways of transforming those stressful roads into breezeways!

From our years of experience working at the Atlanta airport, we have summarized the 5 best ways to reduce those headaches and get you where you need to be with plenty of time. 

This article is especially good for airport employees living in Central, Southern, and Eastern Dekalb – including people along the Dekalb Avenue / E. College Avenue / N. Avondale Road corridor as well as those living near Indian Creek, Stonecrest, and Stone Mountain (within Dekalb).

1. Take MARTA from Dekalb County to the Atlanta Airport

According to Aero’s 2022 survey of Atlanta airport employees (coming soon), over 20% of airport employees currently use MARTA to get to the airport for work.

MARTA buses and trains help those employees save on parking and gas, and trains connect directly to the Domestic Terminal, so there’s no need for a long shuttle stuck in traffic.

The really good news: Dekalb County has some of the best bus and train services in our region.

MARTA’s Blue Line is the heart of our region’s train system, with six stations in Central Dekalb County. 

You can walk or take a bus to all of these stations and you can drive and park at most of them. 

Check out this helpful MARTA parking website that shows current parking availability (if the lots are still open or if they are full). 

Once you get to one of these stations, you will quickly get downtown to the Five Points Station, where you can connect to the Red Line or Gold Line for service directly to the front door of the Atlanta airport. 

The Aero team has pulled together everything you need to know about all six of the Central Dekalb MARTA train stations. This is the list of the six stations and the travel time from each to the Atlanta airport. 

  1. Edgewood / Candler Park: 26-41 minutes 
  2. East Lake: 29-44 minutes 
  3. Decatur: 29-49 minutes 
  4. Avondale: 31-51 minutes 
  5. Kensington: 33-53 minutes 
  6. Indian Creek: 36-56 minutes 

How does this compare to your current commute time?

Use this link to jump to full details on each station, including information on the bus routes that link to them and parking options available. 

MARTA Services Central Dekalb County
MARTA Rail Line (gray), MARTA Bus Routes, and Two Park and Rides

2. Taking an Xpress Bus to MARTA

The regional Xpress bus network is another option for those commuting from Central Dekalb County. These buses are large, comfortable commuter buses. 

It’s important to note that Xpress buses only operate within the morning and evening rush hours (they do not run all day) and they do not go directly to the airport.

However, if you live near the Panola Road Park and Ride or the Stone Mountain Park and Ride (near Eastmont Shopping Center), this could be a good option to explore. Only if you work a more classic 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. type schedule. 

There are three Xpress routes to consider:

  • From the Panola Road Park and Ride:
    • Route 423 (connecting to MARTA rail in Downtown or Midtown)
    • Route 426 (connecting to MARTA rail in Downtown)
  • From the Stone Mountain Park and Ride: 

Aero recommends visiting the route links for schedule information, as it’s subject to change. 

Better yet, just give the Xpress team a call to better understand your options:

  • Phone: 844-977-7742
  • En Español: 888-202-3972
Panola Park and Ride in Georgia
The Panola Park and Ride

3. Meet at a Park and Ride Lot and Share a Ride

Central Dekalb County has two park and ride lots: the Panola Road Park and Ride or the Stone Mountain Park and Ride (near Eastmont Shopping Center).

At all of these locations, you can park your car and then share a ride to work with another person that works at the airport. This is a great way to share the cost and stress of getting to work. 

Where can I find someone near me that also works at the airport?

This is where Aero can help, in partnership with our friends at Georgia Commute Options. 

The Georgia Commute Options website allows you to quickly find others willing to share rides and costs. You can also earn money and rewards for the trips you already take to and from work.

Over 1,500 airport employees are already using this system!

To get started, create an account with Georgia Commute Options.

Or, you can access the same system with the GA Commute App, which is free and easy to use. 


When you use these tools, you can also earn tons of Aero Insider Rewards. Check out this guide to Aero Insider Rewards to see everything you can get.

4. Vanpool

Vanpooling is a form of ridesharing where a group of six or more people commute together in a van to work.

This form of transportation also provides numerous benefits for individuals, such as reduced wear and tear on personal vehicles and the sense of community created by traveling with others. 

Additionally, vanpooling can offer a flexible and comfortable alternative to public transportation, especially for those who live in areas with poor transit connections. Overall, vanpooling is an excellent solution for commuters looking for a more sustainable and affordable way to travel to work.

Not sure where to find a vanpool? Similar to searching for someone to share a ride with, you can find current vanpool routes using the Georgia Commute Options website or the GA Commute App. If you have any questions about vanpools, contact Aero for more information.

5. Drive and Park

Solo driving and parking is familiar to many Atlanta airport employees, but it comes with a few drawbacks.

We all know that driving can be costly and stressful–while adding wear and tear to your vehicle.

And of course, parking at the airport can be… a challenge. 

If your employer doesn’t provide a place for you to park, check out Aero’s Insider Guide to Employee Parking to find the cheapest and most convenient options available to you.

Related content: How to Get $150 Just for Sharing Your Ride to Work

Never Worry About Your Airport Commute Again with AERO

At Aero, we know that you want to be relaxed and confident when you’re getting to the airport for work. In order to do that, you need a reliable and affordable way to get to work.

The problem is the trip to the airport is a pain in the %#$…it’s expensive, slow, and uncertain, which makes you feel stressed.

We believe all Atlanta residents should be able to access the great jobs at the airport. 

We know how hard it is to navigate all the airport chaos, which is why we created a simple 5-step plan to help people find the best way to get to work. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Get your 5-step plan.
  2. Review the steps, which come to you as text or email messages (you pick which one)…one per day for five days.
  3. Celebrate knowing every trip to work is relaxing and rewarding. 

So, get your 5-step plan today so you can stop wasting money and worrying about getting to work on time and instead arrive at work every day with that confident smile that shows the world you are crushing your trip to work.

Central Dekalb County MARTA Train Stations

This section covers everything you need to know about the six MARTA train stations in Central Dekalb County:

This station is the only Central Dekalb MARTA station that is also served by the MARTA Green Line rail service (which also will connect you to the Five Points Station to connect to the airport.)

Travel Time to the Airport: 26-41 minutes

Connecting Bus Routes:

Click on the links below for up-to-date information from MARTA on each of these routes:


  • Parking Type: Daily parking, with over 600 spaces.
  • Facilities: There is a parking lot for free daily parking (but no overnight parking) on the north side of the station.
  • Station Area: Explore this Edgewood/Candler Park Guide.
  • Nearby Roads: Dekalb Avenue, Oakdale Road
  • Directions: Enter the parking lot from Dekalb Avenue or Oakdale Road. On the other side of the railroad tracks you’ll also find neighborhood street parking on La France Street.

Travel Time to the Airport: 29-44 minutes

Connecting Bus Routes:


  • Type: Daily parking, with over 1,100 spaces
  • Facilities: Two parking lots, both with free daily parking.
  • Station Area: Explore this East Lake Guide.
  • Nearby Roads: College Avenue, West Howard Avenue, East Lake Drive
  • Directions: Parking lots are available on both sides of the railroad tracks near East Lake Drive. Enter the north parking lot from West Howard Avenue and Paden Circle. For the south parking lot near Oakhurst, enter via Park Place.

Travel Time to the Airport: 29-49 minutes

Connecting Bus Routes:

Click on the links below for up-to-date information from MARTA on each of these routes:

This station is also served by Emory University’s CCTMA Bus Route, connecting Emory’s main campus to downtown Decatur, serving stops on Clifton, N. Decatur, and Clairmont Roads.


  • Parking Type: None
  • Station Area: Explore this Decatur Station Guide
  • Nearby: Downtown Decatur, Decatur Square
  • Directions: Enter the parking lot from Dekalb Avenue or Oakdale Road. On the other side of the railroad tracks you’ll also find neighborhood street parking on La France Street.

Travel Time to the Airport: 31-51 minutes

Connecting Bus Routes:


  • Type: Daily parking, with over 700 spaces
  • Facilities: There is a free daily parking lot off of E. Ponce de Leon Avenue.
  • Station Area: Explore this Avondale Station Guide.
  • Nearby Roads: E. College Avenue, E. Ponce de Leon Avenue.
  • Directions: A parking lot is available on the north side of the station off of Stone Mountain Trail. 

Travel Time to the Airport: 33-53 minutes

Connecting Bus Routes


  • Type: Daily parking with over 1,900 spaces
  • Facilities: There are large parking lots for free daily parking. Long-term parking is also available for $5 a day.
  • Important Parking Note: Access to the Kensington Parking lot is only available 5:30 a.m. – midnight. See this MARTA page for up to date information. 
  • Station Area: Explore this Kensington Park Guide.

Directions: Parking is available on the south and north sides of the station. Enter from Mountain Drive (north) or Kensington Road (south).

Travel Time to the Airport: 36-56 minutes

Connecting Bus Routes:


  • Type: Daily parking with over 2,350 spaces
  • Facilities: There are large parking lots for free daily parking.
  • Station Area: Explore this Indian Creek Guide.
  • Directions: To get to the station by car, look for exit 42 on I-285. This exit ramp connects directly into the Indian Creek parking lot. Additional parking lot access is off of Elder Lane.
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