Let’s Ride Atlanta and the city of Decatur are offering a new shuttle. Photo provided to Rough Draft.

Electric carts are zipping around Decatur Square, thanks to a new transportation effort from the city and its partners. The new shuttle is running from downtown Decatur to the Publix at Sam’s Crossing Village, with several stops in between. 

Residents of Decatur Square were upset when “Baby Kroger” on Commerce Avenue closed in December. Many retirees in the area walked to the grocery, and they said the closing left them in a food desert. 

“When we learned that our downtown grocery was closing, we were very concerned because that grocery has provided a basic need for groceries. We knew that we were going to be hearing from our 5,000 downtown residents,” said Angela Threadgill, Decatur planning and economic development director. 

Publix at Sam’s Crossing opened in 2021.

With Let’s Ride Atlanta, grocery shopping just got a bit easier. Free shuttles are running continuously from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from six locations. 

  • 230 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue
  • 254 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue
  • Decatur First Baptist Church, 308 Clairemont Avenue
  • 130 Clairemont Avenue
  • West Trinity Place at Commerce Drive
  • Publix Super Market at Sam’s Crossing Village, 2720 E Ponce de Leon Avenue

Patrons can arrange a ride online at letsrideatlanta.com or by texting 404-480-5216 with their name, location and desired final destination. 

The shuttle holds six passengers and runs continuously from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Photo provided to Rough Draft.

The shuttle program is on a 90-day trial. 

Shun Cooper, operations manager for Let’s Ride Atlanta, hopes every rider feels like a VIP. 

“That’s our goal, to make everyone feel very special in terms of experiencing the ride and also getting back to your destination safely,” Cooper said. 

Decatur Business Development Manager Shirley Bayliss said most riders are seniors, but she enjoyed a shuttle ride to lunch last week. 

The city has supported two shuttles in the recent past. GO60 Plus Shuttle was for seniors to access commercial districts for their daily needs and services, but it ended because of COVID-19. Threadgill said Decatur is looking to bring GO60 Plus back. MARTA’s Reach shuttle was an on-demand rideshare in partnership with Georgia Tech. It ran from March to August 2022. 

Logan C. RitchieStaff Writer

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.