What makes us Atlantans

The bus driver who found better weather, a better job, and a yard

Jacob Varghese
Varghese at a Rockdale MARTA facility.

Photograph by Johnathon Kelso

Jacob Varghese
Age 56
MARTA bus operator

In 2003, I decided to move for three reasons. First, the weather! The better transit job. And the cost of living was low.

I lived on Staten Island. All those years in New York, all that winter weather. I suffered a lot. Every day, and all the snow from the driving. It’s a lot of work. When I first drove down, the weather was so nice. So warm. Just pleasant.

When I moved to Atlanta, so much changed. I’ve got a big backyard. I grow vegetables. On the weekends, I like to clean it up myself. That’s hard to do in New York City. My health, everything is better. My blood pressure, it’s dropped. I’m calm now.

The people here were so friendly. Good, good attitudes. And working for MARTA—it’s a good company.

In 2003, not too many people moved here from New York. Eventually, after two years, a lot of people moved here from New York. I’ve got a church. My community here in Gwinnett County, it’s grown so much. So many restaurants. I go out to eat a lot.

This is a booming area because we have the biggest airport in the world. Big companies are coming here. So much is developing now. When I moved here, it was not that way. And when I do my job, people are so friendly. I am from Georgia now. I want to stay.