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Travelers basically have 4 options for getting to the city from the airport:
1) MARTA - if your destination is near a MARTA stop, this is the cheapest and often the most convenient option, especially during rush hour. MARTA is generally safe and visitors should have no qualms about riding it to/from the airport unless you're traveling very late at night. Tickets are $2.50 per trip (inculding transfers) and it costs $1.00 to obtain your reloadable Breeze card. Google Maps can tell you whether your destination is near a MARTA station. You can view a map of the rail system and get answers to most of your other questions on MARTA's website.
2) Taxi - there is a taxi queue at ATL, and rates to the city's major zones are fixed at: Airport to Downtown $30.00; Airport to Midtown $32.00; Airport to Buckhead $38.00. For destinations outside of this zone use this handy fare calculator.
3) Shared ride shuttles - a list of shuttles can be found on ATL's website.
Rates are generally in the following range: Downtown $16.50 (one way) $29.00 (round trip); Midtown $18.50 (one way) $33.00 (round trip); Buckhead $20.50 (one way) $37.00(round trip). You can check rates on the above website for other destinations.
4) Rent a car - Rates obviously vary depending on demand. Be sure to factor in parking costs at your hotel and other destinations when making this calculation.