CEO Keith Parker leaving MARTA

By Maria Saporta and Dave Williams

MARTA General Manager and CEO Keith Parker is stepping down from a post he has held for nearly five years to take over management of Goodwill of North Georgia.

“We are deeply grateful for his stewardship and proud of the many strides we made as an agency during his tenure,” MARTA board Chairman Robbie Ashe said. “He leaves MARTA stronger and healthier than ever before.”

Since joining MARTA in December 2012, Parker has won widespread praise for getting the transit agency’s financial house in order, turning a budget deficit into a surplus. That showing earned him support from legislative leaders who had been skeptical of MARTA’s previous management.

keith parker

MARTA’s Keith Parker gets ready to board Proterra bus earlier in 2017 (By Maria Saporta)

That improving relationship helped convince the General Assembly to give MARTA increased flexibility with its financial resources by dropping a legal requirement that MARTA divide its sales tax revenue 50-50 between operations and capital projects.

Parker also presided over a major expansion of MARTA service when voters in Clayton County approved a referendum in 2014 to extend bus and rail service into Clayton.

Last fall, city of Atlanta residents approved a referendum to raise an estimated $2.5 billion during the next 40 years for MARTA system improvements inside the city limits.

Also on Parker’s watch, MARTA launched plans to extend rail lines north along the Georgia 400 corridor to Alpharetta and east along Interstate 20. The transit agency is planning to run a light rail line along the Clifton Corridor serving Emory University and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The MARTA board will launch a national search for a permanent successor to Parker and, while that process is under way, approve an interim general manager.

Parker will become president and CEO of Goodwill North Georgia this fall. The nonprofit provides job training, employment placement and other community-based programs.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

1 reply
  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    Parker is leaving at the right time for him as MARTA is unable to increase ridership.
    Goodwill of North Georgia in 2015 had $131 million in revenue, $13 million in profit, $172 million in assets, and paid its President over $1 million.Report


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