MARTA Adopts Balanced Budget For Tenth Consecutive Year
Authority Well-Positioned for Post-Pandemic Recovery, Advancement of Capital Expansion Program
The MARTA Board of Directors recently adopted the Authority’s Fiscal Year 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets. The nearly $1.3 billion budget includes $557.1 million in operating funds and $749.2 million for capital programming.
Boasting a decade of fiscal responsibility and with the help of federal relief, MARTA is well-positioned to recover from a year of unprecedented revenue loss and poised to advance its capital expansion program. FY 2022 fare revenue is projected to be less than half of pre-pandemic levels, while sales tax revenue, which makes up about $500 million of overall revenues, is projected to grow at 3 percent from FY 2021 levels.
“I am extremely proud of the entire MARTA team for their hard work during the pandemic. We pivoted our service to keep people safe, froze vacancies and executed as many projects as we could while people weren’t traveling,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “As customers come back, they will find we’ve improved their ride.”
MARTA’s operating budget does not include a fare increase; it has remained consistent since 2011. Federal relief from the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan will be used for operating expenses until fare revenue recovers, which isn’t anticipated until FY 2025. The budget includes the return of cost of living wage increases for non-represented employees and raises for represented workers consistent with the current contract with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732.
MARTA’s capital budget has increased for FY 2022 as the Authority begins to accelerate the delivery of several expansion projects, including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Clayton County, along the Campbellton Corridor, and the Streetcar East extension. MARTA will begin transformational projects at Five Points and Bankhead rail stations and advance plans for a new Operations and Maintenance Facility in Clayton and new bus transit hubs in DeKalb County.
“The State Legislature for the first time included a line item in the state budget for a MARTA capital project, while also creating a 10-year Transit Trust Fund. This support from the state, combined with a new federal administration that champions transit, puts us in a great position to fulfill our expansion promises to our partner jurisdictions and potentially attract new jurisdictions to join the MARTA system, said MARTA Board Chair Rita Scott.”
The state of good repair capital budget allocates $120 million for rolling stock, including $68 million toward the purchase of new rail cars. Approximately $34 million will go toward the ongoing Track Replacement Project and an upgrade of the Train Control System. MARTA will continue prioritizing the customer experience by soliciting input on many of these projects such as the interior and exterior design of the new rail cars, and the preferred mode of transit along Campbellton Road.
To view MARTA’s FY 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets in detail visit MARTA (itsmarta.com).