We told you so. Or at least we tried.
Remember when MARTA was mostly treated as a punchline and a punching bag for anti-transit haters? I sure do.
About eight years ago, my former MARTA colleagues and I brainstormed a public awareness campaign to counter the trash-talking naysayers by extolling the untold virtues of the buses, trains and dedicated MARTA employees who help to keep the Atlanta region moving forward.
MARTA’s Board of Directors Thursday selected Jeffrey A. Parker as its choice to be the agency’s next general manager and CEO.
Parker, who worked at MARTA as senior director of transportation operations from 2005 to 2008, currently is vice president of HNTB Corp., an infrastructure solutions firm that has worked closely with MARTA over the years.
MARTA is shopping for a federal lobbying team that is to work with the Trump administration. The question is whether MARTA is inclined to replace the firm it’s had on Capitol Hill since the Obama adminstration.
By Guest Columnist BRIAN GIST, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center
For years, the idea of a comprehensive regional transit system in metro Atlanta seemed unattainable. It’s hard to even imagine taking a train from Decatur to SunTrust Park, or from Duluth to Atlanta’s airport.
Both the state House and state Senate seem to have agreed on a collective name for transit in metro Atlanta: The ATL. Now they have about six weeks left in their session to decide what that big ATL might be and how it will work.
A new, 10-member transit governance board is expected to be one among several proposals in the state Legislature that will be the first words in a long-awaited debate about how to deepen regional cooperation over transit, and possibly initiate substantive spending by the state for buses and rail.
MARTA could not be more clear that no flashy attire or distracting headsets will be tolerated on the armed guards MARTA intends to hire to provide security for the transport of fare box revenues. Not even the cliché mirror sunglasses made famous in the movie, ‘Cool Hand Luke,’ are to be allowed.
Transit is becoming an easier sell in the Atlanta region.
That is the top finding from the 2017 Metro Atlanta Speaks – the fifth year that the Atlanta Regional Commission has commissioned a comprehensive survey of residents throughout the region. The results were to be released at the ARC’s State of the Region Breakfast on Friday morning.
Planning for MARTA to build a heavy rail line from the Indian Creek Station to the Mall at Stonecrest continues and, in early November, the public will have a chance to learn about – and give their input on – the shape of potential development around possible rail stations.
MARTA is preparing to address some routine maintenance at two rail stations that is expected to improve the experience of pedestrians and commuters. Repairs are slated for the stations at Inman Park/Reynoldstown and Edgewood/Candler Park.
Metro Atlanta and Georgia have always been obsessed with economic development – attracting new companies to town or getting existing companies to expand.
So when Amazon says it wants to locate its second headquarters in a place with transit, it is sending a message loud and clear to our state and local officials that metro Atlanta needs to expand its regional transit system.
MARTA recently hosted its latest hack-a-thon, a high-tech competition inviting participants to create their own “hacks” or improvements to make the transit agency more effective, efficient and customer friendly.
Hack-a-thons aren’t new; large companies have been holding them for years. But for MARTA, they’re a really big deal. As the agency starts searching for its next CEO, that person should understand how such events foster a culture of openness and innovation that’s critical to MARTA’s forward trajectory.