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The White House honors MARTA’s Beverly Scott as transit champion

By Maria Saporta

Atlanta’s own Beverly Scott was honored Tuesday by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Transportation as a “Transportation Innovator Champion of Change.”

Scott, the general manager of MARTA, attended a White House-sponsored event on the very day that metro Atlanta voters were deciding whether to approve a one-percent regional transportation sales tax.

The award recognized Scott’s “long record of exemplary leadership and service in the transit industry,” according to a release issued after the event, which was held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. She was among a dozen or so transportation “champions” who were honored for their contributions. Scott was accompanied on the trip by Barbara Kaufman, vice chair of MARTA’s board.

MARTA’s Beverly Scott

“This is truly humbling and very much unexpected,” Scott said after being selected as a Transportation Champion. “I’m blessed to have spent my life doing what I absolutely love, which is working to make sure that high-quality, affordable transit services are available to as many people as possible.”

Scott has devoted her 30-plus career as a transit executive working in Atlanta, Sacramento, New York, New Jersey, Houston and Rhode Island. Interestingly enough, Scott will be leaving MARTA at the end of the year when her current contract is up after serving as general manager since October, 2007.

Scott’s work was highlighted as part of a panel discussion with other honorees that was streamed live and posted on the website — www.whitehouse.gov.

In another development, Scott has been named as the vice-chair of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), a panel of experts responsible for making policy recommendations to protect and preserve the physical assets critical to our economy and national security.

Those assets include manufacturing facilities, key information networks, dams and waterways, energy plants and transportation infrastructure.

Scott was named to NIAC panel last year by President Obama.

Maria Saporta

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. Burroughston Broch July 31, 2012 4:18 pm

    If The President intended to influence the TSPLOST referendum, he is a day late and a dollar short in making this award.Report

    1. The Last Democrat in Georgia July 31, 2012 5:43 pm

       @Burroughston Broch
       Nah, the President was not trying to influence the T-SPLOST referendum.
      Besides, I suspect that whether or not the T-SPLOST referendum passes, the Feds likely have something else that’s very special in store for Metro Atlanta and North Georgia, a very special something that will likely be in the form of congestion pricing to clear the excess local traffic off of the Interstate system that the State of Georgia has refused to expand to accommodate the continuously growing amount of through traffic (particularly freight truck traffic) over the last two decades.Report

  2. martafan August 1, 2012 12:09 pm

    How ironic…  In the interview to the AJC, Dr. Scott in own words summarized her dismal record of achievements, quote: “…There was a 15 percent reduction of the workforce. We went from 131 bus routes to 91 routes. And in my tenure, we have had three fare increases. MARTA employees also have not had any raises in four years, and we are not going to have any raises this year. And we had 10-day furloughs…”  Is that exemplary leadership? And yet just five years ago Dr. Scott’s arrival to MARTA was nothing short of grandiose. Clouded in high hopes and expectations, hailed by the MARTA board as the best and most fortunate catch from a nation-wide pool of candidates, Dr. Scott came to the Authority with entourage of two Deputy General Managers and 12 Assistant General Managers. (Before that, MARTA managed to get by with only one DGM, and 5 AGMs. And, by the way, none of the newly established upper management positions were lost during the aforementioned 15% workforce reduction). Each of the DGMs and AGMs received, beside the salary in mid to high 100s, the office with full staff, expense account, company car, and generous benefits. Dr. Scott then proceeded with commissioning for herself at the Five Points station a palatial office with personal restroom at a cost of $1.5M. (In somewhat mean and inexplicable move, she later commanded public restrooms closed at the most of MARTA stations.) Not one to be contented with just having a company car as the other top brass, Dr. Scott had a bus driver assigned to her daily to chauffeur her around. Have any fresh, visionary, revenue-generating ideas come from Dr. Scott during her five-years tenure? Here is one: install soft-drink vending machines in the rail stations, never mind that eating and drinking is still prohibited on the trains and cleaning costs are exceeding the revenues from these machines. Dr. Scott’s term at MARTA is winding down. MARTA just got a new Board of Directors, that so far proved itself as inept and rubber-stumping body as any one before it. Here is hoping that the new board starts working towards making MARTA into a lean, efficient organization, employees and customers oriented; led by a competent leader truly worthy of the ‘Transportation Innovator Champion of Change’ title.Report

    1. ScottNAtlanta August 7, 2012 6:33 pm

      I think Beverly Scott is one of the best assets MARTA has had…you have to deal with a delusionally hostile State (remember Jill Chambers anyone), The recession, and lets not forget the 50/50 rule.  Given what she has to work with…I’d say she deserves some praiseReport

  3. Burroughston Broch August 1, 2012 3:04 pm

    @ martafan
    Well said. The accomplishment bar seems set pretty low at The White House these days, and mainly for political effect. This reminds me of the Beverly Hall adoration before her fall from grace.Report

  4. Annette Vanhorn September 19, 2016 11:21 pm

    This response is in relation to MARTA and Beverly Scott being Praised by the White House!  I live in a Senior Apartment and the 33 Bus Line is Literally in front of my apartment building.  Currently in my wheel chair as I am a Bi-lateral Amputee and I have to travel in my wheelchair.  We in this building received a notice that that bus which is the 33 Bus will be discontinued!  I am NOT the only person in my building riding the 33 bus!  It just so  happens that many of us in my building use the bus; the 33 bus!

    I realize that for most of society that Seniors do NOT matter and a Disabled Person such as myself matters even Less!  It was bad enough that a Georgia Hospital and two Georgia Doctors caused me to loose both of my legs below the knees!  And not one attorney in or out of the state of Georgia had the ‘wherewithall’  to help me to bring the  doctors and the hospital to court.  However, it’s my understanding from nurses the same hospital has done the same hing at least THREE more times1  That is three too many!

    My point is this I learned how to ride  bus and the 33Bus on Briarcliff gets me to my drug store, Kroger, and doctors at Emory Hospital.  I have tried several ‘so-called’ government agencies that Federal Funds help people such s myself to acquire a handicap equipped vehicle!  Well there’s one such agency in Tucker, Georgia where I waited a year  them to get the Government Funding and then I was that I would not get the help getting the Handicap vehicle I was told the Government would help and/or Fund for me with Handicap Capabilities!  It was  one year so  later that some called and I was told it’s not going to happen!  To this day NO explanation of any kind, to this day!  

    And now the Marta Company wants to stop the 33 Bus that most of us in this senior apartment building
    currently, use!  Here’s my questions Do we as Seniors Matter?  I am a Senior and a Bilateral Amputee does Any parts of my life matter? I have been victimized by two doctors and Georgia Hospital.  Now here’s Marta wanting Stop/Cancel my current transportation; the Marta 33 Bus.  Let me be clear it is Not just me in my building using the 33 Bus several of us  the 33 bus!  Not all is from my building!


  5. Annette Vanhorn September 19, 2016 11:49 pm

    Burroughston Broch I like your comments!  I can tell you don’t agree with Marta or the “Powers that BE”  I don’t either and I intend to go the the Marta Office  and attempt to voice my dislike and concerns in person!  I really want t o try to understand the White House Honoring Ms. Scott when this decision  particularly is hurting so many people as well as building of Seniors and some with DisabilityReport


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