This morning, MARTA announced that its CEO and General Manager Jeffrey Parker died Friday night at age 55. The transit agency confirmed that Parker died by suicide. MARTA Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott released this statement on Parker’s death:
The MARTA Board of Directors grieves the shocking death of our GM/CEO Jeff Parker who has died by suicide. He was an outstanding leader and steward of MARTA whose passing leaves us all heartbroken.
As Chairwoman and on behalf of my fellow MARTA board members, we are devastated at this loss as we valued Jeff’s leadership and looked forward to him bringing his vision for transit to fruition. The entire metro Atlanta region owes him a debt of gratitude for his transformational efforts and we will not stop working to build on the foundation he created.
As we struggle to understand the complexity of this tragedy, we grieve with and for his wife Erin, his daughters and all of Jeff’s family and friends as well as his MARTA family. As we continue to grieve, we want you to know that suicide is preventable and help is available to you.
For access to services and immediate crisis help, call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225, available 24/7.
Parker became MARTA’s CEO and GM in 2018 and lead the transit agency through the pandemic, the 2019 Super Bowl, and was working on the system’s biggest expansion plan since its founding, which he called a “moonshot for transit.” Earlier this week, Parker lead the 2022 State of MARTA address, where, among other announcements, he revealed MARTA’s plans for brand new rail trains with sleek, minimalist exteriors and upgraded interiors.
Parker had more than 30 years of experience in both public and private transportation and was vice president of the Georgia/Alabama/Tennessee District of HNTB, an architecture and engineering consulting firm, before becoming MARTA CEO.
MARTA is holding special board meeting today to name an interim CEO. Below, we’ve gathered what those on social media are saying about Parker’s death.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225. Both are staffed 24/7. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
With very heavy hearts, we share the news of GM/CEO Jeff Parker’s tragic passing on Friday evening, January 14, 2022. Please keep his family in your prayers and meditations. Jeff cared deeply about MARTA and his leadership gave us a strong foundation from which to carry forward.
— CEOMARTA (@CEOMARTA) January 15, 2022
I am shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic death￼ of my colleague￼ and friend Jeff Parker. My thoughts and prayers are with Jeff’s family and friends, and with the staff and board at MARTA, during this very difficult time. pic.twitter.com/hB5bAQrEG8
— Andre Dickens (@andreforatlanta) January 15, 2022
The Council joins the community in mourning the loss of MARTA CEO Jeff Parker pic.twitter.com/Aiju3UnYpF
— Atlanta City Council (@atlcouncil) January 15, 2022
Marty, the girls, & I are saddened to learn about the tragic passing of Jeffrey Parker – GM/CEO of MARTA. In addition to a remarkable professional career in the public/private sectors, Jeffrey was known for his civic engagement and support for the advancement of his communities.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) January 15, 2022
We are deeply saddened to learn of MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker’s passing. He was an inspirational leader who championed a modern, more equitable, and customer-focused transit system, a vision that will be lasting. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.
— ARC (@AtlantaRegional) January 15, 2022
(1/2) Georgia has lost a brilliant leader and a true advocate for innovation in transportation. Jeffrey Parker led MARTA with passion, pride and an uncanny ability to tap into what works best for our communities.
— GA AG Chris Carr (@Georgia_AG) January 15, 2022
— Dave Huddleston (@DaveHWSB) January 15, 2022
The Georgia Conservancy is mourning the tragic passing of Jeffrey Parker, MARTA CEO and Conservancy Trustee. Parker's thoughtful guidance & wisdom had an immediate impact on the Conservancy and our mission. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. https://t.co/JWIZBTtD6Q
— Georgia Conservancy (@GaConservancy) January 15, 2022
The ATU International sends our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of MARTA GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker and our brothers and sisters of ATU Local 732-Atlanta, GA. pic.twitter.com/rj196shxbd
— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) January 15, 2022
This is such a sad loss for MARTA and metro Atlanta.
Jeff did so much good to improve mobility and transit in our community. I’m praying for comfort and strength for his family, friends and colleagues. https://t.co/PdKJLKhJQ8
— Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (@SenatorWarnock) January 15, 2022
MARTA CEO Jeff Parker was a bright light in our community. He was a bold, visionary leader and dedicated friend in serving the people. My heart breaks for his family, friends and the entire @MARTAservice team during this difficult time. https://t.co/GPr9IysRoU pic.twitter.com/1o70Kj15Ij
— Congresswoman Nikema Williams (@RepNikema) January 15, 2022
Incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of @MARTAservice CEO Jeff Parker. Jeff led ATL’s public transit system to new heights and dedicated his career to helping others through public service. My prayers are with the Parker family and MARTA team as they mourn his passing. https://t.co/GyzxrCshiz
— Geoff Duncan (@GeoffDuncanGA) January 15, 2022
Deeply saddened by the loss of MARTA CEO Jeff Parker. We owe a debt of gratitude for his leadership & vision at MARTA, his commitment to public service & his extraordinary efforts to expand metro Atlanta public transit. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & colleagues. https://t.co/EWCobbN9Q6
— Rep. David Scott (@repdavidscott) January 15, 2022
It is crushing news to learn that we have lost MARTA CEO Jeff Parker. I send heartfelt sympathy to his family.
Jeff's death is a great loss to countless people. His commitment, his dedication to building MARTA to serve people, and his public servant outlook shone through.
— Nan Orrock (@SenNanOrrock) January 15, 2022
Terribly shocked and saddened to hear about Jeff Parker's death this morning. My deepest condolences are with Jeff's family and the MARTA team. This is an immense loss for our city and our region, and I'm wishing all of you hope and comfort in the midst of sorrow and pain. https://t.co/PX31SSRgva
— Jason Dozier (@jasonsdozier) January 15, 2022
My heart goes out to the Parker family and the MARTA family. A heartbreaking and sudden loss. Jeff brought excellence to MARTA and was a great partner with the City and Council. https://t.co/0EyC0qEW0T
— Amir Farokhi (@AmirForATL) January 15, 2022
I am deeply saddened to hear the news of the sudden and tragic loss of Jeffrey Parker. He was an incredible human being and fierce advocate for transportation in our region. I extend my deepest and heartfelt sympathies to his family, MARTA, and all who called him a friend. https://t.co/QMOBgdvlxX
— Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson (@Love4Gwinnett) January 15, 2022
The last time I saw him was at a Gold Dome meeting to brief a state committee that oversees MARTA. You could hear the excitement and enthusiasm he had for what MARTA was doing. It was really nice to hear that.
— Thomas Wheatley (@thomaswheatley) January 15, 2022
This is deeply saddening. I interviewed Jeff Parker extensively during the pandemic for an @AtlantaMagazine feature on MARTA's future, and he was so generous with his time and a truly dedicated champion of public transit. https://t.co/fJEGzM1F7D
— Jennifer Rainey Marquez (@Jenrrain) January 15, 2022
My deep condolences to Parker's family, and also to the MARTA staffers who are struggling with this horrible news today. https://t.co/lqXIonjSvr
— Darin Givens (@atlurbanist) January 15, 2022
We are incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Jeff Parker, CEO of MARTA. He was a valued partner and cared greatly about the connectivity of Atlanta’s residents and visitors of our city. We keep his family, friends and loved ones in our prayers during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/yhmyUTwLv6
— H.J. Russell & Co (@HJRussellCo) January 15, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Parker Family and MARTA during this time ❤️
— Soccer in the Streets (@soccerstreets) January 15, 2022