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One month into his tenure, Parker dished on his optimism for widespread transit expansion, MARTA’s venturing into mixed-use development, and the prospects of a region-wide system being called “The ATL.”
Keith Parker, the MARTA general manager and CEO who helped pull the transit agency from the brink of insolvency and expand it outside Fulton and DeKalb counties for the first time since its creation, announced this morning that he was leaving the job to lead Goodwill Industries of North Georgia.
MARTA CEO Keith Parker's biggest project yet is the construction of three new rail lines expected to cost upwards of $8 billion. In MARTA’s history, the ambition of Parker’s expansion plan is rivaled only by the ambition behind the agency’s creation five decades ago.
Since turning 40 six years ago, I’ve been waiting for my midlife crisis to start. Only recently did it occur to me that I’m already neck-deep in it, and that perhaps I’m like the frog in the slow-to-boil water who didn’t think to jump out until it was too late.
This is a historic chapter in MARTA’s history: the first major expansion in four decades. Much of the credit goes to the transit authority’s general manager and CEO Keith Parker, who joined MARTA in December 2012 when the agency was beleaguered with a fiscal crisis and plummeting ridership.
Good news, MARTA riders: Much-needed service increases will roll out over the next three days. Starting Saturday, May 17, approximately 17 bus routes will run more frequently; see a detailed list of changes here. Beginning Monday, May 19, peak-hour wait times for trains—between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays—will be reduced to five minutes on the “trunk” (before the lines split) and 10 minutes on the “branches.” From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, you’re looking at a six-minute wait on the trunk and 12 minutes on the branches.
Standing on the platform of the Dunwoody station one late January morning, Keith Parker looks every bit the high-ranking executive—camel overcoat, dapper gray suit, trim goatee—except for one small detail: a broken-in leather briefcase that appears to have seen the floors of a few train cars.
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