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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.
“Without this resolution, the future of the BeltLine just had a cloud of uncertainty hanging over it in every respect."
Many more details will be revealed in the next few weeks. But here are some of the key questions the lawmakers on their way to Atlanta face coming into the 2016 legislative session.
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.
The Atlanta Streetcar is delayed—again. While it looked like the $100 million project might be up and rolling in late summer, the new target date is November. After ballooning budget issues and multiple delays...
Last month the Wall Street Journal reported that Citi Bike, New York City’s fledgling bikeshare program, faced a mounting debt in the tens of millions with no clear lifeline. The news was disconcerting to Atlanta biking advocates. Atlanta is slated to launch its own bikeshare program in 2015, and like New York’s, it will be entirely self-funded. Most other cities partially subsidize their bike rental programs with local or federal dollars.
The Atlanta Streetcar has always been a tough sell on paper—even before construction challenges delayed its projected opening a year, to spring 2014. Just 1.3 miles end to end, the route passes through blighted city blocks and is book-ended by the tourist hubs of Centennial Olympic Park and the King district, leading skeptics to wonder how ordinary Atlantans will benefit.
One possible solution to Atlanta's lack of regional transit governance may have become less viable after a legal review found that the Atlanta Regional Commission may not own transportation capital assets.
On Monday, MARTA released an independent audit that cited employee benefits as one major drain on the cash-strapped transit authority. On Tuesday, this appeared on the front page of the AJC print edition: