Civic Groups marta-trains

Published on October 26th, 2015 |

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MARTA CEO to address Northwest Community Alliance Nov. 18

MARTA General Manager and CEO Keith Parker will be the principal speaker for the Nov. 18 meeting of the Northwest Community Alliance (NCA) which will be held at 7 p.m. at the group’s new meeting venue, the Northside Church of God.

Keith Parker

Keith Parker

The Northside Church of God is located at 1736 Harper Street, just off Defoor Avenue in the Underwood Hills neighborhood of northwest Atlanta.

Parker has been general manager and CEO of MARTA since December 2012, after successfully leading the transit systems in Charlotte and in San Antonio.

Among the many challenges Parker faces is that MARTA receives absolutely no funding from the state, despite the fact that Atlanta is the economic engine of this state and many workers must come to Atlanta to work. A well functioning MARTA is critical to the economic well-being of Atlanta.

“The key reason that the NCA took a strong leadership role in pushing for the Falcons to build at the so-called “south site” was because of the nearby MARTA locations,” said NCA Chairman Michael Koblentz. “We argued it was nonsensical to locate the new stadium nearly a mile from the closest train station.”

Koblentz stated, “It’s been said that the MARTA CEO job is probably the most complex one in the country. He took over a system with decreasing ridership, increasing deficits, low reserves and a terrible image.

“Let’s just focus on four areas that Parker has successfully initiated or made great headway towards accomplishing,” Koblentz explained. “He has brought economic health to MARTA by completely turning around the reserves that MARTA has on hand. He has developed a positive relationship with the Republican controlled Georgia legislature. He has brought about a major change to the image of MARTA and has focused on major development projects at key MARTA stations, promoting density which is one of the key antidotes to sprawl and key to smart growth in Atlanta.”

As a result of these and other accomplishments, Parker has been named Outstanding Public Transportation Manager of 2015 by the American Public Transportation Association.

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