In an effort to reduce costs, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) reorganized its top management staff.
Ten senior level positions were eliminated, including the chief of staff and two deputy general managers. The realignment resulted in the departures of five people.
"These realignments are extremely painful, but necessary to streamline our organization and reduce overall costs," said General Manager/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. "Those individuals affected by this reduction in force are fine, capable people who are adversely impacted through no fault of their own."
The positions of assistant general managers for bus and rail were consolidated into the newly created position of assistant general manager for operations.
The positions of directors of transit system planning and development, transit research and accounting were abolished along with the chief transportation and mechanical officer. The position of assistant general manager for diversity and equal opportunity was eliminated and reclassified as executive director for diversity and equal opportunity.
"Our objective is to recommend a budget which maintains the expenses and the use of reserves at levels adopted in the FY03 operating budget without raising fares or cutting service," Ford said. "We simply cannot achieve that objective without sacrifice. Ridership and sales tax revenues are way below FY03 projections."
Ford previously announced that up to 100 positions would be impacted throughout MARTA by the reduction in force. For now, only senior level positions have been identified but management at MARTA has begun looking at other positions to be eliminated.
To ensure that final selections for separation are made in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner, a Reduction-in-Force Committee was formed to review and oversee the process.
The cuts in manpower are expected to save MARTA about $6.5 million. The agency currently employs about 4,800 people.