Management & Operations

MARTA's Parker named '2015 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager'

Posted on July 10, 2015

MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker
MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has selected MARTA’s GM/CEO Keith T. Parker, AICP, as the 2015 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager. This highly prestigious award is in recognition of Parker’s major accomplishments at MARTA and his contributions to the public transportation industry during his two decade career.

“I’m deeply humbled to be recognized by APTA’s selection committee for this honor,” Parker said. “This is a high point in my career and I’m grateful for the opportunities to serve that the public transportation industry has provided me. I want to thank the MARTA Board of Directors, our staff and our customers for their wonderful support and guidance.”

Michael Melaniphy, APTA President/CEO, extended kudos to Parker for the award.

“This is a very significant award that is given only to those individuals who have excelled in leading public transportation systems,” Melaniphy said. “I offer my congratulations to Keith.  His record in managing four public transit systems has demonstrated his innovative leadership that has positively transformed each of these agencies.  He is truly worthy of national recognition.”

“Hiring Keith Parker is one of the best decisions MARTA’s ever made,” said Robert L. Ashe III, chairman of the MARTA board of directors. “His optimistic leadership, fiscal discipline, and relentless pursuit of excellence in matters both big and small have helped MARTA re-emerge as a transit system to be reckoned with. On behalf of my colleagues on the MARTA Board, congratulations Mr. Parker. Keep up the great work.”

MARTA GM/CEO Parker is joined by local dignitaries to celebrate the agency's 35th anniversary in June 2014.
MARTA GM/CEO Parker is joined by local dignitaries to celebrate the agency's 35th anniversary in June 2014.
Parker is credited with launching a top-to-bottom transformation of MARTA, the nation’s ninth largest transit agency, at a time when it was still reeling from staggering budget deficits, declining ridership and a poor public image.

Since Parker’s arrival in December 2012, MARTA has stabilized its finances, increased financial reserves and improved its credit rating. Ridership is on the rise and the agency’s relationship with the business community, state and local elected officials and, most of all, its customers, continues to grow stronger.

Under Parker’s leadership, MARTA experienced a signature achievement when Clayton County joined the transit system which represents the first jurisdictional expansion since its inception more than four decades ago. MARTA bus service began in Clayton County in March 2015.

In the coming months, MARTA plans to introduce a host of customer-focused benefits including video surveillance cameras on all of its railcars and Wi-Fi availability on its buses and trains. MARTA’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program is poised to create a new round of vibrant, live-work-play communities at rail stations that will help boost ridership, provide long-term revenue and benefit surrounding neighborhoods.  

The 2015 awards ceremony is Oct. 6, 2015, in San Francisco at APTA’s Annual Conference.

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