At a board meeting on Wednesday, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) approved the $25 million reallocation of ARRA stimulus funds tothe Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Pending approval by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the signature of Gov. Sonny Perdue, the proposal enables the authority to address its budget deficit and avoid making cuts in service to balance its Fiscal Year 2010 budget (FY 2010).
MARTA, in turn, will reallocate $25 million of its capital dollars to fund transit-related projects in its service area. The ARC's Transportation and Air Quality Committee proposed the funding swap after the Georgia legislature failed to pass critical legislation providing transportation funding and permitting MARTA access to $65 million in its capital reserve fund to address the operating deficit.
"MARTA is extremely grateful to the members of ARC for their willingness to step forward to help keep MARTA moving. I want to thank our regional partners for making this funding reallocation possible," said MARTA GM/CEO Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D. "This one time funding infusion will help keep us afloat next year. But, the criticality of increased state/regional transportation funding for future years is absolutely urgent. We must take action to address this problem."
The Authority will allocate this one-time $25 million payment to preventative maintenance, which is a designated use of stimulus funding under federal guidelines.
MARTA staff will present their recommended FY 2010 budget proposal to the Board of Directors at their monthly Business Management Committee meeting on Thursday.