GM/CEO Keith Parker announced that he will step down after nearly five years of service, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) announced today. Parker will join Goodwill of North Georgia, which provides job training, employment placement services, and other community-based programs, as president/CEO this fall.
Led by MARTA Chairman Robbie Ashe, the Board will vote to approve an interim GM in an upcoming session and will launch a national search for a permanent chief executive.
“As chief executive, Parker helped to usher in a new day for MARTA’s customer service, fiscal responsibility, and service expansion," said Chairman Ashe. "He leaves MARTA stronger and healthier than ever before.”
Separately, after a rigorous nationwide search, the authority named veteran transit executive Arthur “Rob” Troupe — a former HNTB and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority executive — deputy GM. Starting September 18, Troupe will report to the interim GM, both of whom will work directly with Parker throughout his remaining tenure to ensure a seamless transition.
Parker joined the nation’s ninth largest transit system as its GM/CEO in December 2012. With an annual budget of nearly $1 billion, MARTA provides more than 400,000 passenger trips a day through heavy rail, bus and paratransit services.
Since taking the helm, Parker has worked with MARTA’s Board of Directors to balance the Authority’s budget, improve efficiencies, increase bus and rail service, and enhance the overall customer experience. Once on a path to insolvency, the Authority now boasts cash reserves topping $240 million.
During his tenure, Parker spearheaded the Authority’s reinvigorated focus on transit oriented developments while enhancing the ridership experience through our partnership with Soccer in the Streets, as well as launching Fresh MARTA Markets and Artbound — the transit system’s newly launched program aimed at aesthetically enhancing the rail system.
“In the wake of the I-85 bridge collapse, the MARTA family stepped up,” Parker said. “From rail operators to customer service personnel, we could not have asked for a more capable, dedicated and passionate team of professionals.”
In 2016, City of Atlanta residents overwhelmingly supported a MARTA ballot measure that will generate an estimated $2.5 billion over the next 40 years for high-capacity rail improvements, new infill rail stations, expanded bus routes and other services. In 2015, MARTA extended service into Clayton County.