The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is providing a one-time $3,500 COVID-19 pandemic payment to its frontline and represented employees, pending approval by the board of directors at its May meeting. Employees who will receive the payment include bus and rail operators, mechanics, and supervisors and members of the MARTA Police Department with the rank of major and below.
“I am extremely grateful to our frontline employees who have carried us through this pandemic,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “These are people who could not work from home, who showed up every day to keep the buses and trains running and protect our customers, all while considering the health risks to themselves and their families.”
In addition to the one-time payment, MARTA’s 2,811 employees represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 732 will receive a 2% general wage increase next February. ATU Local 732 and MARTA have also extended the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for 12 months, from December 2021 to December 2022.
Close to three-fourths of MARTA’s staff will receive the one-time payment at a cost to the authority of approximately $13 million. The money will be drawn from a budget surplus that is the result of higher-than-expected sales tax revenues, lower than budgeted operating expenses, and federal pandemic relief included in the CARES Act.
Pending board approval at the monthly meeting on May 13, the checks will be distributed to eligible employees on May 27.