On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, the Council for Quality Growth and MARTA hosted the 7th State of MARTA event, presented by VHB and WSP. This year’s event was held fully virtually, filmed and streamed live from the Alliance Theatre inside the Woodruff Arts Center. The virtual event garnered over 1,300 views, featuring Jeffrey Parker, General Manager and CEO of MARTA, unveiling the new minimalist interior and exterior designs of the new rail cars coming in 2023. The “trains of the future” will include exterior lights that match the rail line colors, more spacious seating, open gangways, wireless charging ports, more comfortable ADA accommodations, bike and stroller storage, and digital display screens. “The State of MARTA is strong,” Parker said, as he talked about the lines and dots that make up MARTA’s transit-oriented development initiatives. New levels of federal funding will allow his team to “lean into the dots” in the years to come. New bus shelters, cleaner stations, and better signage are just a few of the other rider-experience improvements MARTA is undertaking as a part of their MARTA 2040 Project.
Parker thanked his frontline employees and all the elected officials working to ensure essential transit keeps running. MARTA debuted an animated video showcasing the “Transit Force Superheroes” or six Georgia lawmakers who have played an integral role in the forward progression of public transit. The superhero team consisted of Reverend Raphael “Small Starts” Warnock, Senator John “It’s Electric” Ossoff, Congressman Hank “Heavy Rail” Johnson, Congresswoman Nikema “The Reconnector” Williams, Congresswoman Lucy “BRT” McBath, and Congressman David “Southern Crescent” Scott.
Rita Scott, Chair of MARTA’s Board of Directors, also provided remarks. “We are unified in our desire to ensure MARTA remains a vital and efficient lifeline that connects people to the places they need and want to be,” she said, “while also serving as a catalyst for economic development and growth throughout our service footprint.”
2021 marked MARTA’s tenth consecutive year with a balanced budget and without fare increases.
“The Council has always been an advocate for transit and transportation investment that will move this region forward,” said Michael Paris, President & CEO of the Council for Quality Growth, during his opening remarks. “We will continue to be there to accelerate these efforts, and the weight of our Board and members will be there in support in every way.”
Re-watch the full recording of the virtual event and see photos from the live streaming below.
Re-watch the Virtual Event
Thank you to our 2022 Sponsors: