Dan Whisenhunt | decaturish.com

MARTA CEO Keith Parker shows off a state of the art bathroom system at the Lindbergh Center Station.                                  Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
MARTA CEO Keith Parker shows off a state of the art bathroom system at the Lindbergh Center Station. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The basic things have held MARTA back for years.

Trains haven’t run on time. Funding for the transit system has been hamstrung by a rule that dictated where MARTA could spend the sales tax money it receives from the city of Atlanta, and Fulton and DeKalb counties. MARTA  raised fares while cutting services. Also, the agency had removed 2/3 of station bathrooms within five years.

Anyone who has ventured into a urine soaked MARTA elevator could tell you that.

But after several years of MARTA’s numbers moving in the wrong direction, the agency is getting its act together under the leadership of CEO Keith Parker. Trains are running more frequently on the weekdays. The archaic funding restrictions requiring the agency to devote 50 percent of its money to operations and 50 percent to infrastructure have been suspended. Clayton County voters overwhelmingly voted to allow MARTA to expand its services there, the first time the system has moved into a new county since the 1970’s.

And riders will start seeing more bathrooms.

Parker, who took over in December 2012, on Dec. 11 showed off one of MARTA’s new state of the art restrooms at the Lindbergh Center Station. Read more