MARTA Cmte Approves Fare Increase, Service Cuts

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Despite news yesterday that the Atlanta Regional Commission agreed to send $25 million in stimulus funds to MARTA, a committee of the transit agency approved a package of changes Thursday to help offset a $109 million budget shortfall.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

A committee of the MARTA board on Thursday approved those measures as part of a plan to fill a $109.8 million shortfall for the fiscal year that will begin in July. The full MARTA board is expected to take a final vote on June 22. If the board approves the changes, they will be put in place over the following four months or so, said MARTA CEO and General Manager Beverly Scott.

“You wish that you didn’t have to,” Scott said. “We knew this was going to be challenging.”

The public can comment on the proposal on June 16 and 17. The AJC reports lists some changes that directly impact riders:

  • Raising fares 25 cents, to $2
  • Where parking isn’t free, raising fees by $1
  • Stopping train service a half-hour or hour earlier at midnight
  • Longer waits for buses and trains

MARTA expects to receive $74 million less next year than it did this year from a penny sales tax in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, which accounts for more than half of the agency’s total income.

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