GRTA Approves $25 Million for MARTA

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The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) on Wednesday approved an Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) proposal to send MARTA $25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

MARTA will use these funds, initially set aside for long-term transit projects in Atlanta, to address its significant operating budget deficit for fiscal year 2010. The transit authority said it will use the funds for preventive maintenance, which is a designated use of stimulus funds under federal rules.

“MARTA is extremely grateful to the members of the GRTA Board of Directors for their willingness to support this effort to help keep MARTA moving,” MARTA General Manage Beverly Scott said in a press release. “This one-time funding infusion will help keep us afloat next year.  But, the criticality of increased state/regional transportation funding for future years is absolutely urgent. We must take action to address this problem.”

The $25 million lifeline still has one more hurdle: Gov. Sonny Perdue, who appoints members of the GRTA board, must approve it. And the gift does not come without a price: In exchange, MARTA will reallocate $25 million of its own capital money to fund transit-related projects located in the MARTA service area (mainly Inside The Perimeter).

While $25 million will help, MARTA will still make some fare and service changes. Next week, officials will make presentations at four public hearings. Two meetings (one in North Fulton and one in South Fulton) will happen June 16 at 7 p.m. Two meetings (one in North DeKalb and one in South DeKalb) will happen June 17 at 7 p.m. 

There will be time for public comment at each meeting starting at 6 p.m. For more information about the hearings, click here.

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