And so I was reading the news that the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority made the long-expected decision official:
After a year-long national search, MARTA's board of directors on Sept. 10 named Beverly Scott, general manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit District, as MARTA's new GM.I went to the MARTA Web site looking for some more information. There wasn't anything on Scott's hiring. But I was fascinated by this:
Budget surplus? Increased bus service? Additional security? Capital improvements? Can we hire the guy who is leaving Atlanta to replace Scott? Please?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
MARTA REPORTS BUDGET SURPLUS FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
MARTA announced today that the Authority has achieved an operating budget surplus for the second year in a row – recording $12.1 million in additional revenues for FY07. This marks only the second time in 20 years that MARTA has recorded an operating budget surplus for two consecutive fiscal years. MARTA also ended FY07 with $117.4 million in capital reserves. The capital program funds additions and improvements to infrastructure and supports the Authority’s bonding capacity.
“Thanks to a strict fiscal management plan, strategic cost containment measures and improved financial performance in recent years, MARTA has achieved this significant accomplishment,” said MARTA General Manager Richard McCrillis. “We will continue to reinvest surplus revenues into system improvements and sustaining our strong financial outlook for the future.”
As a result of its financial success, MARTA has focused on reinvesting funds into enhancing the quality of service for customers and sustaining upgrades and maintenance to the system. MARTA has increased bus service, added security, cleaning and customer service personnel, and invested in capital improvements such as the Breeze fare collection system and rail car rehabilitation program. These service improvement efforts have contributed to a 4.3% increase in passenger revenue over the last year – helping the Authority to maintain its financial stability.