The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is one of the largest transit systems in the United States. It is the ninth largest system, transporting over 550,000 passengers daily. MARTA provides bus and rapid rail service to the most of the metropolitan area of Atlanta. The transit agency was established in 1971 with the passage of an authorizing referendum by voters in Fulton and DeKalb counties and the city of Atlanta. MARTA is a public authority that operates under Georgia law. The agency is governed by a board of directors with representation from several counties including Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, and Gwinnett as well as the city of Atlanta. MARTA has approximately 4,500 employees. The majority of MARTA's operating revenues come from fares and a sales tax from customers. MARTA is a part of a regional solution to transportation and they are working across the region with the community and agency partners to create social value for society. MARTA ensures customers, employees and the general public with a safe and secure accessibility to meet and engage. The security can be attributed to a very large police department that utilizes innovative law enforcement tools to prevent criminal activities. MARTA also has an active role in social and environmental sustainability. They have programs such as using natural compressed natural gas buses which is better for the environment. MARTA also uses solar canopy installation; in fact it has the largest in the state of Georgia and the second largest in the United States. MARTA provides economic benefits to the state and national economy. The University of Georgia conducted a study and concluded that MARTA is responsible for about 2.6 billion in economic activity each year. It also supports over 20,000 jobs in the metropolitan area of Atlanta and across the region of Georgia. MARTA is part of environmental and traffic alleviation goals and provides numerous benefits with a community based model. MARTA actually increases economic activity which helps business thrive and society sustain.
History and Background Originally MARTA was proposed as a rapid transit agency for Dekalb, Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett, and Cobb counties. The counties included were the establishing counties of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In 1965, the Georgia General Assembly formed MARTA in which 4 out of the 5 counties passed a referendum to participate. Cobb county was the only county that the referendum was not successfully passed. Funding was also an early issue for MARTA. To make up for the failed referendum, DeKalb Counties successfully passed a 1% sales tax increase to pay for the operation in 1971. On the other hand, Clayton and Gwinnett counties rejected the 1% tax increase fearing that crime and other unwanted elements would be introduced.
Later in 1972, MARTA purchased the Atlanta Transit Company for 12.9 million. This acquisition gave MARTA complete...