ATLANTA — MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker, the transit agency’s chief executive officer, died late Friday, officials said.
MARTA has been led by Parker, a transportation veteran, since 2018. The report was confirmed by Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston early Saturday morning.
As reported by Channel 2 Action News, MARTA released a statement about Mr. Parker’s death on Saturday morning:
“Please pray for Jeff Parker’s family during this difficult time, as we were told that he passed away on Friday, January 14, 2022.”
We will provide employees with grief counselling as we process this devastating news as we share more information regarding the transition plan in the coming days.
His leadership helped us build a strong foundation for MARTA’s future.” Jeff was deeply committed to MARTA.
Parker‘s death was later confirmed to be a suicide by MARTA’s Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott.
“While we struggle to comprehend this tragedy, I would like to express our condolences and support to Erin, his daughters, and everyone in his family and MARTA family. If you need assistance, please call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.
Statement from MARTA Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott on the passing of MARTA General Manager & CEO Jeffrey Parker. pic.twitter.com/GiIYAUN9Y2
— Collie Greenwood (@CEOMARTA) January 15, 2022
In a statement, Atlanta’s new mayor, Andre Dickens, called Parker a close friend and colleague.
Dickens said he was shocked and saddened by the sudden death of his friend and colleague Jeff Parker. When I chaired the Transportation Committee on City Council, Jeff and I worked closely together as MARTA’s General Manager and CEO. Our magnificent city and region are connected through MARTA, which Jeff understood to be more than just a transportation system. During this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with Jeff’s family and friends, as well as MARTA’s staff and board.
David Ralston, Georgia’s Speaker of the House, applauded Parker’s vision for the MARTA.
During his time as governor, MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker was a visionary leader, one who saw the potential of transit and the impact it could have on our communities. “He understood the value of cooperation, and was a valuable partner for our state.”, he said. As a member of the House of Representatives, I offer my condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues at MARTA.
The aging fleet of MARTA trains and buses has been being modernized under Parker’s leadership.
MARTA revealed designs for 254 new rail cars at its “State of MARTA” event on Wednesday. The cars are set to arrive in metro Atlanta by 2023.
According to MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker, who attended the event on Wednesday, the improvements are:
MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker said the lines represent our buses and trains, while the dots represent the communities we serve and connect. Continuing Atlanta’s growth, next year’s focus will be to expand and improve the dots, and reimagine what transit should and can be for metro Atlanta.”