The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority staff last week recommended fare and parking increases and modest service cuts along with a total budget of $787.6 million for fiscal 2010.

The budget is dependent on $25 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding, which still must be approved by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority next Wednesday, and Gov. Sonny Perdue.

MARTA’s spending plan for the upcoming year consists of a $399.1 million operating budget and a capital budget of $388.5 million, which includes $134 million allocated for debt service. If approved, the capital budget is expected to include $200 million to $250 million of new debt for MARTA’s rehabilitation and replacement maintenance program.

The budget undergoes public hearings June 16 and 17, after which it will be presented to MARTA’s board of directors for final approval on June 22.

The transit agency expects to increase base fares by 25 cents and to hike parking fees by $1 at nine lots. Some bus routes are expected to be eliminated and rail service hours cut back. Non-union employees may see merit raises axed in the new budget and they may be subject to up to 10-day furloughs. Union employees have agreed to a 15-month deferral on collective bargaining. 

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