MARTA board selects Keith Parker, head of San Antonio transit agency, as next GM

Bus and rail advocates applaud decision, say selection could bring ‘progressive’ change to MARTA


  • Courtesy VIA
  • Keith Parker

MARTA’s board of directors last night voted 9-0 to name Keith Parker, the head of San Antonio’s transit agency, to succeed Bev Scott as the CEO and general manager of MARTA.

Should Parker accept the offer, the move will be a step up for the Virginia native. Since July 2009, he’s served as president and CEO of VIA, San Antonio’s transit agency which provides bus, streetcar and paratransit service. According to MARTA, VIA serves an estimated 150,000 riders every day. Prior to that position, he led the Charlotte Area Transit System, or CATS. He joined that agency in 2000 as chief operating officer and was responsible for bus and paratransit operations and helped develop the transit system’s light-rail plans. He’s also served as Charlotte’s assistant city manager, CEO of the Clark County Transit Authority in Vancouver, Wash., and deputy director of the transit agency in Richmond, Va. (Interested in a 5-page interview with Parker about his leadership style in a transit trade publication? You’re in luck!)

“We strongly believe that Keith Parker is the best choice for MARTA,” Board Chairman Frederick L. Daniels Jr., said in a statement after the vote. “We are extremely proud of the work we have done to this point, and we are very confident that we have picked the right man, for the right job, at the right time.”

Bus and rail advocates gave a thumbs up to the board’s decision.

“From the transit advocate standpoint, he’s a very desirable candidate,” says Ashley Robbins, president of Citizens for Progressive Transit. “He’s done some progressive things in Charlotte and San Antonio and he’s going to do the innovative things we want MARTA to do.”