Georgia’s Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority approves $1.3 billion budget | Georgia

(The Center Square) — The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s board of directors has approved a $1.3 billion budget for fiscal year 2023.

The $587.6 million budget for operations includes $458.3 million for labor expenditures as the agency works to bring service back to pre-COVID-pandemic levels. 19.

MARTA’s budget projects $652.7 million in operating revenue, including $321.4 million in sales tax, $140.4 million in U.S. bailout (ARP) funding, $73.5 million in federal operating assistance and $67 million in passenger revenue. The spending plan does not include any rate increases.

“The biggest problem facing the transit industry right now, and frankly, most industries, is the shortage of workers,” said MARTA Managing Director and Acting CEO Collie Greenwood. a statement. “We are using every platform and hiring tool at our disposal to hire and train operators as traffic recovers. We are aggressively recruiting employees, holding frequent job fairs and offering career bonuses signature in order to stay competitive. As people come back to MARTA, we need to be able to meet the demand for service.”

The agency’s $717 million for capital spending includes $512 million for “good condition” initiatives. Its slate of capital projects for fiscal 2023 includes $72 million for the multi-year station rehabilitation program, $56.5 million for new CQ400 railcars, $38.5 million for the fourth phase of repairs tracks and $10.7 million to extend the life of its fleet of CQ311 cars.

MARTE has tapped Stadler to deliver the new CQ400 railcars. The deal is for 127 units for married couples and includes two options, each for an additional 25 married couples.

MARTA officials say the new CQ400 railcars represent the biggest capital investment in the agency’s history and will cost nearly $610 million over 10 years. The first of the new wagons is expected to arrive in 2025.

Meanwhile, the federal government has assigned $33 million for the new Clayton operations and maintenance facility. Additionally, the Federal Transit Administration has Advanced the $338 million Clayton Southlake bus rapid transit project in its next round of its capital investment grant program as a small start-up project.

The new BRT, connecting several Clayton County destinations to College Park Rail Station, is expected to begin operating in 2026.

MARTA’s 2023 fiscal year budget goes into effect July 1.

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