MARTA privatizes paratransit, despite public outcry

Source: Atlanta Progressive News, November 15, 2015

Despite public outcry, MARTA Mobility, the paratransit service for Atlantans with disabilities, will soon be run by a private company instead of the local transit authority.   On November 05, 2015, the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) unanimously to approve a three-year, 64.9 million dollar contract to MV Transportation Inc. to take over paratransit services in Atlanta. … It is true that MARTA Mobility is riddled with problems.  For example, the agency is already subject to court monitoring for failing to meet standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act.   Passengers are often left waiting for indefinite periods of time for their van service to arrive, with little or no recourse.  One passenger told APN that calling MARTA to check on the van’s status “only makes it worse.”   But David Ates, a lawyer representing MARTA’s disabled clients and one of its judge-appointed monitors, says outsourcing to MV is unlikely to fix that. … MARTA’s paratransit workers will not only face lower wages, they stand to lose pensions, healthcare, and for some, their jobs.   The same day of the Board vote, Parker announced the credit rating agency Moody’s had upgraded MARTA’s bond rating.