The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (the “MARTA”) is a public transit authority that provides heavy rail, streetcar route bus transit, and advance reservation paratransit services in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. Located in the largest metropolitan area in the State of Georgia, MARTA is one of the top 10 largest transit agencies in the United States, operating 48 miles of heavy rail track with 38 stations and over 113 fixed bus routes.
MARTA was originally proposed as a 5-county system consisting of DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett and Cobb counties through an act of the Georgia General Assembly in 1965. In 1971, voters in Fulton and DeKalb counties passed a 1% sales tax increase to pay for MARTA operations. Construction of MARTA’s rail system began in 1975, with rail service commencing in 1979. In June 2014, Clayton County voters passed a 1% sales tax to join MARTA. In 2017, the City of Atlanta raised its sales tax for MARTA to 1.5% to improve and expand MARTA.
In addition to providing service to Fulton, Clayton, and DeKalb counties, MARTA operates rail service to and from the Atlanta airport. MARTA has approximately 4,215 employees that provide almost 450,000 rides per day to customers. In addition, MARTA has its own police force with nearly 300 sworn officers.
MARTA is a multi-county Authority that is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 15 members, 3 from the City of Atlanta, 3 from Fulton County, 2 from Clayton County, 4 from DeKalb County, and one appointee by the Governor of Georgia. In addition, there is 1 non-voting member from the Georgia DOT and 1 non-voting member from the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.
MARTA plays a significant role in the economic development of the greater Atlanta region and is viewed as one of the greatest mobility assets the region has to offer. Community leaders from the business community, government, non-profit, and academic communities desire for MARTA to have a greater impact on the region’s mobility and economic growth. MARTA is currently undertaking several studies for service expansion that may include new heavy rail, light rail, and BRT. These include the Atlanta BeltLine, Atlanta Streetcar, GA400 Corridor, Clifton Corridor, Clayton County expansion to name a few. More details on expansion projects can be found at http://www.itsmarta.com/current-projects.aspx.
SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of MARTA’s operations as well as any planned expansions. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of successfully managing a large, complex and diverse organization that operates to provide the highest quality of service to its customers while ensuring that the organization is planning to meet future needs of the community while not compromising the quality of service being delivered on a daily basis. Additionally, this individual will have outstanding business skills as well as strong financial management, strategic planning, public relations, community relations and governmental relations skills.
MARTA’s CEO will be integral to the future success of the Authority as it strives to provide the highest quality of service possible to its customers and stakeholders and to find innovative transportation solutions to improve mobility and provide greater access to the region which will in turn lead to smart growth and increased business opportunities, jobs and economic development. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a background and ability as grouped in the following areas:
GENERAL TRANSIT MANAGEMENT
Experience managing a customer-centric, publicly-financed organization that provides year-round transit service to its customers on a daily basis with an emphasis on safety, security, reliability, cost competitiveness, and on-time performance.
Experience creating additional or new sustainable revenue streams including public-private-partnerships for business operations and planned growth and expansion.
Strong financial management skills overseeing large and complex budgets and an ability to offer creative solutions to run the organization efficiently and effectively.
Experience managing agency assets in order to optimize the utilization of public-private partnerships, grant allocations, farebox revenues and public funding.
Ability to oversee and implement effective cost-control measures and ensure they are in place at all levels of the agency.
Experience overseeing the development of an effective marketing plan to create a culture and strong public image that promotes the agency, its services, and increases ridership.
Experience executing system-wide expansion and construction project implementation efforts with demonstrated results of positive outcomes with on-time and on-budget performance.
Ability to provide sound oversight and management of short and long-term capital projects which include both the maintenance of existing assets and infrastructure as well as new infrastructure projects of considerable size and complexity.
Challenge the executive management team and their departments to think “outside the box” and offer customer centric solutions that are innovative and properly respond to customer needs.
Ability to evaluate, develop, mentor and hire a senior executive management team that will ensure the agency is providing exceptional service that is timely, safe and affordable and also meeting the expectations of the community.
Provide strategic vision and guidance to ensure that the agency has successful succession and employee development plans in place and provide leadership to encourage employees to take initiative and develop within the organization.
Advance the goals of MARTA’s Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Plans and ADA Plans.
Delegate responsibilities and empower senior management and employees to lead their departments and functions effectively and efficiently.
Establish and maintain a healthy working relationship with the collective bargaining units and all employees across the organization.
Treat all employees (represented and non-represented) fairly and provide an open, collaborative, positive, professional and safe work environment for all employee’s and contractors of MARTA.
Experience engaging and working effectively and persuasively with elected officials, local, state and federal agencies, the business community, faith based community, disabled community, organized labor, public constituencies, NGOs, educational and health leaders, the press, and other stakeholders.
Interact and communicate regularly with employees, customers, the public, elected officials, the press and all other stakeholders to provide transparency and insight into the agency’s implementation of policies and agendas.
Maintain on-going and effective communication with governmental agencies and elected officials (state, local, and federal) to assure maximum cooperation and to achieve the best possible transportation system for the region.
Provide a non-partisan outreach program that addresses the needs of all community members and identifies common objectives and goals which MARTA can work towards delivering.
Work creatively with constituent groups to address their concerns and generate new programs and instruments that accommodate their needs.
Meet, speak with and listen to stakeholders in the community to generate new ideas and approaches to enhance not just MARTA, but also mobility around the region.
Listen, respond to and address all community needs regardless of the origin in a fair, open, transparent, honest, sincere and committed manner.
Develop a strong working relationship with the 15-member Board and Board Chair, including having effective two-way communication.
Keep the Board informed and assist the Board in its policymaking duties and decisions including furnishing information and support.
Implement Board policy via actionable management plans and provide strategic direction to senior management that will enable the effective execution of these policies.
Assist and advise the Board in generating and achieving the Board’s short and long-term transit objectives.
Advise, inform and keep the Board aware of MARTA’s engagement and efforts at a local, state and national level to address is state of operations, capital needs, financial state and funding needs.
Engage and partner with board members to advocate on MARTA’s behalf with elected officials at a local, state and national level to ensure that MARTA continues to demonstrate its commitment to quality service, increased mobility and regional growth and sustainable development.
The candidate should possess the following attributes:
Professional executive presence, mature, honest, even tempered, intelligent, trusting, confident, charismatic and personable.
Politically savvy, persuasive, open minded, fair but firm manager.
Adaptable to change quickly and often.
Inspiring visionary who is passionate about transit and can be a champion of MARTA.
High energy level, sense of humor, gravitas, integrity and ethics above reproach.
Innovative, compassionate, transparent, inclusive in his/her decision-making process and willing to delegate responsibility.
Excellent interpersonal communication, presentation and writing skills.
Ability to speak to large and small groups alike.
Respond in a timely and accurate manner.
Results oriented individual with a dedication to accuracy, sense of urgency, efficiency and on-time delivery.
Willing to accept, embrace and adjust to criticism and make suggestions for change.
Ability to communicate with and treat all stakeholders with respect and equally.
Ability to facilitate, negotiate and provide realistic and strategic solutions to problems and comfortable mediating difficult situations and building consensus.
Strategic leader, open-minded communicator and critical thinker who is unwilling to let challenges prevent success, but rather looks at challenges as opportunities for success.
Ability to unify teams, communities and people during complicated times.
Strong mentor and teacher who is approachable, open-minded and treats all employees with respect and dignity.
Executive leader who embraces diversity and inclusion and has the ability to attract talent.
Effective manager who listens and encourages employees, teams and stakeholders to debate and challenge ideas.
Strong manager and leader with team building skills and excellent problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
Creative approach to problem solving with a proven track record of implementing innovative initiatives in complex organizations.
Success managing and providing executive level guidance to a highly educated, experienced and technical workforce, thereby empowering management to implement and execute their departmental plans effectively.
Experience developing and implementing metrics used to evaluate individual and company performance, budgets, cost effectiveness and returns on investments to increase the bottom-line and operational performance.
A leader who has a strong financial orientation and who can identify inefficiencies and areas of potential cost reduction.
Demonstrated track record of success during varying economic and business cycles.
The successful candidate will have a minimum of 10 years’ executive management experience with a large complex operating organization, transit agency or another public or private entity of comparable nature, complexity and size to MARTA. While transit experience is preferred, candidates with experience from other industries will be considered. A Bachelor’s degree in transportation, transportation management, engineering, business management or equivalent is required. An equivalent combination of education and experience consistent with the required qualifications will also be considered.