MARTA won’t raise fare in 2014

ATLANTA — MARTA will not raise its fare under a Fiscal Year 2014 budget the MARTA Board of Directors approved on Monday.

The budget, which takes effect July 1, includes $426.9 million for operations and $430.5 million for capital programs, including $141.1 million for debt service.

The regional transit provider originally planned to increase its base fare from $2.50 to $2.75 during the upcoming fiscal year and would have included increases in 2015, 2016 and 2018 fiscal years. MARTA officials say the approved budget includes a five-year strategy to stabilize the agency’s finances, improve employee morale and the overall customer experience and build employee morale.

“The board is very optimistic about the budget and our future sustainability,” Frederick L. Daniels, Jr., chairman of the MARTA Board of Directors, said in a statement. “The budget puts us on a forward path, and our management team will continue to assess and make recommendations on how to best address the challenges before us in ways that will ultimately strengthen MARTA as a whole.”

Other aspects of the budget include:

  • Re-opening rail station restrooms that had been previously closed to customers (FY ‘15)
  • Implementing a zero-tolerance policy against, “knucklehead behavior” (FY ‘14)
  • Restoring some transit service (FY ‘17)
  • A “secret shopper” program to monitor and improve customer service (FY ‘14)

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