MARTA CEO Jeffrey A. Parker dies suddenly, officials say

MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker died Friday night, officials said.

A spokesperson for the transit authority issued a statement on Saturday morning:

"With very heavy hearts, we share the official news of GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker’s tragic passing on Friday evening, January 14, 2022. 

"Please keep his family in your prayers and meditations.

"In the coming days, we will share more information on the transition plan, including grief counseling for employees as we process this devastating news.

"Jeff cared deeply about MARTA and his leadership gave us a strong foundation from which to carry forward."

MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker

MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker (Courtesy of MARTA / FOX 5 Atlanta)


Flags at MARTA headquarters were lowered to half-staff on Saturday. 

The MARTA Board of Directors said in a statement Parker took his own life. 

MARTA Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott called the news "shocking:"

"The MARTA Board of Directors grieves the shocking death of our GM/CEO Jeff Parker who has died by suicide. He was an outstanding leader and steward of MARTA whose passing leaves us all heartbroken.
"As Chairwoman and on behalf of my fellow MARTA board members, we are devastated at this loss as we valued Jeff’s leadership and looked forward to him bringing his vision for transit to fruition. The entire metro Atlanta region owes him a debt of gratitude for his transformational efforts and we will not stop working to build on the foundation he created."
"As we struggle to understand the complexity of this tragedy, we grieve with and for his wife Erin, his daughters and all of Jeff’s family and friends as well as his MARTA family. As we continue to grieve, we want you to know that suicide is preventable and help is available to you."
"For access to services and immediate crisis help, call the Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225, available 24/7."

If you or someone you know are experiencing a mental health crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225.

Collie Greenwood was named interim General Manager and CEO of MARTA in a unanimous vote held during an emergency board meeting on Saturday.

Greenwood joined MARTA in 2019, officials said. He previously severed as the Chief Service Officer with the Toronto Transit Commission. He was promoted to MARTA's Deputy General Manager of Operations in January 2021.

Who was MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker?

Parker was named CEO and General Manager of MARTA in March 2018, according to his bio on the transit authority's website.

Parker's background was in architecture and engineering prior to joining MARTA. 

Parker graduated with a bachelor's degree from Northeastern University. 

Parker's contract as MARTA's CEO and General Manager extended through June 2026. 

State of MARTA in 2022 under Jeffrey Parker

Parker's last public appearance was during an address on the state of MARTA at the beginning of 2022. 

Parker touted the transit authority's frontline employees, who made sure transit continued to operate during the pandemic.

"I would like to recognize the thousands of MARTA employees who continue to carry us through these tough times," Parker said. 

Parker announced plans to use federal support and local partners and funding to enhance railway and bus stations.

"We are making more connections every year," Parker said. 

Jeffrey Parker's accomplishments as MARTA CEO

Parker announced during the Jan. 12 "State of MARTA in 2022" event that the organization had a balanced budget for 10 consecutive years.

Parker oversaw a tumultuous period during the pandemic. MARTA implemented COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees. After navigating staff shortages in 2021, the organization began the new year hiring bus operators and technicians.

Parker led MARTA when its buses and trains transported a half-million football fans for Super Bowl LIII.