MARTA employees to receive proposed $3,500 COVID-19 bonus

Atlanta's public transit system is proposing a one-time payment of $3,500 to its frontline and represented employees as thanks for the hard work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, MARTA officials say the payment would go to all bus and rail operators, mechanics, supervisors, and members of the MARTA Police Department with a rank of major or lower. In total, three-fourths of MARTA’s staff will receive the payment.

The payment proposal will be voted on at MARTA's monthly meeting on May 13.


"I am extremely grateful to our frontline employees who have carried us through this pandemic," MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said in a statement. "These are people who could not work from home, who showed up every day to keep the buses and trains running and protect our customers, all while considering the health risks to themselves and their families."

In total, the payment will cost MARTA around $13 million. The money will be drawn from a budget surplus coming from higher than expected sales tax revenues, lower operating expenses, and federal pandemic relief in the CARES Act.

 "With the supportive vote of the Business Management Committee this week, I am confident the board of directors will support this payment when it comes before us in May," said MARTA Board Chair Rita Scott. "Our frontline employees are the backbone of this organization and on behalf of my fellow board members, I want to thank our frontline workers for continuing to provide essential transit service and ensuring our patrons are safe during one of the most difficult periods in recent history."

In addition to the payment, over 2,800 of MARTA's employees who are represented by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 732 will receive a 2% raise increase by next February.

If passed, the checks will be distributed to eligible employees on May 27.

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