June 22, 2021

Front Line Bus & Rail Operators Recognized for Providing Essential Transportation Throughout Pandemic

ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) thanks the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition for recognizing the importance of essential transportation workers and the dedication of MARTA operators during the pandemic at its recent 2021 Blinkie Awards.

For 30 years, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition has worked to make city streets safer for people biking, walking, and using scooters or wheelchairs, and to encourage the use of sustainable transportation instead of relying on single-occupancy vehicles. The coalition’s annual awards and member party is an opportunity to acknowledge like-minded people and agencies. In a virtual ceremony held June 17, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition gave MARTA’s front line bus and rail operators the Essential Transportation Award.

 "MARTA appreciates this recognition and wants to extend our gratitude and congratulations to the operators who kept Atlanta moving during COVID, and who show up every day to provide essential transit,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “Like the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, MARTA is committed to reducing our reliance on cars by providing efficient, inexpensive, environmentally-conscious transportation. Over the years, this partnership has resulted in safer streets and MARTA developing one of the best bike policies of any public transit agency in this country.”

MARTA Bus Operator Jacob Varghese accepted this year’s award on behalf of his fellow operators. Varghese, who has been with MARTA for 18 years, works out of Perry Bus Facility and operates Routes 141 and 87. View video of the acceptance here https://youtu.be/mUX8Mjtcunw.

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition was an early advocate of bike racks on buses and bike access on trains in the mid-1990’s, and in 2017 gave MARTA the Bike-Friendly Agency Award for partnering to install bike racks and bike fix-it kiosks at 37 of 38 rail stations (excluding Airport Station). For more information on MARTA’s bicycle amenities visit MARTA (itsmarta.com).

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