Audit says MARTA must trim expenses or face cuts - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Audit says MARTA must trim expenses or face cuts

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A top MARTA official says the transit authority is committed to maintaining passenger service as it searches for big cost savings.

His commitment comes after an audit of MARTA operations found many of its expenses were well above the national average.

The audit concludes that MARTA's service will face more cuts unless the transit authority takes steps to cut its high expenses.

The KPMG audit, which was requested by MARTA, says the authority would save $50 million annually by confronting above-average costs for employee health care, retirement, absenteeism and workers compensation.

Robin Howard, MARTA's assistant general manager for internal audit, said the issues would be addressed.

"While we do have to address the costs, we understand thoroughly the impact on our riders, and we're committed to making sure that our riders are not affected," said Howard.

Robin Howard, MARTA's assistant general manager for internal audit,

The MARTA board is to get details of the audit in early October. The process will then begin to put together a response.

The audit strongly urges MARTA to outsource some operations, including cleaning, in order to save millions.

MARTA has already made staff cutbacks and frozen pay.

Passengers who support the system said they hope it will remain viable.
"Obviously taking care of employees is a good thing, but it would seem like, for the fact that it's the backbone of transportation across Atlanta, there's a lot of people that I think could ride it that don't ride it, and it would be helpful if they take some of those recommendations seriously, I think that would help ridership," said Lois Rigwood.

Amid the release of the audit, MARTA continues to search for a new general manager. A vote on two finalists is expected soon.

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