MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker Dies By Suicide, At 56

January 16, 2022

By: Mary Moore

Jeffrey Parker, the General Manager/CEO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) died after stepping in front of a train at the East Lake MARTA station in Decatur Friday night around 11:27p.m., according to Bill Floyd, a member of the MARTA board of directors and former Decatur Mayor. Parker was only 56.

 MARTA Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott made the announcement over Twitter on Saturday.

“The MARTA Board of Directors grieves the shocking death of our GM/CEO Jeff Parker who has died by suicide,” MARTA Board of Directors Chairwoman Rita Scott said. “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.”

Parker was a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and worked at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in 1985. He then went on to work for MARTA in 2018 where he was often recognized for being one of Atlanta’s most influential leaders and for his civil engagement. He was named among Atlanta Magazine's Most Powerful People of 2020, CNN reports.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he and his family were "saddened to learn about the tragic passing of Jeffrey Parker."

"In addition to a remarkable professional career in the public/private sectors, Jeffrey was known for his civic engagement and support for the advancement of his communities," Kemp wrote on Twitter. "He had an incredible mind for transportation and logistics and a heart for people. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and his many colleagues."