Parker oversaw the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, helping the public transportation system stay afloat as ridership plunged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He was an outstanding leader and steward of MARTA whose passing leaves us all heartbroken.” MARTA Chairwoman Rita Scott said in a statement. “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.”
Georgia governer Brian Kemp also mourned over the loss, tweeting on Saturday, “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 added, “He will be greatly missed.”
Parker held his position for four years, where he led plans to develop MARTA in more counties. According to the agency’s website, Parker had worked in the transportation industry for over 35 years, previously serving as the Connecticut Department of Transportation commissioner and holding prominent roles while at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. In 2020, Parker was listed in Atlanta Magazine’s Most Powerful People of 2020 and Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Power 100: Most Influential Atlantans of 2020.
The agency hired Greenwood in 2019 to lead bus operations and he later saw a promotion to deputy general manager of operations in January 2021.
MARTA announced on Saturday that Collie Greenwood would take over Parker’s position.