ABSTRACT

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has very deep roots in Atlanta. It was initially conceived of in 1960 as part of a six-point growth and development program for the city proposed by Ivan Allen, Jr., then president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Touted as an elixir for Atlanta’s 1960s era transportation crisis, MARTA’s path to materialization in 1979 represents an interesting journey of regime politics and conflict management (Stone 1989; Toon 2007). As an urban planner in Atlanta starting in the late 1960s, I present a firsthand account of the ebbs and flows of the process of making MARTA a reality. In this chapter, I tell a story of this journey beginning with an early history of public transit in Atlanta.