MARTA CEO Jeffrey A. Parker died Friday night according to officials. He was 55 years old. The initial indication from law enforcement is Parker died by suicide, at 10:39 pm according to Saporta Report. MARTA spokesperson, Stephany Fisher, issued the following statement:

“With very heavy hearts, we share the official news of GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker’s tragic passing on Friday evening, January 14, 2022. 

“Please keep his family in your prayers and meditations.

“In the coming days, we will share more information on the transition plan, including grief counseling for employees as we process this devastating news.

“Jeff cared deeply about MARTA and his leadership gave us a strong foundation from which to carry forward.”

Parker was featured during the State of MARTA program this Wednesday, which saw the CEO unveil the system’s newest rail cars, which received rave reviews.

Parker was also a member of the board of directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Transportation Alliance, Council for Quality Growth, Central Atlanta Progress, and Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens issued a statement after hearing the news of Parker’s sudden passing:

“I am shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic death of my colleague and friend Jeff Parker. As MARTA’S General Manager and CEO, Jeff and I worked closely together when I chaired the Transportation Committee on City Council. Jeff understood that MARTA is more than just a transportation system—it represents connectivity for residents and visitors of our great city and region. My thoughts and prayers are with Jeff’s family and friends, and with the staff and board at MARTA, during this very difficult time.”

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, commented on Parker’s sudden passing:

“Jeff Parker was a visionary leader — one who saw the awesome potential of transit and what it means for our communities. He understood the power of collaboration and was an invaluable partner in moving our state forward. On behalf of our entire House of Representatives, I offer my condolences for his family and friends as well as his colleagues at MARTA.”

According to his MARTA bio, Parker was a “recognized national leader in transportation and transit” with more than 35 years of both private and public experience in the industry.

He was named MARTA CEO in March 2018 and received a three-year contract extension in November 2020.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...