Georgia state Rep. Martin Momtahan brandished photos of dirty train stations during a legislative oversight committee meeting with the CEO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
The pictures showed cracked concrete, littered trash, used drug needles and a person Momtahan said was homeless lying on the ground.
Momtahan, a Republican from Dallas, Georgia, and a previous committee member, was invited to Wednesday’s MARTOC Committee hearing so he could confront MARTA CEO Jeffery Parker.
“Why is MARTA so filthy?” he asked.
Parker described ways that MARTA is addressing the issues Momtahan raised. He said MARTA is working with HOPE Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that provides resources and programs to assist those affected by the homelessness crisis in Atlanta. He added that MARTA has also worked with the Atlanta Police Department to create a position for a non-sworn police officer to help homeless people connect with social workers.
“We are trying our best to find the resources so that an individual like that doesn’t have to sleep either in a MARTA station, or on the curb outside of a MARTA station, or under an overpass of one of our bridges in the city,” Parker said.
Parker said MARTA has also created a station management program to empower employees to clean and keep up the individual train stations.
“We no doubt need to improve,” Parker said.