Parker has served as VIA’s president/CEO since July 2009. He oversees all aspects of the San Antonio region's primary transit system, which provides bus, streetcar and paratransit service daily for nearly 150,000 riders. Prior to San Antonio, Parker served as CEO for the Charlotte Area Transit System, or CATS. Parker joined CATS in 2000 as chief operating officer where he was responsible for bus and paratransit operations and helped develop light-rail plans for the transit system.
Parker also served as the assistant city manager for the city of Charlotte from 2004 through 2007 where his portfolio included the police and fire departments, as well as Charlotte/Douglas Airport. Prior to his experience in North Carolina, Parker was the CEO for the Clark County Transit Authority in Vancouver, Wash. and deputy director of the transit agency in Richmond, Va.
Parker has a bachelor’s in political science, a master’s in urban and regional planning, and a master’s of business administration. He is a certified urban planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners.
He was selected after a nationwide search conducted by the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. Parker was one of two finalists considered by the board who had the requisite background, expertise and leadership skills to run MARTA, the nation’s ninth largest transit system.
Beverly Scott, who has been MARTA’s general manager/CEO since 2007, informed the board last year that she would not seek to renew her five-year contract.
“We strongly believe that Keith Parker is the best choice for MARTA,” said Frederick L. Daniels, Jr. chairman of the MARTA board immediately after the vote. “We are extremely proud of the work we have done to this point, and we are very confident that we have picked the right man, for the right job at the right time.”
A formal letter advising Parker of the board’s decision will be sent to him, and the specific terms of his contract will be negotiated.