MARTA CEO says it will seek legal action after 80 bus drivers stage sickout

ATLANTA — As leaders say they're ready to handle the massive Super Bowl crowds, at least 80 MARTA bus drivers called in sick Monday morning.

MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker said rail service is not affected and that MARTA will seek a court order to end any future sickouts.

"I wrote the union leadership a letter notifying them that any slow down or organized work stoppage was a violation of state law and MARTA would pursue all disciplinary and legal remedies available. The action today is unacceptable and we will use every tool available to make sure our riders are not harmed by this work stoppage," Parker said.

Channel 2 Action News has reported on MARTA's shortage of police, mechanics and drivers since November.

Sources told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston in December that MARTA bus drivers were upset about pay and required overtime and were considering a strike before Super Bowl LIII.


Huddleston was at the news conference that Parker and other MARTA leaders held to discuss the Super Bowl.

Huddleston saw police and K-9s patrolling the train station before the rush of visitors. MARTA police chief says she has 400 sworn officers for security. Many are on loan from other transportation agencies from around the country.

At least 700 staff members will work the train platforms to make sure visitors know how to get around.

Parker also announced that he worked with union leaders through Saturday night to come to a new agreement that includes pay raises.

"We see no impact and don't expect any impact our rail service. Although I am truly disappointed, we are working hard to make sure all rush hours are completely staffed," Parker said.

Huddleston has reached out to union leaders but is waiting to hear back.

MARTA Holds Super Bowl News Conference

MARTA leaders are updating their official plans for Super Bowl LIII. More than a million visitors are expected in Atlanta this week for the big game. We'll have LIVE Super Bowl coverage on Channel 2 Action News at Noon. https://2wsb.tv/2FSuSQf

Posted by WSB-TV on Monday, January 28, 2019