Macon Transit Authority

History

MTA building, mid 20th Century
Above: Bibb Transit company in the mid Twentieth Century

MITSI in front of the Terminal Station
The original Terminal Station was built in 1916. It is the current location of the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority, at 200 Cherry Street in downtown Macon.

City bus service became the dominant mode of public transportation in 1938 when the Georgia Power Company changed over from rail lines to bus service. Later the Transit System was owned by a private individual, Emmett Barnes III, and was known as the Bibb Transit Company. June Stearman, the only director who worked under the private ownership, continued as director when Bibb Transit became the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority. Stearman was one of the longest serving members when she retired in 1995.

The City of Macon purchased Transit from Barnes in 1973, and the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority was formed in 1980 by an act of the Georgia legislature. In 1981 the Authority began working toward the goal of its vision statement to “become a nationally recognized public transportation system.” Joseph McElroy, who worked for the system for thirty-one years and served as director the last part of those years, retired in late 2005 and leaves a legacy of steady progress with BTS and MTA. When he retired it was announced that Carl Jackson would take over as General Manager and CEO.

In July of 2009, Rick Jones assumed leadership of MTA. Mr Jones has experience with transit systems in New York and Louisiana as well as Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010, to bolster service levels and to maximize the funding availability, the bus fleet consistency was changed to include the use and ownership of Cut-A-Way buses to supplement standard transit buses. A bright new look and company logo was created. In 2010, 14 new buses were ordered to replace aging and failing vehicles. Scheduling and tracking software was installed and on time performance became the prominent measurement for success. Professional, courteous, timely and comfortable service led to increased ridership and improved customer and community perception. With the encouragement of Mayor Robert Reichert, in 2011, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority became potentially the largest Transit Authority in the State of Georgia. House Bill 1260, authored by State Representative, Ms. Nicky Randall, gave Macon Transit the authority to operate in any County in the State of Georgia if invited in and supported by that County.

In 2012, Macon Transit was named as the Manager of Historic Terminal Station where their Administrative Offices and Transfer Center were housed. In 2014, they acquired their Maintenance Facility at 2737 Broadway in Macon.  In 2014, in Washington, DC, at the American Public Transit Conference; attended by Transit Agencies from all across America, Macon Transit realized the vision and goal established in 1981 as they were recognized as a leader in the Transit Industry in regard to their scheduling software system. In 2015, Macon-Bibb County transferred title of Historic Terminal Station to Macon Transit. Historic Terminal Station quickly became self-sufficient with increases in revenues from tenants and from sale of Event Space.  By 2017, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority had become a strong partner with Macon-Bibb County Government and recognized by the press and the community as a valuable and supportive member.