In the lawsuit, Williams says Parker lacked the legal authority to eliminate the routes without public input or a vote by the MARTA board. Williams asked the court to order the agency to restore the routes and hold a public hearing and a board vote before making any service cuts.
Williams makes similar arguments in the FTA complaint. And he says MARTA has illegally discriminated against racial minorities and low-income residents, who were disproportionately affected by the agency's decision to cut routes.
In recent correspondence with Williams, MARTA Chief Counsel Elizabeth O'Neill said the cuts were legal. She said MARTA board bylaws give Parker broad authority to supervise the business and affairs of the agency – including making temporary adjustments to service when emergencies arise. She said MARTA's CEO has exercised similar discretion to adjust routes during inclement weather and following the collapse of the I-85 bridge in 2017.
Spokeswoman Stephany Fisher said MARTA has restored four routes in recent weeks. She said it will continue to add routes as conditions allow.