Passengers riding MARTA Wednesday morning wanted to know what the results of a new audit would mean for them.
It showed the transit system could be wasting millions and millions of dollars.
The audit, commissioned by the transit board, showed massive overspending in a number of different areas, including employee benefits and cleaning.
It also suggested MARTA should look into privatization.
The audit showed $50 million is being wasted on employee benefits alone.
That number grows even more when you factor in something as simple as cleanup costs.
State Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) is one of those people who suspected MARTA had issues.
"The audit has come out now and validated what we have always thought, that privatization of certain things MARTA doesn't need to be doing itself could save a substantial amount of money," said Jacobs.
Beyond the huge dollar amount, riders said they were surprised to hear so much money was being spent on cleanup. Some said they just don't see it.
"They not cleaning nothing. Not cleaning station, not cleaning the buses. All these buses be coming in and be nasty," said one rider.
"The stations are nasty because they don't have enough people to clean them," said Jonathan Ross.
CBS Atlanta had some Tough Questions for MARTA, but representatives refused to go on camera.
They released a statement instead that quoted MARTA Board of Directors Chairman Frederick Daniels.
"This study is very important to all of us who are committed to ensuring that MARTA's financial house is in order and transforming this agency for the benefit of customers who want, and need, essential transit services we provide," said Daniels.
It's so important that Jacobs said it can't be ignored.
"The audit can't become just another report put on the shelf. It needs to be a report that gives rise to plan of attack, to an action plan," said Jacobs.
It's a plan he said is pretty obvious.
"Wherever there are cost savings to be achieved through privatization we need to look at it, and the KPMG audit absolutely validates that," said Jacobs.
He said what it doesn't validate is MARTA's ongoing talks about raising the rates.
"I think the KPMG audit shows just how hollow those threats are. MARTA has a lot of looking inward that it should be doing before looking outward," said Jacobs.
The audit will now be presented to the board that will look over and decide if any changes need to be made.
Jacobs said if no changes are made, there's a good chance the state legislature will do it for them come January.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:39 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:39:41 GMT
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