MARTA posts first profit in nine years

ATLANTA - Rising sales tax revenues and a growing number of riders helped MARTA post its first operating profit in nine years.

Transit system officials on Monday reported finishing MARTA's 2005-06 fiscal year about $19 million in the black. When the year begin, MARTA projected a $16 million deficit.

MARTA expects to release exact figures after an outside audit.

But top MARTA officials were confident enough in the numbers to beam.

''It's a very positive picture going into the future,'' said Richard McCrillis, MARTA's interim general manager. ''MARTA has its financial picture together."

- From wire reports