Robert T. Golembiewski is research professor of political science at the University of Georgia.
Jeffrey B. Trattner is former chief staff counsel for the Metropolitan Altanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, Georgia.
Gerald J. Miller is assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas.
This article is a product of the Case Study Project on MARTA Management, funded by Research and Training Grant No. C.A-I I-00b, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.
Planning for a new mass transit system in Atlanta, Georgia, began in 1965 under the direction of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). To avoid potential conflict over contract disputes, encourage contractor participation, and assure federal officials that the project would proceed without incident, the authority later agreed to assume part of the risk of performance used federal contract language and legal precedent (with which out-of-state bidders would be familiar), and arranged to have the project proceed while disputes were being resolved.
These measures, however, could not prevent all disagreements over differing interpretations of the contract from arising. After considering a number of alternative dispute settlement procedures, MARTA executives settled on the use of arbitration as a means to settle differences over contract performance.