What We Believe
We believe that diversity moves the nation. We believe that the leadership of a massive industry that has the responsibility of transporting all people all the time should reflect the complex mosaic of those they serve. We believe that commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, identity and experience moves us forward every day.
In 1971, with a goal to provide a forum for minority professionals in the transportation industry, Rev. Jerry Moore, then pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, partnered with Harold B. Williams, then Urban Mass Transit Administration (UMTA) Director of the Office of Civil Rights, to organize a conference for Minorities in Transit at Howard University. The conference was coordinated by UMTA’s Project Director, Carmen Turner, who later became the first Black women to serve as General Manager of a major transit system, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The event drew 77 participants and eventually led to the formation of COMTO.
Our vision is to build upon our 50-year legacy of ensuring full access, while keeping pace with the rapidly evolving industry and anticipating future goals and accomplishments.
Today, the organization has grown to more than 3,000 members in over 30 chapters across the United States and Canada. We represent the more than three million minorities in the United States and Canada who work in all modes of the transportation industry. From highways and roads to mass transit systems; from subways to rail systems and from port authorities to airports, COMTO members represent every facet of the transportation industry. This includes trucking, taxi and limousine services.
Our members are individuals, students, transportation agencies, corporations, academic institutions, industry non-profits and Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). We are the presidents and chief executive officers who determine the direction of major transportation systems and the mechanics and operators who ensure the safe passage of millions of transportation riders every day.
Board of Directors
How We Work
We actively engage with key congressional transportation committee and subcommittee leaders at meetings scheduled specifically for COMTO members during COMTO’s annual View from the Hill and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Transportation Braintrust events. We educate local political leaders, transportation agency leaders, transportation stakeholder corporate executives and board members on diversity issues.
We coordinate and collaborate with other trade organizations on issues that affect COMTO members and provide networking opportunities for businesses and agencies to build alliances and partnerships. Through our Small Business Directory database we promote visibility, contracts and partnerships for MWDBE business members.
During COMTO’s Annual National Conference we offer educational panels and Continuing Education Training. Professional development and leadership training seminars are offered locally throughout the year by individual chapters as well as at COMTO’s National Conference. We take great pride in our youth programs that create a pipeline of minority professionals and leaders through scholarships and internships
We provide up-to-date information through the bi-monthly News in Motion e-newsletter and insightful editorials on legislative issues, national COMTO events and transportation innovations in the semi-annual Accelerate e-magazine. Through regular e-blasts and Twitter and Facebook posts, we keep members updated on chapter events. Our national and chapter websites inform of all COMTO activities.
We keep members informed on innovations in transportation including self-driving drone taxis, Maglev trains, elevated buses and hyperloop transportation systems. We offer training programs to prepare the current and the next generation of transportation leaders on advanced technology in the industry.