For Immediate Release
February 25, 2022
Media Contact: Andy Cole
Communication and Marketing Manager
The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA), in an effort to further foster a diverse and inclusive workspace, took another step forward Thursday as its Board of Trustees approved participation in a transit-specific pilot program for building a racial equity platform.
In the coming weeks, TARTA will sign on with the American Public Transit Association’s (APTA) Racial Equity Commitment Program. This new initiative recognizes the role that the transit industry can play in advancing racial equity and inclusion, and is designed to help agencies set up a framework for a comprehensive, sustainable diversity program.
“It’s about having diversity and inclusion in the workplace and ingraining that in the culture, but it’s about so much more than that,” said Jim Fight, TARTA’s Director of Human Resources. “It’s making decisions as an organization to make sure that we reflect the community we’re privileged to serve.
“We’re proud to have a workplace that fosters understanding of the importance of diversity. Participation in this program will help us to go above and beyond that, and to quantify what we’ve already been doing to find out where we can improve.”
The program approved Thursday centers on 5 core principles, including:
“APTA’s program provides a roadmap for TARTA to set up, maintain, and improve on these policies that we all take to heart,” said TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski. “The transit industry has a long history of being involved in issues and opportunities of expanding equity and access in communities.
“Our service should strive to put everyone in touch with the benefits of living in this area, not just by providing transportation, but by maintaining a culture of inclusion throughout our organization that our customers can recognize and appreciate.”
TARTA has ramped up its equity efforts in several ways in recent months, including taking part in February’s Transit Equity Day and committing to expanding its hiring of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for Federal Transit Administration-funded projects.
TARTA will officially sign on to APTA’s Racial Equity Commitment Program at an event in the coming weeks.
TARTA provides a vital link in the Toledo metro area to jobs, education, health care and other destinations. It enables everyone in our community to have access to transportation regardless of their age, race, physical ability or economic background. TARTA is underway with exploring and introducing new initiatives and service options that will enhance convenience and customer experience while moving our region into the future of public transit.
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