This study provides baseline data on the status of the racial/ethnic and gender diversity of the transit agency workforce in the U.S. and identifies potential barriers and promising practices for diversifying this workforce. Public transit agencies function best when the diversity of their workforce represents the communities they serve, yet previous research finds an underrepresentation of women and minorities in senior and managerial roles, along with an overconcentration of men and workers of color—particularly Black workers—in operational roles (e.g., drivers, janitors).

The study updates those earlier studies with newer data drawn from five discrete research tasks: 1) review of the scholarly and professional literature on the topic; 2) review of the websites of the 50 largest transit operators; 3) analysis of employee demographic data submitted by 152 transit operators as part of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program plans; 4) analysis of responses to an original survey sent to the human resources personnel of transit agencies (92 responses from staff at 68 agencies), and 5) interviews with 12 professionals selected for their expertise in transportation workforce diversity monitoring, management, and/or advocacy.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Workforce and Labor

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Work force diversity, Transit operators, Transportation workforce


Social Policy | Transportation