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  • 4 Mar 2024 1:39 PM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    February 23, 2024 [Covia, CA] - Latinos In Transit (LIT) has selected the participants for the 2024 Leadership Academy, a program that allows transit professionals to learn about management practices, finance, procurement, labor relations and regulatory compliance. 

    This year, LIT’s Leadership Academy (LITLA) is divided into four different development tracks: Making of An Executive, Leading in Middle Management, Transit Board Leadership, and New Careers in Transit. The 35 participants selected represent the public and private sector from across the country. 

    "We eagerly extend our warmest welcome to the 35 LITLA participants embarking on their journey through the 2024 academy,” said Christina Villarreal, executive director, LIT and LITLA program coordinator. “Embracing diversity in transportation, we anticipate their transformative growth during this immersive experience. With great anticipation, we await the unveiling of their impactful capstone projects at the 2024 Leadership Summit in Portland, Oregon.” 

    Each track consists of five modules, with each module occurring once a month for five months starting in April 2024. Modules will be taught virtually by industry leaders. Participants must complete a team project and presentation to graduate from the academy. Presentations will be made at the 2024 Leadership Summit in Portland, Oregon, on Friday, September 13. LIT encourages anyone who is interested to attend the ceremony. Registration opens Monday, February 26.

    The 2024 LITLA Class participants for each track are:

    New Careers in Transit

    Karla Martinez Gallardo, TriMet

    Madeline Saldana, Lane Transit District

    Meliton Chaidez, DILAX Systems US

    Melissa Martinez, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 

    Leading in Middle Management

    Francis Rodriguez, Houston-Galveston Area Council

    Marcela Moreno, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

    Brian Ramirez, WeDriveU

    Lourdes Melissa Gomez, Sound Transit

    Dioselyn Ayala-Moreno, SunLine Transit Agency

    Cristobal Villegas, Jr., Utah Transit Authority

    Nelson Valle, Transdev

    Gaston Eugenio Kelly, Uber Technologies

    Yanior Concepcion, Transdev

    Matthew Nakano, Foothill Transit

    Elizabeth Zambrano, Access Services

    Maria Cristina Hallner, National Express Transit Corporation

    Rick Ramirez Diaz, Keolis

    Ruben Ledesma, WeDriveU

    Sanskrit Singh, WSP

    Jocelin Padilla, Long Beach Transit

    Edith Hernandez, SunLine Transit Agency

    Eva Esquivel, HNTB Corporation

    Lourdes L. Alvarez, Foothill Transit

    Arantxa Contreras, Keolis

    Jessica Leon, SunLine Transit Agency

    Making of an Executive

    Juan R Guillermo, MeVa Transit

    Jonathan Javier, Keolis

    Daniela Waltersdorfer, HNTB

    Hector Vargas, MV Transportation

    Jesse Soto, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

    Juan A Lopez, MV Transportation

    Ruben E Mendoza, MV Transportation

    Luefras Robinson, WSP

    Transit Board Leadership

    Ramiro Navarro, Salem Area Mass Transit District d/ba Cherriots

    Michael Guzman, Denver Regional Transit District 

    Now in its third year, the LITLA Committee plans to implement new strategies to catapult the success of the program to expand its opportunities for Latinos and other minorities in the transit sector.

  • 12 Feb 2024 3:24 PM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    Covina, CA, February 2024 – Latinos In Transit (LIT), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and the New Mexico Transit Association (NMTA) are excited to announce a strategic partnership dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the public transit industry. The collaboration was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on January 29, 2024, outlining a framework for mutual cooperation between the two organizations.

    "Our collective efforts in the advancement and development of Latinos and other minorities have the power to create positive change in the transportation industry,” said LIT President Herold Humphrey. “We are very excited for this MOU with the New Mexico Transit Association and look forward to working on collaborative changes together. This MOU signifies our commitment and shared accountability for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

    The MOU is set to remain in effect for five years, during which LIT and NMTA will collaborate closely to shape the public transit industry positively for Latinos and other minorities in the workforce. This includes activities such as developing programs, content and speakers for conferences, meetings and webinars; promote events and news to each membership base; participate in meetings and events; and cooperate on identifying and developing potential research problem statements related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and Latino/other minority transportation-related issues, among others.

    “New Mexico Transit Association is excited to partner with Latinos In Transit to continue to develop and advance Latinos and other minorities into leadership roles to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce in the transportation industry.” said NMTA President Elizabeth Carter.

    Both LIT and NMTA share common objectives, including supporting diversity and inclusion in the public transit industry, contributing to the future of transportation through professional development, providing leadership in the global transportation community, addressing issues concerning Latinos and other minorities, and shaping the next generation of transportation leaders. The signing of the MOU solidifies their commitment to working together to achieve these shared goals.

    This partnership marks one of several MOUs that LIT plans to execute in 2024, demonstrating the organization's dedication to advancing its mission. LIT's current strategic partners include influential entities such as the American Public Transportation Association, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, Women's Transportation Seminar, MV Transportation, KEOLIS, National Express, and the Texas Transit Association.

  • 10 Jan 2024 11:21 AM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    Latinos In Transit (LIT) announced its board for 2024 by confirming the appointment of officers and directors and welcoming two new directors.

    The newly appointed officers will serve a two-year term starting January 2024, bringing a wealth of experience to their respective roles. The appointed officers are:

    Herold Humphrey - President:

    • Herold Humphrey, a seasoned transit professional serving as senior transit operations specialist at Jacobs, brings almost four decades of public and private transit experience to his role as president. Previously serving as the vice president of LIT for the last two years, his dedication and extensive knowledge make him an invaluable asset to the organization.

    Elizabeth Carter - Vice President:

    • Elizabeth Carter, assistant transit director at RIO Metropolitan Transit District and president of the New Mexico Transit Association, assumes the role of vice president after serving as secretary for the past two years. Her commitment to advancing transit initiatives combined with her leadership within the New Mexico Transit Association positions her as a dynamic force in shaping the future of LIT.

    Eugenio Bonet - Treasurer:

    • Eugenio Bonet, the architecture operations director at HNTB, continues with the responsibilities of treasurer. His financial acumen and strategic thinking will contribute significantly to LIT's fiscal management and long-term sustainability.

    Megan Perrero - Secretary:

    • Megan Perrero, partnerships and engagement specialist at the Shared-Use Mobility Center, assumes the role of secretary. Her expertise in fostering collaborations and community engagement aligns seamlessly with LIT's mission to create a more inclusive and accessible transit environment.

    “I am truly honored for the opportunity to serve as President of Latinos In Transit.  The work that this organization does is meaningful and makes a positive impact on Latinos and other minorities.  I look forward to more collaboration with our team and our dedicated supporters to further our mission” said Humphrey.  

    LIT also welcomes two new board members: Dietter Aragon, business development manager at The Routing Company, and Lina Aragon, operations manager at PalmTran. Dietter Aragon brings more than 22 years of comprehensive experience in the public and private transit sector to his new role as a board member. He began his transit journey in 2001 as a coach operator.

    “I've witnessed firsthand the impact this organization has made on me and many others in our industry,” D. Aragon said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue contributing to an organization that is pivotal in advancing the transportation sector for minorities. As a board member, my commitment is to provide unwavering support to the next generation of Latinos and minorities eager to make their mark in our industry.”

    Lina Aragon joins LIT as a distinguished board member with more than 15 years of experience in management, training, customer service, and operations. 

    “When we support and work to advance and increase the participation of Latinos and other minorities in all transit and transportation industry levels, we build a better future for all,” L. Aragon said. “It is my honor to serve on the board of Latinos In Transit. I am committed to shape the ideas and put in practice initiatives to ensure a seat at the table for Latinos and all minorities.”

    Other directors who were reappointed for a two-year term include:

    • Hector Vargas, area safety director, MV Transportation

    • Carmen Garcia, president/CEO, ABRAC, and board member for Dallas Area Rapid Transit

    • Oscar Gonzalez, senior vice president of transit and rail market leader for the Capital Area, WSP USA

    • Mariela Garcia-Colberg, senior program officer of the Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board

    • José C. Feliciano Jr., intergovernmental affairs officer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

    • Rick Pulido, vice president of business development, National Express Shuttle & Transit

    • Ivan Rodriguez, chief of staff, Jacksonville Transportation Authority 

    Immediate past LIT President Alva Carrasco will serve as ex-officio. 

  • 19 Dec 2023 1:32 PM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    Alva Carrasco: Concludes Her Presidential Term at Latinos In Transit - A Transformative Legacy Unveiled

    Since its establishment in 2016, Latinos In Transit (LIT) has experienced a remarkable journey, evolving from a small grassroots organization to a national nonprofit force in the transportation industry. This transformation has been made possible through the dedication of key individuals, and none have played a more pivotal role than Alva Carrasco, who served as the LIT Board President during a critical phase of growth and development of LIT and as LIT’s first vice president.  

    In its infancy, LIT was propelled by the passion of a few founding members who envisioned a nationwide organization dedicated to addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by Latinos in the transit and transportation sector. Under the leadership of Milo Victoria, the organization made significant strides, establishing a foundation for growth and impact.

    As Milo Victoria transitioned out of the role of president, Alva Carrasco stepped in, in 2019, to guide LIT to new heights. Recognizing the organization's eagerness to grow, she spearheaded the development of a strategic plan, a membership program, a scholarship program,  a committee structure and launched LIT’s first website, social media presence and rebranded LIT’s logo. Her leadership and strategic vision laid the groundwork for LIT's expansion beyond regional borders which now includes in-person and virtual programming such as the Leadership Summit and Leadership Academy. 

    Her commitment to LIT went beyond her role as president. She dedicated countless hours to LIT marketing and administration during her free time, showcasing her unwavering dedication to the mission of the organization. As a representative of both the transit industry and the Latino community, Carrasco became a powerful advocate poised to lead the way in the c-suite of the transportation industry.

    Under her leadership, LIT achieved numerous milestones and gained recognition within the transportation sector. The organization's mission to bridge gaps and promote diversity and inclusion resonated with many, leading to increased support and engagement. She forged partnerships with organizations such as the American Public Transportation Association, Transit Research Board, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and Women Transportation Seminar and secured a  multi-year agreement with MV Transportation, Inc. 

    During her tenure she was recognized for her advocacy work as a Top Latinos Leaders by the National Diversity Council for Latinos Workplace Equity in 2021 and as a COMTO Women Who Move The Nation honoree in 2022. 

    As the year 2023 draws to a close, LIT bids farewell to Alva Carrasco as its Board President. Her legacy, however, will endure through the impact she has had on the organization. Her dedication, strategic initiatives, and tireless efforts have positioned LIT as a force to be reckoned with in the transportation sector. 

    With Alva Carrasco's departure, LIT is set to embark on a new chapter under the leadership of its incoming president, Herold Humphrey. Carrasco’s commitment to the cause remains steadfast as she pledges to stay active within the organization, offering guidance and advice to ensure a seamless transition and continued success.

    Carrasco’s impact will endure as LIT continues advocating for diversity, inclusion, and excellence within the transit and transportation industry.

  • 6 Nov 2023 9:20 AM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    {Covina, CA November 3, 2023} - Latinos In Transit (LIT), a national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the representation of Latinos and other minorities in the transit industry, proudly announces the appointment of Christina Villarreal as its first Executive Director. Hailing from Laredo, Texas, Villarreal has played a pivotal role in the organization and is now ready to lead it to new heights.

    Villarreal embarked on her journey with LIT in a contract-based capacity, where she quickly demonstrated her unwavering dedication and passion for the organization's mission. Her exceptional contributions have earned her the role of Executive Director.

    "Christina has taken LIT to a whole other level. In a short period of time she streamlined LIT's membership process, launched a new website and successfully took over planning and implementation of LIT's major activities and events." said Alva Carrasco, President of the Board of Directors. "Christina has become an integral member of our team and I am delighted that with her leadership, LIT will continue to shine." 

    Villarreal brings an impressive track record of more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector, underpinned by a solid educational foundation. She holds a bachelor's degree in nonprofit management, a master's degree in public administration, and a master's degree in human services. As an active member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits, Villarreal has worked in supporting and advocating for immigrant educational programs, providing valuable resources and assistance to immigrant communities. She has contributed to city planning commissions and committees, where she played a crucial role in urban development, community revitalization, and ensuring equitable and sustainable city planning. 

    Villarreal also played a pivotal role in safeguarding her Latino community's rich cultural and historical legacy by dedicating herself to historic preservation. Through her efforts, she brought to light the often-overlooked historical narrative of her community, making it accessible to a wider audience. Her work provided her the opportunity to be a Diversity Scholar for the National Trust of Historic Preservation.

    These qualifications equip her to steer LIT toward greater success. Since her involvement, the organization has achieved remarkable milestones, including a 300 percent increase in its membership base.

    "I am humbled to be given the opportunity to help push the mission of LIT forward,” Villarreal said. “I am extremely grateful for the board of directors for having the confidence in me to implement the organization's strategic plan, and I look forward to working with our organizational members. I am most excited about expanding the programs and services of LIT."

    Under her administrative direction, LIT successfully organized the organization's 2023 Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. This summit provided a platform for industry professionals to collaborate, share ideas, and inspire positive change within the transit sector.

    Furthermore, Villarreal played a key role in facilitating the 2023 Leadership Academy program, a significant milestone for LIT. Thirty transit industry professionals from across the country participated in the program, and under her guidance, they successfully completed the academy, enhancing their skills and knowledge within the industry.

    Villarreal's dedication, extensive experience, and visionary leadership make her the ideal candidate to lead LIT and champion the organization's mission of promoting diversity and excellence within the transit industry.

  • 19 Oct 2023 3:06 PM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    (Orlando, FL, October 13) Incelebration of the 2023 Leadership Academy's graduating class and scholarship winners, Latinos In Transit (LIT) hosted an awards reception Oct. 9 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida. Sponsored by National Express Shuttle & Transit, the event brought together emerging professionals and industry leaders to recognize the outstanding efforts aligned with LIT's mission.

    “A lot of thought and effort has gone into curating these programs to help equip the next generation of leaders.  We expect great things from our scholarship recipients and academy graduates. Of course, none of this would be possible without the dedication and commitment from our board, committee members, sponsors and industry leaders.”  said LIT Board President Alva Carrasco 

    The event commenced with a celebration of the 2023 Leadership Academy graduates. In its second year, LIT's Leadership Academy provides training and development opportunities to organizational members aspiring to grow within the transit industry. The academy's curriculum consisted of three tracks with five intensive professional development sessions focused on the specialized technical expertise required for advancement in the sector. As a culmination of their learnings, participants were required to complete a capstone presentation.

    “It’s an honor to join Latinos In Transit for our second year as exclusive sponsor of this event celebrating Latinos and other minorities achieving new heights in their education,” said Erick Van Wagenen, President & CEO, National Express North America Shuttle & Transit. “We congratulate Leyden Mendez from our Operations team and all the graduates and scholarship recipients and wish them success leading the future of transportation.”

    The LIT Board of Directors proudly announced and congratulated the Leadership Academy's Class of 2023, which included the following graduates:

    New Careers in Transit

    Ana Rodriguez, New Orleans RTA; Caleb Losey, TransitGuard; Vanessa Meza, CapMetro; Anitra Honore, New Orleans RTA; Micheal Candelaria, TransitGuard; Carmen Ruby Galvan, Sunline Transit; Lawrence Trevino, CapMetro; Eder Sanchez, Rocky Mountaineer.

    Leading in Middle Management

    Jose Vega, AC Transit; Jennifer Lopez Ibrahim, GHD; Abel Ruiz, MARTA; Jesus Valenzuela, MV Transportation; Leyden Mendez, National Express; Marco Zhanay, Transdev; Fabian Campos, WSP; Ricardo Vega, AC Transit; Donato Perez, Nelson/Nygaard; Clara O’brien, Sound Transit; Jorge Quintana, Foothill Transit; Roberto Lopez, New Orleans RTA; Elizabeth Martin Maldonado, Sound Transit; Bryan Ochoa, L.A. Department of Transportation. 

    Making of an Executive

    Hilda Mercedes, CSI Compliance; Inmer Hernandez, Transdev; Julio Badia, Transdev; Niorka Mendez-Almonte, MEVA Transit; Norma Zamara, Transdev; Vincent Parker, MV Transportation; Yolanda Rodriguez, New Orleans RTA; Erika Finnestead, Ozark Regional Transit.

    Scholarship Recipients

    LIT honored 12 scholarship recipients during the program. In 2022, LIT initiated a scholarship program to support Latinos and other minorities in their pursuit of educational advancement. The scholarship's purpose is to create opportunities for underserved and/or underrepresented individuals pursuing degrees and/or certifications from accredited educational institutions in a public transit-related field of study. LIT collaborated with Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) and the North American Transit Alliance (NATA) to secure additional funds for scholarship awards.

    Out of more than 80 applications received, an evaluation committee selected 12 individuals for a scholarship. The 2023 scholarship recipients are:

    • LIT Scholarship - Bobby Gomez: $1,500

    • LIT Scholarship - Daniel Segura: $1,500

    • LIT Scholarship - Sergio Lopez: $1,500

    • LIT Scholarship - Ron Rodney: $1,500

    • LIT Scholarship - Jesus Hinojosa: $1,500

    • LIT Scholarship - Emily Cadena: $1,500

    • LIT Scholarship - Catalina Arreola: $500

    • LIT Scholarship - Andrea Gavilanes: $500

    • LIT/PRT Scholarship - Lourdes Alvarez: $2,500

    • LIT/PRT Scholarship - Zoe Rodriguez: $2,500

    • LIT/PRT Scholarship - Joyce Lewis: $1,500

    • LIT/NATA Scholarship - Dominique Vitti: $2,500

    Since 2019, LIT has collaborated with MV Transportation, Inc. to contribute funds to the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) scholarship program. Rodrigo Gutierrez was awarded the LIT/MV Transportation scholarship in the amount of $10,000.  Rodrigo is a senior at UCLA and is majoring in Urban & Regional Planning. 

    Marking a successful year for the organization, LIT has expanded its programs to serve minorities across the United States. To continue its mission, LIT's strategic plan focuses on increasing accessibility for advancement and development opportunities for its members. Planning for the 2024 Leadership Academy and scholarship program is already underway, and the organization invites those in the transit industry to become a member of the organization to take advantage of these opportunities. To learn more about becoming a member of Latinos In Transit, visit


  • 18 Oct 2023 1:44 PM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    Transportation Planning Professionals
    Make Your Voice Heard!

    Please take our survey on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the transportation planning profession.  The survey can be accessed at

    A new study investigates meaningful and effective strategies for state departments of transportation (DOT), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and other public agencies to increase and sustain diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their transportation planning staff. It is sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences/Transportation Research Board and conducted by Canete Medina Consulting Group.

    The survey is for all transportation planning professionals over 18 years who currently work or previously worked for a public agency within the last 5 years. It is confidential and takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. The results from this survey will guide development of resources to promote diverse and inclusive environments where transportation planners work. They will be shared in reports, scholarly publications, webinars, and conference sessions.

  • 26 Sep 2023 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Fernandez is this year's honoree for her dedication, vision, and unwavering commitment to transportation equity.

    Sept. 26, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) –  Latinos In Transit (LIT) is pleased to announce Nuria  Fernandez, Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), as this year’s recipient of the Founders Award. The award was presented to her after she delivered a keynote speech to 300 registered attendees at LIT’s 2023 Leadership Summit luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23, 2023. 

    Fernandez is this year's honoree for her dedication, vision, and unwavering commitment to transportation equity. She is a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion within the transportation industry, and she has worked to ensure that the voices of underrepresented groups are heard, valued, and understood in the decision-making processes. 

    Regarding the honor, Administrator Fernandez noted, “I want to thank Latinos In Transit, ‘mi gente’, for presenting me with this honor. So many of us have similar and shared experiences on our professional journeys in this industry, but one thing is certain: Latinos In Transit has transformed our lives and outlook for the future. Muchas gracias!”

    Before joining the FTA, Fernandez served as chair of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Executive Board from 2019-2020. During her tenure, she ensured LIT had a seat at the table by supporting the signing of a collaborative agreement between LIT and APTA. This was a crucial step that led to LIT being recognized in the transit industry as an advocate for professional development of Latinos and other minorities in the transportation industry. In 2021, LIT collaborated on APTA’s Racial Equity Action Plan and other initiatives. With Fernandez’s support, LIT has been cemented as a powerful advocate in the transportation industry and beyond.

    Alva Carrasco, President of the LIT Board of Directors, surprised Fernandez with an announcement recognizing her for advocacy for Latinos and minorities. LIT board members, past and present, and Flora Castillo, (past honoree) joined her on stage to present her with the award. 

    “Nuria is an inspirational leader and a role model to so many people. She embodies LIT’s mission and vision,” Carrasco said. “With Nuria’s help, [LIT] has opened many more doors than we ever imagined.” 

    The Founders Award is a prestigious recognition and symbolizes the highest honor within LIT. It’s presented to individuals or organizations who have made exceptional contributions, demonstrated outstanding leadership, and played a pivotal role in the establishment and growth of LIT. Recipients of this award are celebrated not only for their historical significance but also for their enduring influence, as their legacy serves as a source of inspiration and a reminder of the organization's roots. They are visionary leaders, innovators, and trailblazers who helped lay the foundation for LIT's success, and whose dedication and commitment continue to inspire and guide others.

    Past honorees include Terry Solis, 2018; Flora Castillo, 2019; and MV Transportation Inc., 2021.


    Founded in 2016, Latinos In Transit (LIT) was created to promote the advancement and development of Latinos and other minorities in transportation. Membership is made of public and private transportation professionals from across the nation who meet regularly to network, share information and celebrate the professional development of all members. | | 

  • 6 Jun 2023 3:44 PM | Christina Villarreal (Administrator)

    (June 2023) Transportation Research Board- Is a public transportation problem keeping you up at night? Help guide the direction of future research on public transportation in the U.S. Submit your problem statements for TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program by June 30.

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P.O. Box 4382

Covina, Ca.  91723-4382

Tel: (626) 495-1548

LIT is a non-profit 501(c) organization

TAX ID - 36-4826809

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