Business Development Manager/DBE Officer
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Aida Douglas’ passion for the transportation industry was not something she planned. Douglas has worked for the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority since 1999, the public transportation agency in Austin, Texas. She currently serves as the business development manager/DBE officer for the agency. In this capacity, Douglas is responsible for managing million dollar revenue projects including developing innovative methods to help create public-private partnerships as well as manage the agency’s transit advertising program and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for the agency. Most recently, the area of Title VI and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) has been part of her focus to ensure agency FTA compliance.
She is the current president of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Chapter in Austin and has served as a president’s representative on the COMTO National Board since 2008 and is one of the youngest board members. In 2007, COMTO awarded her the Gerald A. Anderson Sibling Award for her work for minorities in transportation.
Douglas is a graduate of the 2007 class of Leadership APTA where only 25 individuals are accepted annually from a national search. Her group was selected to present to all the transit CEOs on the topic of “Transit: The Next Generation,” which discussed the dilemma of recruiting for the future of transportation. She also remains active in the APTA Human Resources Committee where she shares her expertise.
Douglas brings innovative ideas in providing access to minority populations to transportation decision making. Her graduate research project focused on exploring the perceived barriers to community involvement in public transportation from the perspective of the minority community (http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/107/) in which she provided an in-depth view on the reasons minorities rarely participate in the community involvement process in public transportation.
“Working in public transportation is a very rewarding job. I have a multifaceted job which allows me to work with people, businesses and also find creative ways to generate revenue for our agency. One of the things I enjoy the most is working with the small businesses (DBE) community. Although public transportation is ultimately about moving people, it takes many people to make that happen. People must be hired to operate the agency and the vehicles, vehicles must be maintained and parts have to be purchased. When we work with the local business community, we are investing in our community. Making the business connection of a DBE with a prime contractor and seeing that relationship grow is what I enjoy the most about my job, because at the end of the day, it is about the people.”