SMART Unveils Bus Wrap Tribute to Women in Transit


As part of its Women’s History Month (March) celebrations, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), Detroit, MI, has unveiled bus wraps honoring the contributions of women to the public transit industry.

“It is essential to recognize the profound impact of these leaders’ contributions on the transit industry and society as a whole,” said Tiffany Gunter, SMART deputy general manager. “By featuring their stories, SMART aims to inspire future generations of leaders, particularly women, to pursue careers in transit and transportation.”

SMART’s special buses display images and stories of eight women hailing from various transit organizations, each leaving their mark on the transit space, from breaking barriers and leading major transit entities, to advocating for community rights and championing equity and inclusion.

The wraps feature:

  • Shirley A. DeLibero: Widely known as the “Queen of Transit,” DeLibero’s career spanned more than three decades at agencies across the U.S. Her visionary leadership and dedication to improving transportation infrastructure have left a lasting legacy in cities from Boston to Houston. She served as APTA chair from 1998-99.
  • Sharon Banks: Banks was the first African American and first woman to head AC Transit, Oakland, CA. TRB’s Sharon Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation recognizes individuals whose accomplishments exemplify her caring nature and depth of character.
  • Carmen Turner: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s first black general manager, Turner was instrumental in securing federal commitments to the Metrorail system, revolutionizing public transportation in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.
  • Gwendolyn Warren: Warren played a pivotal role in Detroit’s transportation history, amplifying the voices and needs of residents during major infrastructure projects such as the construction of I-696.
  • Sommer Woods: Woods has raised the bar for minority and women-owned business inclusion in major transportation projects, fostering collaboration and strategic alignment across various sectors.
  • Amy O’Leary: As executive director of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments since 2020, O’Leary has steered the organization toward addressing diverse needs and promoting equity and health in economic development strategies.
  • Nicole Brown: As a board member of Transportation Riders United and director of strategic partnerships at Detroit Future City, Brown has influenced Detroit’s transit and community development landscape, championing public safety, internship programs, and equitable quality of life improvements for all Detroiters.
  • Mary Eatmon: Eatmon was one of Detroit’s first female bus drivers, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations of women in transit.

In honoring these women, SMART is not only recognizing past achievements but also aims to shape the future of transit. “As we celebrate Women’s History Month, SMART is proud to honor the achievements and contributions of these remarkable women who have blazed trails and inspired change in the transit industry,” said Gunter. “Their leadership, resilience, and dedication serve as a beacon of inspiration for us all.”