In 1971, with a goal to provide a forum for minority professionals in the transportation industry, Rev. Jerry Moore, then pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, partnered with Harold B. Williams, then Urban Mass Transit Administration (UMTA) Director of the Office of Civil Rights, to organize a conference for Minorities in Transit at Howard University.
The conference was coordinated by UMTA’s Project Director, Carmen Turner, who later became the first Black women to serve as General Manager of a major transit system, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The event drew 77 participants and eventually led to the formation of COMTO.
The Oregon/SW Washington local chapter joined in 1996. It was co-established by TriMet, Portland OR and C-Tran Vancouver WA in 1996.