Image: Lead staff on the Transportation Equity Study Victoria Ortiz (L) and Kira Richardson (R) accept the award on Wednesday at the WTS event in Sacramento, Calif.


Sacramento, Calif. – The Sacramento chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar International (WTS) bestowed its 2023 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award Wednesday to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Transportation Equity Study, the agency announced today. Sacramento WTS leaders presented the award to TRPA staff at the annual awards and scholarship event in Sacramento, Calif.

Many citizens are underrepresented in traditional transportation planning and TRPA is working to ensure all Lake Tahoe community members are heard and engaged. Surveys of Tahoe’s small, rural communities show at least 30 percent of residents are underrepresented. Many live below the poverty line and nearly 1,000 households have no access to a car.

Lead staff for the equity study, Senior Transportation Planner Kira Richardson and Community Engagement Manager Victoria Ortiz, accepted the award on behalf of the agency alongside Kendall Flint of DKS Associates, the project consultant.

“We are honored for this recognition of the agency’s work with local community-based organizations and partner agencies to create a more equitable and accessible future for everyone at Lake Tahoe,” said TRPA’s Richardson. “We are also grateful for the relationships we’ve strengthened with many local residents who face unique adversities every day.”

The Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award honors organizations seeking to promote diversity and cultural awareness in the transportation industry. TRPA completed the first-ever Transportation Equity Study for the Lake Tahoe Region in 2023. The study team conducted multi-lingual community engagement to improve TRPA’s connection with underserved communities and to understand how transportation planning and decision-making can remove inequities.

“Equity in our transportation system is a cornerstone of environmental quality and community well-being,” said TRPA Governing Board Chair Cindy Gustafson who is also Placer County District 5 Supervisor. “The Transportation Equity Study will foster fair and efficient transportation options and lead the way to a healthier Lake Tahoe that is inclusive and accessible for all. I applaud the agency and its staff for this incredible recognition.”

The equity study brings forward a suite of policy recommendations such as improving winter access to work, recreation, and services by providing transit shelters and cleared sidewalks and pathways. The study also includes an interactive storymap to educate the public and help guide transportation projects and plans, including the Lake Tahoe Regional Transportation Plan update underway this year.


TRPA has a lead role in identifying solutions for the region’s transportation challenges. As the federally designated metropolitan planning organization for the Lake Tahoe Region, TRPA plans transportation system improvements and brings in state, regional, and federal transportation funding for programs and projects. Local, state, and federal partners implement projects and operate transit services throughout the Tahoe Region. Since 1997, partners have constructed or improved 198 miles of bike and pedestrian trails.


The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, Public Information Officer, at (775) 589-5278 or