Corrine Ralph serves as LADOT’s first female bureau chief
A childhood attraction to transportation planning has become a career for Corrine Ralph. As the first female to head transit programs for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), she oversees the second largest bus network in L.A., which helps residents easily travel around the city.
Ralph’s responsibilities include the Dash, Commuter Express and the Cityride programs, which have combined fleet of 356 vehicles. Dash buses are a frequent sight in South L.A., operating routes in Crenshaw, Leimert/Slauson, Chesterfield Square, Vermont-Main and Watts. In other parts of the city, the service is offered in Mid-City, San Pedro, East L.A. and the San Fernando Valley.
Commuter Express is a morning and afternoon bus used by people living outside Los Angeles to come into downtown. Cityride is a transportation assistance program for individuals age 65 or older and qualified disabled persons in the city and select areas of Los Angeles County.
Thousands of people already use these services, but Ralph hopes to increase those numbers through improved transit options and creative enhancements.
“Innovation is one of the things I think we do very well here,” said Ralph. “A lot of our buses have Wi-Fi, USB chargers, cameras and displays that let you know what’s happening in the city. It’s just a comfortable ride for commuter riders choosing to use our buses instead of taking their cars.”
Ralph became interested in transportation planning while in high school. After graduating from college with a planning degree, she worked briefly on Wall Street and in the Los Angeles Department of Planning before joining LADOT in 1993 as a transportation planning associate.
She continued to grow and learn serving in several transit jobs in the department, often as the only female in the room. Undaunted, Ralph remained focused on her transportation career and succeeded in promoting to her current position.
“One of the reasons, I stayed on this path is that I had good mentors in college and at the city that gave me opportunities for training and networking,” said Ralph, who encourages women to consider transportation careers.
“LADOT has a place for all kinds of skill sets, backgrounds, passions and talents. We have engineers, planners, lawyers and more. We really are becoming more adjusted in widening our scope of opportunity for anyone interested in what is happening in transportation,” she noted.
Ralph is also reaching out to the public to share their comments about LADOT’s transit services. As the agency seeks new resources and avenues to meet the needs of its riders, the opinions of passengers will help guide their efforts.
“We want to make it attractive for people to choose to ride transit and make sure that we provide consistent, quality service throughout the city,” said Ralph.
To learn more, visit ladot.lacity.org.