Walter Gant

A public transportation industry veteran for four and a half decades, Walter Gant started his transit career working as a planning and procurement specialist for the City of New Orleans Office of Transit Administration (OTA). When the private transit operation in New Orleans transitioned in 1979 to a public operation, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) was formed, and Walter worked there in planning and procurement.

With a strong desire to become an entrepreneur, Walter left his position with the RTA in the early 1980s to start his own business, WG Enterprises, LLC. Initially, he formed a partnership with Sutrak, a manufacturing company that specializes in HVAC systems for transit vehicles applications. Because of Walter’s strong network that he had developed within the transit industry, he was quite successful in marketing Sutrak’s HVAC system to transit organizations across the US.

A few years later, Walter developed a partnership relationship with USSC, which then focused on transit seating for passengers and drivers and has since expanded its product lines in the areas of safety and survivability. As a certified disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) owner, Walter has continued to maintain his working relationships with these companies to date, leveraging his vast connections within the industry.

Prior to his career in public transit, Walter attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS, and a Master’s degree in City Planning from Howard University, Washington, DC.

Married to his wonderful wife, Zola, for 39 years, they have reared five children and now have three grandchildren. Walter is proud of the fact that each of his children has college degrees and great careers.

While Walter and Zola have lived a wonderful life, during the past few years it has been a struggle for them as both are suffering from major illnesses. Walter has kidney disease, having undergone a kidney transplant four years ago. That kidney is now failing, and he is looking to replace it. However, the prognosis is that he may not be able to do so because of complicating medical factors. His wife Zola has been suffering from arthritis, which has had a debilitating impact on her.

In April 2023 Walter and Zola experienced a major fire in their home in Denver, requiring them to move into temporary housing until their home is restored. To date, unfortunately, they are still not back in their home.

Despite their situation, they are still a strong and positive-thinking couple who continue to support those less fortunate within their community. Walter has mentored numerous individuals within the transit industry throughout his career and has given back to those who needed assistance. And he has been a strong supporter of the Conference of Minority of Transportation Officials (COMTO) since he started his career.

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