Robert M. Werth, of Springfield, a leader in accessible transportation for more than three decades, has taken the helm of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) as its new president.
Werth, a native of Falls Church, is the founder and president of Diamond Transportation Services, Inc., one of the largest wheelchair-accessible fleets in the mid-Atlantic region. He was sworn into office at the TLPA’s 95th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 30. The TLPA presidency is a one-year term. Werth takes over following the presidency of William J. Rouse of L.A. Yellow Cab Co-Op in Los Angeles, Calif.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, Werth worked as a social studies teacher in Roanoke, Va., where he also coached basketball and baseball. He later returned to Virginia Tech where he received his MBA. While finishing his graduate studies he became a marketing executive for a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Werth accepted a position as the General Manager of the Diamond Cab Companies of Arlington and Alexandria in 1980 and later became Vice-President of both Diamond and Yellow Cab. In 1984, Werth established his own company, Diamond Transportation, where he found his true career path serving persons with disabilities. Starting from a single vehicle, Diamond now consists of over 130 vehicles with nearly 230 employees serving more than 300,000 passenger trips each year.
Werth said life has been shaped by his mother’s unwavering commitment to civil rights in the 1960s and what he termed her "philosophy of humanism." His commitment to carrying on that philosophy led him to be a part of history when he was asked to attend the historic signing of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990.