Former Gwinnett County transit division director brings nearly a quarter century of transit and rail experience to new leadership role with firm’s growing zero emissions practice.
ATLANTA — Karen Winger has joined WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, as a leader in the firm’s efforts to assist transit agencies in the southeastern U.S. with their transition to sustainable, zero emissions vehicle fleets.
As the southeast zero emission lead, Winger will be responsible for providing business development and technical expertise supporting the firm’s fleet and facilities business. She will provide technically oriented business development and project delivery expertise, supporting WSP’s clients that are engaged in the planning, procurement, maintenance and operation of zero emissions fleets.
Winger arrives at WSP after serving the past six years as the transit division director for Gwinnett County government, where she managed the commuter, fixed route and paratransit services. She also managed the development and deployment of Google Transit and mobile real-time apps for the agency.
In that role, Winger led innovative transit solutions efforts that included the first app-based microtransit demand-responsive pilot program in Georgia. In 2019, the agency’s Microtransit Pilot was recognized by Metro magazine with an Innovation Award, the Georgia Transit Association for an Innovation Award, and Partnership Gwinnett for an Innovation Award.
“Karen brings an impressive track record of progress and innovative leadership, particularly in Gwinnett County, where she managed improvements to the existing transit system while developing a vision for the future,” said John Drayton, WSP USA national lead, advanced vehicle programs. “Her program development skills, combined with a first-hand understanding of the challenges and limitations transit agencies face every day, will prove to be a tremendous asset to our transit clients.”
She previously served in multiple management positions for a French private transit services company in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Illinois; and as a transportation planner for the Old Colony Planning Council in Brocton, Massachusetts. Earlier in her career she served as an operations supervisor for University of Massachusetts Transit Services.
Winger is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in business administration. She serves as a board member for the Georgia Transit Association, as an advisory board member for Georgia Tech’s Social Aware Mobility Center, and as a member of the programs committee for the Association of Commuter Transportation.
She was recognized by the Georgia Transit Association in 2017 as the “Most Outstanding Transit Manager” for 2017 and received the 2018 Georgia Transit Association Innovation award. In 2019 and 2021 she was named to Engineering Georgia’s Top 100 most influential women in Georgia.
Winger is a member of WTS, the American Planning Association, the Association of Commuter Transportation and the American Public Transportation Association, where she has held several committee leadership roles. She has conducted several conference and webinar presentations throughout her career, including a discussion for the 2020 TransTrack Users Conference on “Big Data and COVID-19,” and several recent presentations on microtransit initiatives and technology.