A good informed board can help the transit director by realizing the difference in its roles regarding governance and the operations of the transit system; realizing that its primary role is approximately 90 percent policy-making, with the other 10 percent divided between community/public relations, liaison between the board, its appointing authority and other elected officials. A good transit board will be a partner with the transit director in making sound and effective policy decisions regarding the transit system.
Good transit board members can help the transit director by being committed to the job they have been appointed to; by taking the time to be informed, to do research when necessary and to communicate often the importance of public transit to anyone who will listen. It is also important as well to understand the economic impacts of public transit and the need to have adequate funding for the public transit system.
A good transit board can assist the transit director by collaborating and communicating with other transit board members within its region and on a state level by building a transit board member network. This will enable members to see what is working at other transit systems within the state regarding funding, public relations/advertising, personnel policies, etc …
At our agency I have found that written and consistent verbal communications provided a positive environment between my board members in general, and the board chair in particular. The bottom line is to create a partnership, with teamwork being the key to how a good board can help a transit director manage the transit system effectively and with everyone working together for the benefit of the transit system for those persons using or those who may use the services.
Manager’s Forum goes to the front lines of the transit industry to get feedback on different topics relevant to passenger transportation — and we want to hear from you! If you have an idea for discussion or would like to voice your opinion, please contact Leah Harnack at (920) 563-1688 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.