Tips and Tricks for Recruiting and Retaining Transit Advisory Committee Members

Published on: January 31, 2024

A Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) is an important component of an effective transit agency. TACs can provide recommendations on transit service, policies, and procedures, safety-related issues, or ADA issues. The transit industry can also use TACs to engage with their passengers, particularly individuals with disabilities, low-income populations and older adults and others who rely on public transit. Additionally, TACs help transit agencies engage with others in their community, such as local business owners. It is important that members of TACs are a good representation of the community as a whole. Therefore, recruiting members to your TAC is vital.

Before you recruit members for your TAC, you want to be sure you have a clear understanding of the “right” member to recruit. Who will best serve your agency and community? There are several ways to approach this. You could conduct a needs assessment to help identify issues and then look for members who would be the best for addressing those specific issues. Or you could conduct a stakeholder analysis to define who your stakeholders are and build your TAC to reflect them. For example, if the analysis found a need for individuals with disabilities to be represented, you would focus your recruitment efforts to ensure this stakeholder group had a voice on your TAC.

After you know who to recruit, it is important that you spend adequate effort getting the word out. More than one communication channel and method should be used because not everyone has the same access to technology or tech-savviness. It is not enough to advertise on a social media platform because it will not reach the full membership pool desired. Multiple methods should be utilized, such as email, newspaper advertising, flyers on display in public places such as local stores or public libraries. A simple membership form should be available for potential members to complete on your website or on paper. The membership application should spell out the traits/qualities a potential member should possess and be honest about the member’s expectations. The materials should tell potential candidates how valuable their contribution will be and that they will have the opportunity to make an impact in the community.

An example would be MnDOT’s request for members for the new Active Transportation Advisory Committee that was established in 2023. The website notification spells out the TAC mission, size of committee, members’ responsibilities, required time commitment, and the preferred skills.

In conclusion, with some pre-planning and focus on recruiting the “right type” of member for TACs, transit agencies can develop meaningful committees to forge interaction and build stronger communities.


  1. Effective Transportation Advisory Committees: Creating a Group that Reflects all Community Voices (National Aging and Disability Transportation Center)
  2. Coordination Committee Toolkit (National Aging and Disability Transportation Center)
  3. Applications Being Accepted for New MN “Active Transportation Advisory Committee” (Minnesota Association of Townships)


This article was written by RLS & Associates.

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