The Transit Riders’ Advisory Committee (TRAC) is a citizen review board of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA). The PSTA board is made up of a rotating, geographically-disbursed mixture of mayors, city and county commissioners, and transit professionals who are responsible to their home cities and to voters.
TRAC reviews decisions made by the PSTA Board. Was there logic to the decision? Was there due diligence? Was it difficult? (Always.) Do TRAC members always agree with the decisions? Not always, but they are not mayor or commissioners. TRAC members are there to ensure transparency and to advocate for transit riders. The process ensures that decisions made by PSTA live “in the sunshine.”
Serving on the committee is satisfying, often detailed-oriented work. It is good work done for good cause. Volunteers agree to ride at least twice per week to ensure they are connected to the experience of transit system consumers. They receive briefings from PSTA employees, who answer lots of often-pointed questions.
Most of all, TRAC members know there are busses full of good people who ride the many routes of PSTA every day. People go to work, to school, to the doctor, to the store and members of TRAC are their advocates.
Compensation for serving on TRAC includes coffee and cookies during meetings, a bus pass, a greater understanding of the decision-making process and the satisfaction of being a part of work for a greater good.
Duncan Kovar is one of two north Pinellas representatives on TRAC and will be sharing insights and information from his ongoing work as a public transit advocate with readers of the Safety Harbor Sun.