Study: Transit Boards Don’t Reflect Their Ridership

By Diana Ionescu : .planetizen – excerpt
Across U.S. cities, transit agency boards are overwhelmingly more suburban than their riders, causing a disconnect between decisionmakers and the people who regularly use transit.

As a new participant to their meetings, Cam Hardy, president of the Better Bus Coalition, noticed something about the board of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, writes Jake Blumgart. They were, in Hardy’s words, “Very white, very corporate and very resistant to change. Just cutting this and that [transit service] without really analyzing why a route might not be working.” Most of them, Hardy said, did not use transit themselves.

“This is not an unusual dynamic, a new study from TransitCenter shows. The advocacy and research group studied transit agencies across 11 cities — Cincinnati not among them — and found that their boards were not representative in terms of gender, race or geography.” According to the study, “In New York, 88 percent of riders live in the city but only 18 percent of board seats go to their representatives.” On average in the study cities, 75 percent of riders lived in central cities, with 40 percent of board appointments going to those jurisdictions. Meanwhile, many boards hold meetings at times inconvenient to working people, making it more difficult for transit riders to participate…(more)

Pretty much what everybody knows. Transit is not for the riders. Transit is a wonderful place to create jobs with benefits for contractors and consultants. The real goal is to clear the cheap real estate to make room for the new economic up-zoning engine. First step is remove parking and reduce traffic lanes and raise gas prices. Only they have been a little too successful and greedy. They forgot that the driving public is paying the bills and the driving public can leave.

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