Transit Advisory Committee
Terms of Reference
In November 2011, Guelph Transit will implement new routes and services based on recommendations in the Transit Growth Strategy (TGS) which was approved by Council in July 2010. It is planned that the new Transit Terminal on Carden Street will begin operations at the same time.
The City of Guelph’s Mission Statement cites community engagement as one of the key components of achieving excellence. Community participation on committees is also recognized as providing value to City operations, benefiting staff through input from additional perspectives. Consistent with these guiding principles, the City wishes to re-establish the Transit Advisory Committee (TAC).
Transit Advisory Committee Mandate
The TAC will provide a forum for input, exchange of ideas and debate on conventional and mobility transit related issues with representation from all affected groups in the community.
As with all advisory committees within the City of Guelph, the TAC will not have the authority to commit City resources or direct the work of staff.
Reporting Relationship & Accountability
The TAC will report to the Operations and Transit Committee through staff reports. Staff will prepare an annual report to the Operations and Transit Committee that details the activities and contribution of the TAC. If at any time the opinion of the TAC differs from that of staff in relation to a recommendation or report, staff will include the TAC’s opinion in the report.
The Chair of the TAC or designate will be asked to attend the Operations and Transit Committee meeting to speak to the annual report and to provide feedback to the Operations and Transit Committee.
Committee Governance & Administrative Support
The TAC will be supported by the Operations and Transit Service Area, primarily through the resources of Transit Services.
Transit Advisory Committee Membership
The composition of the TAC is intended to represent a broad range of community interests and will be structured to provide a balance of perspectives. The TAC will consist of nine voting members and members will be drawn from the following groups within the City of Guelph:
Regular user of Guelph Transit conventional services (2)
Regular user of Guelph Transit mobility services (1)
Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination (1)
University of Guelph (1 student, 1 administration)
Environmental interests (1)
Community members at large (2)
Attention will be given to ensuring appropriate representation from Youth and Senior groups.
City staff serve only in an advisory role and will not have voting privileges on the TAC.
Recruitment of members will be conducted in accordance with the City of Guelph’s Advisory Committee Resident Appointments – Guiding Principles (September 28, 2009) and associated official policies governing the appointment and functioning of advisory committees. The process will include the following steps:
Notification of TAC opportunity through advertisement (e.g. Guelph Tribune);
Application by transit users and community members; and
Review and decision on membership by Council.
From time to time, specific projects may require the striking of ad hoc committees or sub-committees. Membership on such committees may be extended to community representatives and experts outside the TAC’s membership. “Extended” members of ad hoc or sub-committees will not have voting rights on the TAC.
Members of the TAC shall hold office for one year upon initial appointment and thereafter, may be appointed for one to three years, but not beyond the term of the Council who appointed them. Members shall not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.
The Chair and Vice-Chair will be elected by the members of the TAC at the first TAC meeting of each calendar year. The term of office for both positions is one year and an individual may serve a maximum of two (2) consecutive years as Chair or Vice-Chair.
If the Chair resigns before the completion of their term, the Vice-Chair will complete the term left vacant and a new Vice-Chair will be elected from the members to complete the term left vacant. If a member resigns before the completion of their term, the vacancy will be filled through the recruitment process detailed above for the remainder of the term left vacant.
A TAC member who misses three consecutive meetings without pre-agreement from the remaining members of the TAC will be deemed to have resigned from the TAC, subject to the appointee having the opportunity to address the TAC in writing regarding their absenteeism. Council reserves the right to make the final decision regarding ending appointments.
The Supervisor, Transit Business Services or designate will provide the required support to the TAC. The General Manager, Community Connectivity and Transit will normally attend TAC meetings. As determined by the TAC or the General Manager, additional staff may be requested to participate in meetings as non-voting representatives on an as-needed basis.
Roles and Responsibilities
It will be the responsibility of all TAC members to participate in discussions and provide constructive input, ideas and suggestions from their perspective, and to listen to other points of view. Additional responsibilities will be as follows:
Attend TAC meetings;
Become informed about the current and planned operations of Guelph Transit services;
Be prepared and informed for meetings by reviewing any materials provided in advance;
Approve draft meeting notes when posted on the Guelph Transit website;
Provide input received from the broader community;
Bring additional perspectives to the discussions of Transit services;
Elect a Chair and Vice-Chair annually;
Ensure the effective operation of the TAC through constructive contributions and open and respectful discussion of ideas and opportunities;
Participate in meetings in accordance with the procedures detailed in the City’s Procedural By-law Number (1996)–15200, as amended from time to time;
Recognize and abide by any applicable federal and provincial legislation and municipal by-laws;
Recognize and respect the City’s contractual obligations e.g. collective agreements; and
Recognize and respect City staff who provide input and assistance to the committee, including staff’s requirement to adhere to City policies and procedures.
Assist the Chair (or Vice-Chair) with the effective functioning of the committee including development and distribution of agendas, meeting notes, etc;
Keep TAC members up to date on substantial changes to Transit Services and any significant issues raised within the community;
Provide timely responses and/or action as appropriate including follow-up on issues raised that could not be addressed at the meeting;
Listen carefully to the opinions and perspectives provided;
Recognize and respect TAC members who are serving on the committee; and
Appoint a City staff liaison person to coordinate communications between the Chair of the TAC and the public.
Meeting Schedule and Format
The TAC will form once Council has selected the committee members. In the first three months after establishment of the TAC, meetings of the TAC will be held once per month. Subsequently, meetings will be held once every three months or as deemed necessary by the Committee. The initial meeting will be held at the Transit Services administration office, located at 170 Watson Road South. At that meeting the Committee will determine appropriate location for future meetings. Meetings will be chaired by an elected member of the TAC or designate and will last approximately two hours.
The first meeting of any appointed term of the TAC will focus on the role of the TAC and provide members with a basic understanding and overview of Transit Services. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the TAC will be elected at the first meeting.
Fixed agenda items for subsequent meetings will include an update on Transit operations provided by Transit Services staff and a discussion of TAC comments, concerns and/or issues. Items will be added to the agenda as appropriate.
Meeting materials including an agenda will be posted electronically to the Guelph Transit website at least 72 hours prior to the upcoming meeting. Meeting notes will be prepared by City staff and posted on the Guelph Transit website in draft format. Once draft notes have been approved by the TAC, the final approved minutes will be posted to Guelph Transit’s website.
Meetings of the TAC are open to the public. Members of the public may not enter into discussion during the meeting unless they are registered delegations or are invited to speak by the TAC. Members of the public will not have voting privileges. Members of the public wishing to address the TAC may do so as delegations by meeting the requirements outlined in this Terms of Reference.
Rules of Order
A quorum of the TAC consists of five members.
If a member of the TAC has a pecuniary interest with respect to an agenda matter being considered, he/she shall leave the room during the time in which the matter is considered. Once the item of consideration has been dealt with, he/she shall be recalled to the meeting room. If a member of the TAC declares a pecuniary interest on any matter, it will not affect the composition of the quorum.
It shall be the duty of the Chair, with respect to any meetings over which he/she presides to:
Call the meeting to order and prior to the commencement of the meeting ask for any Disclosure if Pecuniary Interest;
Preserve order and decide all questions of order;
Enforce on all occasions the observance of order and decorum;
Adjourn the meeting when business is concluded;
Represent and support the TAC, declaring its will and implicitly obeying its decisions in all things; and
Perform other duties when directed to do so by resolution of the Operations and Transit Committee or Council.
The Vice-Chair shall assume the authority and perform all the duties of the Chair in the absence of the Chair.
The Chair and Vice-Chair of the TAC shall vote on all matters. In the event of a tie vote, the motion will fail.
Members of the TAC will have a duty to conduct themselves in an impartial and objective manner. Members of the TAC will perform their duties in such a way as to promote public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of the TAC. The Chair (or Vice-Chair) will have the right and responsibility to control proceedings of the TAC, including the right to exclude any member of the public or any member of the TAC who is interfering with or disrupting the TAC meeting proceedings.
No person except members of the TAC, appointed officials of the City of Guelph, employees of the City of Guelph, Transit Services staff and invited guests shall be allowed to sit at the discussion table during TAC meetings without permission of the TAC.
Delegations to the Committee shall be in accordance with the procedures detailed in the City’s Procedural By-law (1996)-15200, as amended from time to time.
Any delegation added to the agenda may only speak to the item listed on the agenda. Whether the delegation consists of one person or an organized body with more than one representative, the delegation as a whole is limited to a maximum of five minutes to address the TAC.
The five minute period may be extended by the TAC by a majority vote of the TAC members present, this decision to be made without debate.
Delegations will not be permitted to appear before the TAC for the sole purpose of generating publicity.
Any person wishing to address the TAC as a delegate who has not previously arranged to do so per the City’s Procedural By-law (1996)-15200, may be granted permission only by a majority vote of the TAC members present at the meeting.
Delegations that have previously addressed the TAC on a subject matter shall be permitted to address the TAC again only if they provide new information relating to that matter. Any request for a subsequent appearance must be made following the process defined above.
Upon completion of a presentation to the TAC by a delegation, any discourse between the member and the delegation shall be limited to members asking questions for clarification and obtaining additional, relevant information only. Members shall not enter into debate with delegation respecting the presentation.
Amendments to these Terms of Reference
These Terms of Reference shall be maintained by staff from the Operations and Transit Department.
Amendments to these Terms of Reference may be proposed by members of the TAC, through staff to the Operations and Transit Committee. Only Council, through the Operations and Transit Committee, may approve changes to these Terms of Reference.
Purpose of Report:
To provide a review of the process under which staff have made a recommendation
to re-establish the Transit Advisory Committee based on a revised Terms of
Approval of the creation of an Advisory Committee and its Terms of Reference.
TO Operations and Transit Committee
SERVICE AREA Operations & Transit
DATE June 20, 2011
SUBJECT Transit Advisory Committee
REPORT NUMBER OT061126
“THAT the Operations & Transit Committee Report OT051126 dated June 20, 2011 entitled Transit Advisory Committee be received;
AND THAT Council approve the re-establishment of a Transit Advisory Committee;
AND THAT the draft Terms of Reference for the Transit Advisory Committee as outlined in the Operations & Transit Committee Report OT051126 be approved.”
A number of Transit Ad Hoc/Advisory Committees have been in effect since the mid 1990’s. The most recent Transit Ad Hoc Committee was established in October 2007 with a mandate to provide input to Guelph Transit on the need to improve system capacity, service quality and customer satisfaction. The membership was comprised of 6 citizen appointees, 2 members of Council, and 1 representative each from the Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Downtown Board of Management and the University of Guelph.
It was determined in August 2010 that the mandate of the Committee was no longer required taking into consideration the Transit Growth Strategy (TGS) recommendations that had been approved earlier that summer. The Committee was subsequently disbanded at September 27, 2010 Council meeting.
Page 2 of 5 CITY OF GUELPH COMMITTEE REPORT
At the direction of the Committee, staff have given consideration of the merits of creating another Transit Advisory Committee. This report conveys the outcome of the assessment.
In November 2011, Guelph Transit will implement new routes and services based on recommendations in the TGS. It is planned that the central hub for conventional service will move from St. George’s Square to the new Transit Terminal on Carden Street at the same time. These two events will have a significant impact on users and it is likely that riders will want the opportunity to provide feedback and input on the new service model and routes.
In recent years, public transit has been a focal point across the province for the public, the media and special interest groups. This has become very evident in Guelph from the volume of calls and emails to Guelph Transit, the number of recent newspaper articles and letters to the editor in local newspapers, as well as the numerous transit related presentations from delegations during the 2011 budget deliberations.
The City’s Mission Statement cites community engagement as one of the key components of achieving excellence. Participation of residents on committees is recognized as adding value to operations through input from additional perspectives.
Staff undertook research into the use of Transit Advisory Committees in other communities in Ontario and found that the existence of this type of committee is a growing trend. A number of municipalities of similar size to Guelph have recently established Advisory Committees to provide a forum for community and user input into transit operations. The research shows that the majority of Transit Advisory Committees have a number of commonalities:
· The Committee includes representation of persons who are regular users of transit mobility services to assist in the identification and resolution of accessibility issues;
· The Committee reports to Council through a Standing Committee; and
· The Committee acts in an advisory capacity with the ability to receive input from members of the public.
The impact to the community and users of the introduction of TGS service changes will be significant. Staff believe it is prudent to have a mechanism in place to receive feedback from citizens, acknowledging any suggestions or concerns that they may wish to express. The Transit Advisory Committee will provide an additional channel to facilitate this communication.
There is a combination of circumstances at this time that need to be considered when assessing the potential contribution of and need for a Transit Advisory Committee:
· Significant changes to Guelph Transit routes and service in the near future;
· The high profile of transit across the province;
Page 3 of 5 CITY OF GUELPH COMMITTEE REPORT
· A growing trend towards public input to transit services;
· The demonstrated benefits of Ad Hoc and Advisory Committees in other communities; and
· The City’s commitment to community engagement.
All of these factors support staff’s recommendation that a Transit Advisory Committee be re-established with a general Terms of Reference as outlined below and detailed in Appendix A. Upon approval by Council, staff will initiate the recruitment process for the TAC in the late summer, early fall of this year.
TERMS OF REFERENCE KEY FEATURES
Advisory Committee Name
Transit Advisory Committee (TAC)
Reporting Relationship & Accountability
Feedback, advice, ideas and suggestions from the TAC will be conveyed to the Operations and Transit Committee through staff reports. Staff will prepare an annual report to the Operations and Transit Committee that details activities and contribution of the TAC.
If at any time the opinion of the TAC differs from that of staff in relation to a recommendation or report, staff will include the TAC’s opinion in the report.
Committee Governance & Administrative Support
The TAC will be supported by the Operations and Transit Service Area, primarily through the resources of Transit Services. Specific staff support will be provided as determined by the General Manager of Community Connectivity & Transit.
It is proposed that TAC be comprised of nine voting members representing a broad cross-section of the community as follows:
• Regular user of Guelph Transit conventional services (2)
• Regular user of Guelph Transit mobility services (1)
• Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination (1);
• University of Guelph (1 student, 1 administration)
• Environmental interests (1)
• Community members at large (2)
Recommended Meeting Frequency
It is suggested that the TAC meet once per month for the first three months after re-establishment, and once every three months thereafter. All regular meetings will be held in the evening or at a time so determined by the Committee.
Page 4 of 5 CITY OF GUELPH COMMITTEE REPORT
While still subject to review by Committee and subsequent approval by Council, the staff proposed mandate of TAC is to provide a forum for input, exchange of ideas and debate on conventional and mobility transit related issues.
The TAC will not have the authority to commit City resources or direct the work of staff.
Draft Goals and Objectives
Subject to Committee review and subsequent Council approval, it is suggested that
goals and objectives for the TAC include the following: · Provide a forum for citizens and community associations to raise issues and
concerns related to transit issues in the City, and reviewing suggestions and concerns;
· Liaise with other community-based groups such as community neighbourhood associations and other advocacy groups on transit issues, within the committee’s mandate;
· Provide a forum for transit stakeholder groups to identify issues affecting the delivery of transit service;
· Receive delegations as needed in order to study and develop recommendations regarding transit services in the City of Guelph; and
· Provide a forum that receives and evaluates passenger concerns and expectations and collaborates upon responses to public inquiries.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR TRANSIT ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Based on the proposed members detailed in the Terms of Reference attached as Appendix A, qualifications may include:
· Active experience in a committee environment;
· Awareness of public policy issues related to transit services;
· Specialized knowledge of transit-related services; and
· Experience in areas of business, education, marketing, communications, or other related fields
CORPORATE STRATEGIC PLAN
1.4 A sustainable transportation approach that looks comprehensively at all modes of travel to, from and within the community.
5.2 A consultative and collaborative approach to community decision making
Any Committee incidental expenses will be covered by the existing 2011 Guelph Transit Operating Budget.