A Recommendation That Should Not Be Overlooked

Scotty has already reported on the release of the TriMet Safety Task Force report.

I’d like to highlight one of the recommendations that has not gotten a lot of coverage:

4. Community advisory committee

TriMet cannot achieve the highest levels of safety performance without engaging the entire community. The task force heard from operators that the rules of the road and the physical environment in which they operate don’t always accommodate a conflict-free environment.

Members of the public have described their need for more collaboration between TriMet and its customers and partners both in decision-making processes and in response to identified issues.

Community conversations will be required to harness the knowledge of all constituents and thereby improve the safety of the region’s public transportation for everyone. TriMet should consider a community advisory committee that would allow TriMet’s customers and partner stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in as TriMet makes decisions. It would also provide an opportunity for customer engagement on the agency level beyond the limitations of current public testimony to the board. Engagement with the community should also include an improved process for collecting and responding to safety issues that are identified by the public.

I’ve always found it odd that TriMet had no general purpose citizen or riders advisory committee (they do have a Committee on Accessible Transportation and a Budget Advisory Committee). I hope the recommendation will be followed and some kind of CAC will be created. I think it would help on a number of fronts, not just safety. If nothing else, some of the more tone-deaf things that TriMet has managed to do in recent years might get headed off with some honest CAC feedback.

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