Boards That Perform:
The Roles and Responsibilities of Transit Board Members

This half-day training will examine the Transit Board Member's charge to oversee a safe, cost-effective, and customer-friendly public transportation system. Along with the privilege of serving as a Board Member come very serious roles and responsibilities involving safety issues, legal concerns, stewardship of public funds, and public advocacy. The course will examine ten key roles and responsibilities for Board Members, and will provide guidance on how to carry these out in the context of public transit. The course will also explore the division of responsibility between the Board, the Executive Director/General Manager and the agency staff. This program uses materials from the National Rural Transportation Assistance Program. To book this training, the host authority must commit to getting at least 50% of their board members to attend for a minimum of 3.5 hours.


Developed and Presented by: Jill Nagy, Summers Nagy Law Office, and Michael Noel, Noel Training and Consulting.



Contact PPTA’s Program Coordinator, at All requests will require review and approval by PennDOT’s Bureau of Public Transportation.



  • Agency will submit a copy of their bylaws, code of conduct policies, and other legal documents for review by Ms. Nagy
  • Agency will submit a copy of their most current strategic plan, budget and performance measures for review by Mr. Noel
  • Noel Training & Consulting, working with the manager, will conduct a board survey that allows board members to anonymously grade their level of understanding and experiences as a member of the board. This document will be summarized and used during the board training workshop
  • Management will also complete a one-page budget and statistical data overview (Stewardship Exercise) for distribution doing the workshop
  • Welcome & Introductions 
  • The Big Picture of Public Transit and Who Uses It 
  • Four Important Roles 
  • Ten Board Responsibilities 
  • Legal Concerns 
      • Municipal Authorities 
      • Right to Know Laws
      • Sunshine Laws
      • Public Employee Ethics Act
      • Public Employee Labor Relations Act
      • Whistleblower Law
      • Tort Claims Act
      • Eminent Domain Code
  • Board Structure & Committees 
  • Holding Effective Meetings 
  • Code of Ethics 
  • The Board's Relationship with the General Manager & Staff 
  • Pitfalls & Challenges 
  • Summary & Next Steps 


Note: The agenda can be customized (for time and subject matter) to suit the specific type of agency for which the workshop is being conducted.




Board Training 101


Board Training online modules

Board Training 101 is designed to provide PA Transit Board Members and Executive Directors/General Managers/CEOs with advanced level skills to ensure positive guidance and oversight of transit services. During the course, participants will learn more about the pressures facing a modern transit Board; the primary role, functions and responsibilities of the Board and its members; and from whom the Board obtains authority and for what it is accountable. The course also explores the structure of a Board and expectations of Board operations, Act 44 performance review requirements and the rationale behind them, and various Federal and State funding requirements.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:


  • Describe the modern pressures of a transit Board.
  • Explain the primary role, functions and responsibilities of the Board and its members.
  • State from whom the Board obtains authority and for what it is accountable.
  • Identify Board structure and expectations of Board operations.
  • Identify and explain the Act 44 performance review requirements and the rationale behind them.
  • Recognize Federal and State funding requirements.


Please email Sara Bowden, Program Coordinator or call 1-800-847-0333
for more information or to begin training for your board