Be Heard At MTA Board Meetings

Do you have a gripe about the subways and buses? Does your community group have an idea that could improve the city's transit system? An MTA board meeting is a great place to make sure your voice is heard.

State law allows the public to speak directly to the people who run New York's subways, buses and commuter lines.

Here’s how it works:

1.The MTA Board of Directors and committees for New York City Transit, the LIRR, Metro-North and MTA Bridges and Tunnels all hold monthly meetings open to the public.

  • You're allowed to speak at the beginning of each meeting.
  • You can speak out only on topics already on the agenda. But everything from the quality of subway service to crime is on the agenda every month. Other topics, like service cuts or fare hikes, can be up for discussion, too.
  • Meetings are held at the MTA headquarters at 2 Broadway, 20th Floor in Manhattan. Take the 4 or 5 subway lines to Bowling Green Station, the 1 to South Ferry Station, or the N, R, or W lines to Whitehall Street Station.
Here's how to find out when the monthly meetings are and what's on the agenda:

2. You must sign in before the meeting to get a chance to speak. To register, arrive 30 minutes before full MTA board meetings and 15 minutes before committee meetings. The sign-in table is right outside the meeting room. The number of speakers may be limited, so register early. This will help make sure you get a chance to speak.

3. You are given only two minutes to speak, so you need to get your point across quickly. You will be called to a speaker's' stand near the middle of the room.

Here are some tips for making your point:

  • Bring allies. Get them to speak too.
  • Write your statement down beforehand.
  • Time your comments before the meeting. (They are strict about time, with a buzzer going off if you run over!)
  • Stick to your topic.
  • Be forceful -- but it's wise to stay clear of arguments that don't make your point, like personal attacks.
  • Spell out exactly what you want the MTA to do.
  • Bring copies of your statement to give to board members and reporters who are covering the meeting. Reporters are usually in the area behind the speakers' podium. You can ask the MTA staff to hand out your statement to the board members.