FAQ

PCAC FAQs

What is the PCAC?
The Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is a 38-member advocacy group that represents the interests of the users of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and New York City Transit.
What is the mission of the PCAC?
The mission of the PCAC is to give users of MTA subway, bus, and commuter rail services a voice in the formulation and implementation of MTA policy, and to hold the MTA Board and MTA management accountable to riders. The PCAC also provides the MTA with informed and timely advice on such matters as service, finance, intergovernmental relations, and management.
What topics has PCAC covered in its reports?
The PCAC produces research reports on a variety of transit topics including:

Data Visualization: MTA in the Age of Big Data
Accessibility and Mobility Issues: Bridging the Gap, False Alarm, Going the Distance, Welcome Aboard
The Economic Benefits of the MTA: The Economic Benefit of the MTA Capital Program
Historic Reviews: The Road Back
MTA Performance and Commuting Issues: Minutes Matter, Don’t Count on It, Unwelcome Mats, A Long Day’s Journey into Work, Waiting and Watching

All the PCAC reports can be found here.

How was the PCAC created?
The PCAC was originally formed in 1977 by the MTA Board in response to a recommendation by the MTA Management Study’s Citizens Advisory Committee. The PCAC initially consisted of 29 members appointed by local officials: 15 from New York City; and 14 from the seven New York State suburban counties in the MTA region. In order to achieve greater independence for the PCAC, the members sought enabling legislation from the New York State Legislature. In 1981, the Legislature passed laws creating three independent riders Councils: the Long Island Rail Road Commuters’ Council (LIRRCC); the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council (MNRCC); and the New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC).

Today, the PCAC serves as the coordinating body and funding mechanism for the three Councils. On May 7, 2009 the PCAC was formally mandated by statute and the membership of the PCAC was designated as the combined membership of the three Councils.

How is the PCAC funded?
Funding for the PCAC was defined in the enabling legislation from New York State. The PCAC receives an annual budget from the MTA which covers the costs for a five-member staff of transportation planning professionals and expenses. However, staff are not employees of the MTA, which allows the PCAC to maintain its independence.
What do the PCAC and Councils do?
The PCAC and Councils monitor the operations of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and New York City Transit and make recommendations for improvements.

The PCAC and Councils hold regular public meetings. Approved minutes are posted on our website (www.pcac.org).

The PCAC and Councils take public positions on issues of importance to MTA riders. The PCAC and Councils testify at hearings on transportation issues conducted by the MTA and other agencies.

The PCAC and Councils conduct public forums that allow riders to express their views on MTA services directly to MTA staff.

The PCAC and Councils conduct and publish studies on MTA operations. The PCAC publishes an annual report on PCAC and the individual Council activities.

When does the PCAC meet?
Each of the Councils meets monthly, and the PCAC meets as a whole four times a year. All meetings are open to the public.
How can I find out about meetings, activities, and reports?
If you would like to receive notices of meetings and events, copies of reports, or meeting minutes, please contact us and we will add your name to our mailing list. We maintain separate mailing lists for the PCAC, LIRRCC, MNRCC, and NYCTRC, so be sure to specify the mailing lists on which you would like your name to be placed. You may choose to receive information either in electronic format (including PDF files) via e-mail, or in printed form via post.
How can I become a member?
To become an appointed member of the LIRRCC, MNRCC, or NYCTRC send a letter or an email stating your interest together with your resume to the local elected official for the area in which you reside.
Does the PCAC sit on the MTA Board?
Yes. In 1995 the PCAC gained a non-voting seat on the MTA Board. However, each of the three Councils elects its own Board representative and all three are recognized. The “official” PCAC seat rotates among these three, with each serving for a period of 18 months. The three representatives join other Board members at full MTA Board meetings and serve on Board committees, including: Capital Construction, Planning and Real Estate; Bridges and Tunnels; Capital Program Oversight; Finance; and Audit. Each Council’s representative sits on the corresponding operating committees for their Councils: the Long Island Committee; the Metro-North Committee; or the NYC Transit Committee.
How are members appointed?
The 38 members of the PCAC are required to be regular users of the MTA, and serve without pay. Members are appointed by the Governor, upon the recommendation of local elected officials.

Long Island Rail Road Commuters’ Council (LIRCC)

No. of Members Recommended By
5 Nassau County Executive
5 Suffolk County Executive
1 Brooklyn Borough President
1 Queens Borough President
12 Total LIRRCC Membership

 
Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council (MNRCC)

No. of Members Recommended By
5 Westchester County Officials
1 Dutchess County Officials
1 Orange County Officials
1 Putnam County Officials
1 Rockland County Officials
1 Bronx Borough President
1 At-Large
11 Total MNRCC Membership

 
New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC) 

No. of Members Recommended By
5 New York City Mayor
5 New York City Public Advocate
1 Bronx Borough President
1 Brooklyn Borough President
1 Manhattan Borough President
1 Queens Borough President
1 Staten Island Borough President
15 Total NYCTRC Membership

MTA FAQs
MTA information can be found at their website at MTA. info.

I have lost my MetroCard.
Your 30-Day Unlimited or 7-Day Express Bus Plus MetroCard, purchased from a vending machine with a credit, debit, or ATM card is automatically protected against loss or theft by the MTA. If your card is lost or stolen, call 511 and follow the prompts until you get to Lost or Stolen MetroCards. Or go to the MTA website.
My Reduced Fare MetroCard has been lost or stolen.
If your reduced fare MetroCard is lost or stolen, you can make a claim at the MTA website.
How do I apply for a reduced fare MetroCard?
Customers who are 65 years of age or older or have a qualifying disability are eligible for a reduced-fare MetroCard. To learn about and apply for a reduced fare MetroCard, check the MTA website.
My Metro Card is not working.
If your MetroCard is not working, check the MTA website.
How to I contact Lost and Found?
Lost and found information can be found at the MTA website: Lost and Found
Can you help me navigate 511?
When you call 511, you will get a series of keypad prompts. Here are the most commonly used ones: For example, to get to Lost and Found, press 1 (MTA), then press 1 (Subways and Buses) then press 5 (Lost and Found).

  • MTA Press 1
    • Subways and Buses Press 1
      • Current Service Status Press 1
      • MetroCard Press 3
      • Comments and Concerns Press 4
    • Lost and Found Press 5
    • LIRR Press 2
    • MNR Press 3
    • Current Service Status Press 11
    • MetroCard Press 13
  • Visually Impaired MetroCard balance Press 14
  • Subways and Buses Press 16
  • Current Service Status Press 17
  • MetroCard Press 19
  • LIRR Press 20
  • MNR Press 22
  • MTA Bus Press 24

511 FAQs
Text from 511ny.org

Can I speak to an operator to get information?
The 511 NY phone service is an automated, interactive voice system driven by the user’s voice or phone keys. Voice recordings will give the latest computerized information. There are options to transfer to a specific transportation agency for additional information not offered directly through the 511 NY phone system.

How do I get help?
Say, “Help” or “What are my choices?” at any time to hear your options for the current menu. To return to a previous menu, say, “Go back.” To start over, say “Main Menu.” How can I navigate through the system to get the information I need more quickly?
Interrupt the System (barge-in).
Once you know what questions will be asked, you can answer them as soon as the system starts asking them. You do not need to wait until the end of a question before answering.

Use Voice Command Shortcuts or Touch Tone Keys
Shortcuts are voice commands that bypass a menu and take you directly to your choice.

Say Press Action
Help, What are my choices? 0 List of all choices for the current menu.
Main Menu * State Main Menu Options
Repeat NA Repeats the last question or list of choices
Stop Cancel Go Back NA Halts the system from listing menu options and goes back to the previous menu.
Goodbye NA Ends the call.

 
Main Menu Choices
Just press “0” at each menu to hear menu choices and touch tone codes. The nine 511NY calling regions have some differences in their phone system menus.

Say Press What it Does
Traffic 1 Get information about closures and major incidents on the facilities you select.
Public Transportation 2 Link to a public transportation service or learn about current transit incidents.
Paratransit 3 Connect to a service provider.
Ride share 4 Connect to a ride-sharing service.
Airport 5 Connect to an airport or airport access service.
Other 511 Systems Depends Choose another neighboring 511 system.
Switch Regions Depends Transfer to another 511 NY calling region.
MTA Shortcuts (Downstate Regions) 9 Link to one of the 13 customer support services provided by the MTA.
Option not available 77 Give us your feedback.