The Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee is the coordinating body and funding mechanism for the three riders councils created by the New York State Legislature in 1981:
- The Long Island Rail Road Commuter’s Council (LIRRCC);
- The Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council (MNRCC); and
- The New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC).
The councils were created to give users of MTA subway, bus, and commuter rail services a say in the formulation and implementation of MTA policy and to hold the MTA Board and management accountable to riders. In order to accomplish these ends, the PCAC and councils hold regular public meetings and forums, undertake frequent research projects, and maintain a support staff of transportation planning professionals.
Further, since 1995 the PCAC has held a non-voting seat on the MTA Board. Each council selects a representative to the MTA Board. These representatives sit on the relevant MTA agency operating committee at all times, and share the PCAC Board seat in turn. The 38 members of the PCAC are required to be regular users of the MTA system, and serve without pay. Members are appointed by the Governor’s office, upon the recommendation of county executives and, for New York City, the mayor, public advocate, and borough presidents.
There are currently 12 seats on the LIRRCC, 11 seats on the MNRCC, and 15 seats on the NYCTRC. (For names of individual members and the bodies which they represent, please see the individual Council pages for the LIRRCC, MNRCC, and NYCTRC).