Transit, More than a Ride - Trusted Advocate Project

In preparation for the opening of Green Line LRT in 2014, Metro Transit conducted a transit service study of the Central Corridor to integrate existing bus service with the future LRT.

The DCC partnered with Metro Transit to help support and enrich community engagement in the transit study process. The DCC implemented a Trusted Advocate pilot project which contracted with proven community organizers, advocates and leaders of different communities.

Well over 1200 community members participated in trusted advocate engagement sessions. 700 data points were collected through the trusted advocate process. Advocates built relationships with community groups and individuals that allow them to “loop back” for additional feedback. The advocates also developed a positive working relationship with Metro Transit staff.

Central Corridor Transit Service Study Area, Map provided by Metro Transit

What is a Trusted Advocate?

Picture provided by Sheronda Orridge

Successfully used in Seattle, Washington and Oakland, California, the Trusted Advocate engagement model contracts with a member of specific communities to lead engagement of his/her community in a public process. The Trusted Advocates have deep connections into their communities as organizers and/or advocates. Trusted Advocates have demonstrated their abilities to navigate cultural and language distances, and have the confidence of their people and the public agency.

In this pilot project, Trusted Advocates gained an understanding of transit service planning and worked with the DCC and Metro Transit planners to develop an engagement toolkit to help advocates gather and document information and feedback from their communities. The advocates brought feedback from their communities to the transit planners and worked directly with planners to ensure community voices were heard and their ideas were fully considered. 

Learn more about the Trusted Advocate Pilot Project  

View and Download: Transit, More than a Ride - Trusted Advocate Pilot Project Evaluation (2013)

View and Download: Transit, More than a Ride - Trusted Advocate Project Interim Report (2012) 


Transit, More than a Ride - Rider Experience

During the Trusted Advocate project, there were many issues brought forward by community members which were not within the scope of the Central Transit Study. Most of these issues centered around the riders' experience and related to concerns around safety, driver/rider interactions, communication, fare and scheduling tools, and reliability. These issues have a significant impact on many residents in the Central Corridor area.