Youth Transportation Advisory Board (YTAB)
The unique relationship that young people have with transportation makes them particularly sensitive to changes in our services and programs. By specifically amplifying the perspectives of local youth, the SFMTA is investing in the next generation of transit riders, whose experiences can and should shape the development of the transportation system. SFMTA’s Youth Transportation Advisory Board (YTAB) aims to explicitly and intentionally elevate the lived experiences of young people from across the city of San Francisco to better inform our policies and practices.
For the many young people in the San Francisco Bay Area who have limited transportation options, public transportation and active transportation, like walking and bicycling, are key components of their mobility. Too often, however, their need to connect to educational, social and economic opportunities and other critical services go unmet by transportation agencies and services.
SFMTA’s Youth Transportation Advisory Board (YTAB) provides opportunities for San Francisco youth to foster their personal and professional development, with access to information and a forum to develop the skills and experience required to advocate for themselves and their communities.
Overview of the Youth Transportation Advisory Board
What are the responsibilities of YTAB?
The following duties and functions form the foundation of YTAB’s work:
- Identify the unmet needs of San Francisco’s children and youth through examining the existing services, practices, and budgets of the SFMTA.
- Design and conduct outreach to youth and their communities on SFMTA services and projects to learn from underrepresented groups and begin addressing gaps in dialogue.
- Develop and deliver recommendations to staff and the Director of Transportation to support or improve SFMTA services.
- Report to the SFMTA Board of Directors and Director of Transportation on the activities, goals, and accomplishments of YTAB on at least a biannual basis and may give public comment in between biannual reports if needed.
YTAB also has the following standing Workgroups for detailed project-specific work:
- The Outreach/Social Media work group creates youth relevant outreach materials such as flyers, social media posts, posters, etc. that can garner interest from their peers.
- The Data and Information work group creates surveys and gathers field data from young people about the Safety Equity Initiative Topic.
- The Street Team supports the SFMTA at public events such as Sundays Streets, tabling opportunities, and distribution of flyers and outreach materials at their specific schools and neighborhoods.
In addition to the above duties and functions, YTAB members will also engage with their local government through working with the SFMTA, San Francisco Youth Commission, and other government entities. The work they produce will be defined by themselves based on their priorities and interests.
What are the goals of the Youth Transportation Advisory Board?
- Representative Board - An inclusive and equitably staffed board that will holistically represent the varied needs of San Francisco youth across identities and experiences.
- Better Processes and Outcomes - The intentional consideration of youth perspectives and recommendations about SFMTA processes, leading to better design and implementation of policies and projects.
- Purposeful Youth-led Work - Youth lead the advisory board, contribute to the definition of their work, and feel their ideas, recommendations and opinions are valued and seriously considered.
- Professional and Leadership Development - YTAB members gain confidence, knowledge, and skills to advocate for themselves and their communities.
Who should apply to be a member of the Youth Transportation Advisory Board?
All youth in between the ages of 14 and 18 that live or go to school in San Francisco are qualified. No prior work experience or specific academic standing is required to apply.
The board aims to represent the diversity of ethnicity, race, gender, class, ability, housing status, sexual orientation and geography of the youth of San Francisco. We are looking for youth that love their city and want to improve the lives of its diverse communities, especially those that are historically and presently marginalized.
Youth Transportation Advisory Board members will assess and recommend SFMTA policies, programs and projects based on their experiences and impact to youth. If you are a youth interested in transportation, urban planning, public health, environmental policy, public education, city government and/or social justice, a seat on YTAB will provide the opportunity to explore your interests and gain professional experience while serving San Franciscans.
What is the application timeline?
Applications opened on August 25, 2023 and closed on September 22, 2023 at 5 PM PST. The highest scoring applicants will then be invited for a phone interview. We plan to hold our first meeting on the first Monday of October 2023.
What are the expectations for YTAB members?
We anticipate this year’s YTAB term running from October 2023 through June 2024. Members are responsible for attending the following meetings each month, in addition to any additional outreach or research members choose to take on:
- One 2-hour long meetings
- 4 hours per month for Subcommittee Projects
We anticipate the majority of meetings to be virtual, with in-person attendance required once every 2-3 months as time permits.
Is this a paid position?
Yes! YTAB members will receive a $100 monthly stipend for the length of their term.
What are the values of the Youth Transportation Advisory Board?
The values guiding the development of the YTAB are rooted in the SFMTA’s values of respect, inclusivity and integrity.
Age, race, gender, class, ability and other forms of identity shape interactions with the transportation system and the city at large. SFMTA’s commitment to addressing inequities requires the prioritization of those who have the most need. It also requires that individuals most in need are represented and participate in SFMTA planning processes that aim to identify and address those needs.
Participation in any SFMTA Advisory Board or working group empowers participants to be agents of change, both internally and externally to the SFMTA. In asking members of the public to share their lived experiences for the benefit of the Agency, their participation equips them with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and resources to better advocate for positive outcomes and access to opportunities for themselves and their communities.
Accountability from the Agency includes transparency about constraints and follow-through on outlined actions and goals. The scope of work and realm of possibility for advisory groups is largely determined by structural or resource constraints. Agency direction on what is and is not possible supports actionable and intentional work that successfully meets stated needs and achieves identified goals.