Public Transportation

Leading a Coalition

An effective coalition starts with:

  • Shared vision and goals
  • Effective leadership
  • Member-driven activities and decision-making
  • Representative of the community's diversity
  • A clear action plan based on existing resources

Tips For Leading a Transit Coalition:

The following tips will help you get your coalition off on the right foot and will prepare it for success over the long term.

  • Contact several existing coalitions to learn first hand about the steps they took to develop a coalition. See list of contacts and references in this section's appendix.
  • Work with members to develop a mission statement to guide the group's work.
  • Establish milestones that can be used to measure progress and celebrate accomplishments.
  • Respond to coalition members' concerns in tangible, quick ways. Communicate with members of the coalition on a consistent basis.
  • Seek common ground with different groups of stakeholders.
  • Find ways to recognize coalition participants for their achievements as often as possible.
  • Limit bureaucratic demands on members and instead dedicate time to creating a group identity among members.
  • Stay focused on the mission.
  • Maintain a focus on the assets with which you have to work.
  • Plan activities that demonstrate clearly the impact of the coalition.
  • Keep demands on members simple and realistic.
  • Develop clear roles and expectations for members.
  • Encourage members to view and use the coalition as a resource that can help them perform their jobs more effectively and strengthen their own organizations.
  • Recruit a prominent member of your community to become involved in the coalition. Publicizing such news will help give you instant exposure and credibility.
  • Look for ways to recruit new members.
  • Although not necessary, becoming a 501(c) organization also gives you more credibility when approaching Members of Congress and community organizations to promote your "case" for public transportation.
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