Home > Advocacy > Advisory Councils

Local Advisory Councils

Local Advisory Councils (LACs) are bodies that are created by law to help a transit system be more accessible. Local Advisory Councils vary greatly across transit agencies. Many agencies actively engage LAC representatives in partnership for making their systems responsive to users. There are a few things every Local Advisory Council must have:

  • Every transit system in Michigan must have an LAC.
  • At least half of the LAC must be people representing seniors and people with disabilities
  • It must meet at least once a year.
  • It must review and comment on the transit system’s accessibility plan.

Below are a listing of Local Advisory Committee groups for each public transportation provider in the region. If you are interested in attending a local advisory council meeting, please see the calendar for meeting dates and contact persons.

Berrien Bus Local Advisory Council

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners appoints the Local Advisory Council (LAC). LAC members and who they represent, include:  

  • Pam Kahanek,  Contracts Manager  -(Area Agency on Aging)
  • (Citizen)
  • Hanna Lei-Sam -(Dept of Health & Human Services)
  • Ben Shoemaker- (Citizen)
  • Terezie Harazinova (Southwest Michigan Disability Network)

Buchanan Bus Local Advisory Council

The City of Buchanan City Council Board of Commissioners appoints the Local Advisory Council (LAC). LAC members and who they represent, include:    

  • Monroe Lemay- (Seniors)
  • Richard Penland-(Citizen)
  • Susan Reams- (Citizen)
  • Jackie Alsup- (Citizen)
  • Norma Ferris- (User of public transit)
  • Terezie Harazinova (Disability Network of Southwest Michigan)
  • Randy Hendrixson, (Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce)

Cass County Transit Local Advisory Council

  • Robert Cochrane- (Cass County Council on Aging)
  • Jeremy Franks - (Area Agency on Aging)
  • Thomas M. Green- (Cass County Veterans Affairs)
  • Scott Williams-(Woodlands Behavioral Health Care)
  • Joyce Lockwood- (User of public transit)
  • Jan Reed- (Department of Human Services)
  • Karen Ford- (User of public transit)
  •                - (Cass County Administrator)
  • (Disability Network)

Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority Advisory Council

The Twin Cities Area Transportation Authority Board of Trustees appoints the Local Advisory Council (LAC). LAC members and who they represent, include:    

  • Pam Kahanek -(Area Agency on Aging)
  • Ruthie Haralson-(Senior)
  • Rosie Hudson- (Senior)
  • Thelma Branch- (Benton Harbor Senior Services)
  • Freddia Washington - (Senior)
  • Vacancy (Person w/ disability and User)

Niles Dial A Ride Local Advisory Committee

LAC members and who they represent, include:   

  • Katheryn Ender- (Greater Niles Senior Center)
  • Elaine Pack- (User)
  • David Markel -(65 years and older)
  • Linda McLane- (Person w/ disability and User)
  • Debra Panozzo - (Mobility Management of Southwest Michigan)
  • Serita Mason - (Person w/disability and User)
  • Megan Noll - (65 years and older)

Van Buren County Local Advisory Committee

The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners appoints the Local Advisory Council (LAC). LAC members and who they represent, include:

  • Julie Pioch-(Planning)
  • Sherry Bennett (Family Advocacy)
  • Faith Dowd (Area Agency on Aging)
  • (Citizen)
  • Karen King (Education)
  • (Disabled)
  • Richard Curtis-(Senior) 
This page last updated on 10/11/2017.


The purpose of the Local Advisory Committee groups are to serve as the foundation for assessing, planning and strengthening public transportation services in the community and to provide recommendations and input to local public transportation providers and other governing entities.

This website is made possible through a Federal Transit Administration 5317 grant and the Michigan Department of Passenger Transportation. It is managed by the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission who is providing this database solely for informational purposes. It disclaims all responsibilities for errors, omissions, changes, and other agency representations. SWMPCs listing of agencies does not constitute an endorsement by SWMPC of the agency, business, guarantee of availability of service, guarantee of the quality of service. Further, SWMPC does not represent for other agencies the compliance with all legal requirements for providing services, compliance with federal, state, local and equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination laws and acknowledgment of good standing with appropriate licensing authorities, if any. SWMPC further disclaims liability for such compliance and licensing requirements.