Still Here to Serve Our Members

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

It’s been more than six weeks since all but essential businesses were closed in many parts of the country. During that time, the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) has accomplished a number of things from our ‘to do’ list of eight weeks ago, as well as many that were unexpected new additions.

Spring Meetings: In late February, staff started exploring ways to convene TAC’s annual Spring Technical Meetings virtually. Plans were set into motion March 13 with the ‘telemeetings’ underway from April 2 through May 13. Volunteers are connecting and collaborating through these meetings and staff are working hard to support them.

Working From Home: TAC’s existing business continuity plans were enacted and supplemented with information and tools specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. The handful of TAC’s 17 staff who didn’t already have the full capacity to work from home were quickly set up, ensuring that our products and services continued to be available to members.

Access to TAC Resources: Early communications to members in the work from home (WFH) era highlighted TAC’s free online resources: the library catalogue and many of our publications and webinars. Knowing that members could no longer access print copies of our technical publications left behind at their offices, staff launched a sale of our ebooks and paid webinars. The sale will last the duration of the WFH period, instead of ending May 1.

Conference & Exhibition: The annual Conference and Exhibition is an important forum for our members to network, share information, and learn from others across all sectors (private, public, academic, etc.) of the transportation industry. It’s also a focal point for our volunteer technical committees as well as a critical revenue-generator for TAC. After the decision to hold virtual Spring Meetings was made, it became clear that the physical Conference might not be feasible this year either. TAC’s Board met and reviewed various options for the Conference; an update is expected in early- or mid-May. Even if gathering in Vancouver isn’t possible, we’re looking into ways that much of the event, including as many as possible of the currently-planned technical sessions, could be delivered online. It’s important that transportation organizations and professionals continue to reap the technical benefits that come from the hosting conference, as well as the sense of community that the event has fostered for so long.

Other Ways to Help: We know that it’s not business as usual right now for anyone. If there are ways that TAC can provide a valuable helping hand to your organization at this time, please get in touch with us. A couple of examples of activities we’re working on because of conversations with our members include:

  • compiling transportation-specific COVID-19 resources on our website;
  • coordinating a meeting of large municipalities to share mobility and transportation impacts of COVID-19 and their responses to it.

The coming months will be challenging and this fiscal year will undoubtedly be a tough one. However, sound past and current management practices mean that TAC is in a position to weather the storm. We look forward to working with you and supporting your needs in the months and years to come.