OneBusAway Project Charter
The project’s charter and governance structure is designed to further establish OneBusAway as a stable platform for large scale production deployments and provide a platform for additional research in transit traveler information systems. This charter is intended to be lightweight and therefore does not involve a lot of administrivia.
The project has a set of active members. Members are organizations that are active in OneBusAway, including transit agencies, universities, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies, but can also be otherwise unaffiliated individuals who are making a significant contribution to the project, such as developers or open data transit activists.
If several transit agencies in a region are jointly operating a OneBusAway installation, they should select a single organization to be the official member. Similarly, universities that have several units involved in OneBusAway research should designate a single organizational member representing the university as a whole. For individuals, we expect at least a year of sustained contributions to the OneBusAway project to be eligible for membership.
New members are added by majority vote of the existing members. We expect that members who are no longer active will request to drop their membership; but if necessary, a member can be proposed as no longer active by a majority vote of the Board of Directors and also by the membership.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for the project. The board elects a chair or two cochairs to facilitate the board’s activities. The board is composed of up to 12 members, serving one-year terms. The board members represent different constituencies: 3 from transit agencies using OneBusAway, 3 from universities doing OneBusAway research, 3 from companies and nonprofits involved in OneBusAway development or support, and 3 from individual developers or activists.
The board is composed of individuals representing their respective organizational members, or themselves in the case of individual developers or activists. A board member may have an alternate person from the organization represent it at a meeting.
The board is elected by project members. Nominations are entertained up to the date of the annual project meeting in January; the new board is elected each year at the annual meeting. Proxies may be submitted for members unable to attend in person.
The board is responsible for overall project direction and high-level decisions, while technical decisions are made by authorized developers.
Board meetings are held monthly by conference call. The call is open to anyone interested, unless there is a personnel or contractual decision that requires a closed meeting. (Generally we avoid closed meetings.) Board members who have a potential conflict of interest for any issue must recuse themselves from the discussion and vote on that particular issue (e.g., a company or university that is bidding on a OneBusAway contract being let by the OneBusAway project).
The board has a Communications Manager who is responsible for managing board communication, including keeping minutes and other records, maintaining a mailing list, and so forth. The Communications Manager is selected from one of the OneBusAway member organizations (and can either be the actual board member from that organization, or someone else from the organization). The Communications Manager is encouraged to delegate portions of the work, such as maintaining the mailing list, the minutes, convening the monthly meeting, and so forth, among the other members.
Decisions are made by consensus whenever possible, either on the monthly conference call or, for time-critical or minor decisions, by email between meetings. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by majority vote of the Board.
Technical decisions are made by the developers active on that part of the project, as described in the project wiki, although ultimate authority rests with the board. In the future, there may be a number of separate technical projects (as with the Apache project), for example, for the server, the app for a particular mobile device, and so on; but for now, there is a single project, with the associated developer mailing list.
The annual project meeting is held each January in association with the TRB meeting in Washington, DC.
Legal Status of the Project
The OneBusAway organization is (for now) informal, with project assets held by different members. In particular, the onebusaway.org domain name, the OneBusAway trademark, and the OneBusAway logo are held by the University of Washington. As the project grows, we intend to incorporate OneBusAway formally as a 501(c)3 nonprofit; or affiliate formally with an existing nonprofit.
This charter can be amended by a two-thirds majority of both the Board and the OneBusAway project members.