Passenger Transport - April 21, 2017
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NEWS HEADLINES

Transit Funding Is APTA's Top Priority as Congress Returns

As members of Congress returned to Capitol Hill following their spring recess, they face a crowded legislative agenda, from tax reform to infrastructure investments, two issues that could very well become linked.

A bipartisan duo from the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I)—Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), chair, and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), ranking member, T&I Subcommittee on Highways and Transit—are circulating a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee requesting that the tax writing committee permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) as part of any tax code reform. The two lawmakers propose that such a move could also help support President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan.

In addition, Graves and Norton are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter requesting congressional support for their Ways and Means letter, which APTA backs, along with several other transportation groups.

The “Dear Colleague” letter is the latest move in APTA’s aggressive outreach efforts to make the case for continued public transportation in the face of Trump’s proposal to cut major public transit appropriations for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 and in the FY 2018 budget (the “skinny budget”).

“A long-term solution to the HTF structural deficit would promote increased transportation infrastructure investment and meaningful economic growth in every state,” Graves and Norton wrote to the Ways and Means Committee.

“Over the past 30 years, all HTF revenue enhancements have been included in larger tax and deficit reduction packages,” their letter stated. “Any HTF solution should entail a long-term, dedicated, user-based revenue stream that can support the transportation infrastructure investment supported by President Trump and members of Congress from both parties.”

A final version of the letter is set for distribution in May. APTA strongly recommends that its members encourage their elected officials in the House to support and sign the Graves-Norton letter.

Members can find easy-to-use resources for contacting their elected officials at APTA’s advocacy toolkit. Review all of APTA’s recent advocacy campaign activities in the April 14 Passenger Transport Express.

Infrastructure Advocacy.
In related news, APTA is planning several advocacy-related activities during National Infrastructure Week, May 15-19, including the development of a special toolkit for members. Find details at APTA’s website in the coming days.

Bipartisan Support for NY-NJ Gateway Project; Aging Infrastructure an 'American Problem'

New Jersey’s Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and Republican Gov. Chris Christie participated in a press conference April 19 to express their support for the Gateway Project, an estimated $24 billion tunnel system under the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey that would help ease congestion in the busy Northeast Corridor.

“We’re teetering every single day on the brink of truly a traffic Armageddon,” Booker said of the existing 100-year-old tunnels, which also sustained significant damage from Superstorm Sandy. Booker added that the aging infrastructure “is not just a New Jersey problem, not just a regional problem, but really an American problem.”

Christie, a former critic of the Gateway Project, said, “I’ve already spoken to the president about this. The president is well aware of my point of view on this project and I absolutely will continue to speak my mind on this, both publicly and privately.”

During the press conference, Booker called on DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao to visit the area, repeating the request he and Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent in a letter earlier on April 19.

As you continue your work to develop the Trump administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure package, we urge you to consider the urgent need for major investments in our nation’s rail and transit infrastructure,” the senators wrote.

“[A] site visit, particularly one that allows you to witness the volume of passengers at peak travel times, will provide you detailed information about the status of the current infrastructure and the urgent need for federal investments in advancing the Gateway Project,” the letter stated.

DOT issued a statement reporting that Chao intended to visit some of the country’s “nationally significant infrastructure projects,” including the Gateway Project.

TransLink Prepares for Large Service Increase; Adding 65,000 Service Hours Annually

As Passenger Transport went to press, TransLink in Vancouver, BC, was preparing for the April 24 launch of its largest increase in bus service hours since 2010, funded by its 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation and joining expanded service on SkyTrain automated, driverless rail transit and SeaBus ferries.

The region-wide expansion of bus service includes 65,000 more service hours per year and improvements to 26 routes. Schedule changes will shorten wait times, reduce overcrowding, lengthen bus service hours and add more frequent service on routes.

TransLink Chief Executive Officer Kevin Desmond said the agency is “just getting started” with the increase. “After three years of planning and consultation, the 10-Year Vision is moving from words to action, delivering added capacity now to reduce overcrowding.”

According to Desmond, the service expansion “will give our customers immediate benefits … shorter wait times, less crowding and more service. … We are just three months into the 10-year plan, and we’re already delivering on the investment in transit and road improvements we need to keep the region livable and thriving.”

He noted that the Canadian government and the British Columbia provincial government have each pledged $2.2 billion (Cdn.) in public transit funding. “It’s another push of momentum toward improved transit and infrastructure across the
region. This is a very exciting time for TransLink and the entire region,” Desmond added.

TransLink was also planning seasonal adaptations to its schedule.

HART, Regional Groups Partner to Expand HyperLINK

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit District (HART) in Tampa, FL, scheduled an April 24 event to expand its HyperLINK service to a fourth neighborhood with four fully electric Model X vehicles from Tesla, as well as a seven-­passenger MV-1 vehicle for assisting riders with disabilities.

HART is one of the first public transit agencies in the nation to engage with Tesla, which specializes in luxury electric cars.

“The rest of the country is watching as Tampa and Hillsborough County lead the way on public transportation and rideshare solutions,” said HART Chief Executive Officer Katharine Eagan. “We definitely see the future of transit and want to wrap our arms around it and make it available here in the Tampa Bay area. We are excited to be providing real solutions to the people of Hillsborough County and we’re going to do it in style with electric vehicles.”

Tampa Electric Company (TECO) and several Tampa area businesses and entrepreneurs partnered to fund this initiative. TECO will power the electric vehicles, which will provide first- and last-mile service to and from designated stops in the Innovation Alliance, a region anchored by the University of South Florida, Busch Gardens, two medical facilities and a shopping mall.

The smartphone app-based HART HyperLINK service, which premiered late last year, is a pilot program subsidized by the state to provide fully accessible first- and last-mile service in targeted areas of the county. The program enhances the agency’s fixed routes by extending service into areas that currently do not have public transit.

Transdev will operate the five new vehicles.

One of the four Tesla Model X electric vehicles that will provide first- and last-mile transportation in HART’s HyperLINK service.

BART Starts Construction on Concord Station Plaza

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) broke ground April 17 on new construction and renovations at the Concord Station, the system’s original east terminus from its opening in 1973 until the line was extended to Pittsburg/Bay Point in 1995.

BART Director Joel Keller said Concord, CA, the largest city in Contra Costa County, is “rapidly becoming a destination for more than just commuters, and these renovations will improve the customer experience and how people connect to our system.” He noted that the original BART station was self-contained and not well integrated with its surroundings, but that the plaza renovation will help people use public transportation to attend downtown events.

The renovations will make over the station plaza, creating a well-lit, tree-lined area with improved illuminated signage. Pedestrian benefits will include a more prominent, raised crosswalk, an added bike lane, energy-efficient lighting and an improved kiss-and-ride zone.

Funding for the $3.2 million project comes from a combination of state Prop 1B, Contra Costa County Measure J and BART sources. The work is expected to take a year.

A preliminary artist’s rendering of the redesigned plaza adjacent to the BART Concord Station.

 

NM Rail Runner Express to Open Station

Nine years after its construction by New Mexico DOT, the Zia Road Station on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail line in Santa Fe is scheduled to open to riders on April 24.

“The Zia Road Station was in the Rail Runner Express plan since day one,” said spokesperson Augusta Meyers. “The plans always called for a kiss-and-ride loop rather than a parking lot. The station didn’t open earlier because the city of Santa Fe and the developer of the land had details they had to work out.” She also cited the shortage of funds that resulted from the 2008 economic downturn.

The station primarily serves local residents and nearby destinations including a regional medical center, business park and shopping mall, with Santa Fe Trails bus stops within walking distance.

Published reports state that the Santa Fe City Council last year approved an impact fee credit agreement with Zia Station LLC, which plans a mixed-use development including residential, office and retail space on approximately 20 acres of land in the vicinity of the station.

A platform at New Mexico Rail Runner's Zia Road Station, scheduled to open April 24.

 

Major Bus Service Improvements Set in Phoenix

The city of Phoenix is set to roll out major service improvements for its bus network that will expand opportunities for its riders to connect to employment, education and entertainment.

The changes become effective April 24, agency officials said.

“Expanding hours until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 p.m. on Sunday is just our latest step in keeping the promise of better service to Phoenix bus riders,” said Maria Hyatt, director of the Phoenix Public Transit Department. “We are now seeing an increase in bus ridership in Phoenix since we expanded hours last October by three hours a day, seven days a week, and this will keep that momentum on the rise.”

To help celebrate, the city is hosting “Sips on 7th Street,” a bus-centric restaurant crawl along one of Phoenix’s hottest foodie corridors.

The changes, funded by the voter-approved Phoenix Transportation 2050 (T2050) plan, increase service hours for local bus routes and dial-a-ride service in the city to match Valley Metro’s light rail service hours seven days a week.

T2050, approved in August 2015, is a 35-year citywide transportation plan focused on improved frequency on local bus service, new light rail service and stations and major street improvements. Funding comes from a 7/10ths of a cent city sales tax that started Jan. 1, 2016. Over the life of the plan, T2050 funds are estimated to generate about $16.7 billion, or more than half of the plan’s overall cost. An estimated $14.8 billion will come from federal and county funds, passenger fares and other sources.

Metra, UP Break Ground on West Line Track Project

Metra commuter rail in Chicago and Union Pacific Railroad broke ground April 21 on a $100 million project along the UP West Line that will remove two critical bottlenecks and eliminate delays of both freight and commuter trains.

“We’re extremely happy to be able to launch this project with our partners at Union Pacific,” said Metra Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Don Orseno. “Adding these track segments will reduce the potential for delays and improve the travel experience for the 30,000 Metra riders who rely on this line each weekday. Residents along the UP West Line will also benefit from shorter wait times at crossings and fewer freight trains idling on the tracks.”

The project—the fourth phase of the UP West Line Improvement Project—will add nearly eight miles of third track in the only two remaining segments that still have two tracks. The first part will add 1.8 miles of third track, followed by another 6.1 miles later this year.

Previous phases of the line improvement project focused on safety enhancements for pedestrians and motorists and upgrades to the signal system.

Mims Named COMTO CEO

The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) has named A. Bradley Mims, its interim president and chief executive officer since August 2016, to the position on a permanent basis effective May 1.

Mims’ almost 40 years of transportation industry experience includes tenures with U.S. DOT and FAA during the Clinton administration. He was vice president and aviation market leader for Parsons Brinckerhoff, senior associate for the transportation group at Booz Allen Hamilton and worked more than 12 years as transportation staffer to Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and the late Rep. Julian Dixon (D-CA). He serves on the APTA Diversity Council.


TRB Has an IDEA: Funding for Transit Innovators

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is accepting proposals for the Transit IDEA Program; the deadlines for submitting proposals for its 2017 funding cycles are May 1 and Nov. 1.

The IDEA program (Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis) provides financial support of up to $100,000 for the early stage development and testing of innovative but unproven concepts and methods for advancing public transit practice.

TRB encourages proposals in one of four transit-related areas: improving safety or security; improving capital or operating efficiencies; increasing ridership; or protecting the environment and promoting energy independence.

The program is part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program, a cooperative effort of FTA, TRB and the Transit Development Corporation, APTA’s nonprofit educational and research organization.

Find details here.

NTI Webinar on Multiagency Electronic Fare Systems

The National Transit Institute (NTI) invites fare collection professionals to participate in a 90-minute webinar on current trends in multi-agency public transit electronic fare systems, May 11 beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

The webinar will focus on two Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) reports: Synthesis 125 on Multiagency Electronic Fare Payment Systems and Report 177, Preliminary Strategic Analysis of Next Generation Fare Payment Systems for Public Transportation.

Synthesis 125 describes current systems and reviews next-generation approaches through existing implementation case examples. Report 177 explores attributes, implementation strategies and applications of next generation transit fare payment systems for public transportation.

For information, click here. To register, click here.

Amtrak Adds Weekend Acela Service

Amtrak recently increased its weekend high-speed Acela Express service in response to customer requests with the addition of a new Sunday round trip between New York City and Boston and more departures Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings.

“Acela Express has long been the preferred premium choice for travelers between Washington, New York and Boston,” said Mark Yachmetz, Amtrak vice president of Northeast Corridor business development. “Our responsibility is to listen to our customers and continually improve our product to make sure Amtrak is always recognized as a smarter way to travel.”

Amtrak also has contracted with Alstom to produce 28 next-generation high-speed trainsets that will add capacity on the corridor and eventually replace the existing Acela Express equipment.

In Memoriam: Bolton, Retired from Pace

Michael P. (Mike) Bolton, 69, of Downers Grove, IL, who retired in 2016 after a 40-year public transit career, including 13 years as deputy executive director of strategic services at Pace Suburban Bus, Arlington Heights, IL, died April 15.

Bolton began his transit career as a part-time Chicago Transit Authority bus driver. Before joining Pace, he was general manager of ­agencies in Ann Arbor, MI; Davenport, IA; and Austin, TX. He also was program director of the Transit Operations Group at North Carolina State University’s Institute for Transportation, Research and Education; a principal with Multisystems Inc.; and vice president for business improvement at ATC/NEC (now Transdev North America). He was a member of several APTA committees until his retirement.

COUNTDOWN TO 2017 ANNUAL MEETING & EXPO

Industry's Best Awaits You at EXPO 2017; 300,000 Square Feet of Exhibit Space

APTA expects more than 12,000 public transit professionals from around the world—representing manufacturers and suppliers, consultants and systems—to convene in Atlanta Oct. 9-11 for the International Public Transportation EXPO, the industry’s premier trade show, which is being held concurrently with the 2017 Annual Meeting, Oct. 8-11.

“The 2017 EXPO will be our largest EXPO ever, with more than 300,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Georgia World Congress Center,” said EXPO Advisory Committee Chair Joe Gibson, vice president, national sales, for New Flyer. “Attendees will see all the latest technologies in public transit products and services from more than 800 global exhibitors, including 50 buses on the show floor with the most modern features and low- and zero-emission propulsion systems. And most important, admission is free.”

Complimentary registration is now open for those attending the EXPO, a triennial event that brings together all sectors of the industry under one roof to connect, share and discover the most innovative public transportation solutions. More than 80 percent of the show floor is already sold out (see a directory of current exhibitors in this issue), so prospective exhibitors are encouraged to sign up now. This year’s exhibitors represent more than 75 countries, with first-time exhibitors accounting for about one-eighth of the total number.

Product highlights will include one full-size railcar (Stadler), two mockup light rail cars (Siemens and CRRC), numerous bus models displaying a variety of technologies—and the next frontier: autonomous vehicles.

The emphasis on new technologies will extend to the exhibitors themselves, who can display their products and services in a digital format and offer attendees the opportunity to send product information to themselves.

First-time attendees can attend a half-hour orientation session to help them make the most of their time. They need only note when registering that this is their first EXPO and show management will be in touch with more details.

Appreciation Days—Monday, Oct. 9, for students and young professionals and Tuesday, Oct. 10, for city transportation planners—will offer enhanced learning and networking opportunities, including guided tours of the show floor and focused sessions.

Learning Zones will return to the EXPO floor this year, with free educational sessions on bus technical maintenance and clean technology, procurement and materials management and sustainable mobility and sustainable communities. “TechKnowledge Experience,” new this year, will feature best practices for technology challenges, from daily life to transit-specific concerns.

Keep checking the EXPO website to see the latest additions to the schedule.


Take a Photo, Win a Free Trip
Enter the EXPO 2017 Sunglasses Social Media Promotion and win a free trip to EXPO in Atlanta and a 2017 Annual Meeting registration.

First, click here to get a free pair of sunglasses promoting this year’s EXPO, or with any questions.

Then, take a selfie or a group photo with your colleagues while wearing the sunglasses and upload the photo(s) to Twitter or Facebook. Please include a caption with the #APTAEXPO hashtag, your name, organization and the location of the photo. If you do not have a Facebook or Twitter account, just email a JPG of your picture(s) and we will upload it for you.

* Facebook: Click here, “like” the page, then upload your photo(s) to the wall.

* Twitter: Follow us at @APTA_info. Then tweet your photo to @APTA_info and include the tag #APTAEXPO.

All photos must be uploaded by July 14. Winners, including the grand prize winner, will be selected Aug. 14. Photos will be judged on the most likes and the following criteria: best/most unique location; farthest distance from Atlanta; best team/group photo; and greatest EXPO spirit. Find other details here.

APTA Members Prepare for EXPO-travaganza; Networking, Product Innovation, Solutions Take the Floor

As public transportation industry professionals worldwide make their plans to attend the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Atlanta, Passenger Transport asked a few business leaders and public transportation providers to comment for a one-question interview:

Why does your company exhibit at EXPO?

Clever Devices: Unique Platform to Feature Solutions
Buddy Coleman
Chief Customer Officer
Clever Devices Ltd.
Woodbury, NY
Member, APTA Board of Directors, Business Member Board of Governors

As one of the industry’s leading providers of ITS technology, Clever Devices exhibits at the APTA EXPO for a multitude of reasons.

Because APTA EXPO is the largest showcase for transit in North America, it provides us with a unique platform to demonstrate our industry leading suite of ITS technology solutions and a forum to connect with customers and prospects directly.

At Clever Devices, our solutions are always designed with either efficiency improvement or the passenger experience in mind. APTA EXPO enables us to engage directly with hundreds of industry leaders to better understand the challenges they face and share how our solutions can help them serve their customers better.

The EXPO provides us with an unparalleled opportunity to showcase how our advanced ITS products work together to reduce operating and maintenance costs while improving passenger safety and comfort. Our live demos allow potential customers to experience our solutions in action so they can see for themselves how we can help them optimize their operation and maximize their existing resources. Very often, these live demonstrations lead to additional conversations and leads for our sales team.

Finally, the APTA EXPO affords our Clever Devices team the opportunity to network and acquire critical industry knowledge. This valuable information is imperative to our success and an important reason why we continue to grow not only as a company, but more importantly as a valued partner to our customers.

MCI: Opportunity to Showcase Products on ‘Grand Scale’

Patrick J. Scully
Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Motor Coach Industries
Des Plaines, IL
Member, APTA Executive Committee, Business Member Board of Governors

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) has been a proud exhibitor at APTA EXPO for over 30 years.

MCI sees EXPO as not only our opportunity to display our products, but also an opportunity for our industry to showcase on a grand scale all of the nuts, bolts, iron, vehicles, software, services and capabilities that our industry’s supply side offers to our operating members.

It is often breathtaking for a new attendee at EXPO once they see the breadth and scale of products on display. Given that the EXPO occurs every three years, it provides our entire industry with the optimal forum to showcase our latest innovations in products and services to help our customers add value to their businesses.

In our view, attendance is a must for anyone in our industry. Consequently, EXPO is a must attend for us at MCI.
EXPO is an exceptionally well-run exhibition with excellent site cities and significant depth of attendees. It is essentially the “who’s who” of our industry and allows us to engage with our customers in a setting unparalleled in the market.

Through EXPO, MCI will be engaging with the key customer decision makers and buyers in our industry. MCI will be able to unveil our latest product innovations that will set the stage for the next five to 10 years for our industry, and we will do so together with New Flyer as we will display together for the first time as North America’s largest transit and motor coach manufacturer at EXPO.

Bottom line is this: It’s an excellent showcase with excellent customer attendance that delivers excellent results! MCI looks forward to a great week in Atlanta in the fall.

Axis Communications: Innovate, Integrate, Collaborate

Anthony Incorvati
Business Development, Critical Infrastructure & Transportation
Axis Communications Inc.
Pittsburgh
Member, APTA Closed Circuit Television Working Group

Axis Communications has a clear vision—innovating for a smarter, safer world. In saying that, there are a number of contributing factors as to why we exhibit at APTA EXPO.

Axis is a market leader in network video. We invented the world’s first network camera back in 1996 and we’ve been innovators in video surveillance ever since, increasing the security of millions of people worldwide and helping to meet the growing need for a smarter, safer world.

In public transportation, safety and security are paramount to everything in the operation of transit systems. Although our technology had early primary use for security, we should point out that users and uses of networked video surveillance have gone way beyond security to include other functional areas such as operations, maintenance, risk management and so on.

APTA EXPO brings the entire community together—not only the different users and uses of the technology within transit authorities, but also consultants, system integrators and vehicle builders to other technology providers like Axis.

From a committee standpoint and from being on the APTA CCTV Working Group, this is a great opportunity to provide input for recommended practices and also to be a liaison to other associations. For example, as chair of the Security Industry Association (SIA) Transportation Working Group, we are working to have the associations collaborate and support each other. This was evident in working together on encouraging FTA to provide clarification on IP cameras as related to Buy America.

We also like the EXPO because it brings many industry professionals together from across North America and beyond. Axis Communications is a global company and with the help of 90,000 partners spanning 179 countries, we’ve delivered a series of groundbreaking products and many industry firsts and look forward to pioneering many more in an effort to serve public transportation.

And here’s what public transit providers had to say to this question:
Why do you attend EXPO?

CT DOT: Nothing Like Seeing It All Under One Roof
Michael A. Sanders
Connecticut DOT
Newington, CT
Member, APTA Executive Committee

Where do I begin? That is applicable both for the question you asked me, as well as when you first walk onto the EXPO floor. Where do you begin?

When I was new to the transit community and walked into my first EXPO, it was absolutely overwhelming to see the breadth of products and services that this industry offered. Even just wondering how they got that rail car into the exhibit hall was thought-provoking.

Over the years as my job became more specialized, I realized the depth of products and services this industry offered.

During a career that touched on work in the areas of planning, capital procurement, operations, maintenance, marketing and finally, more broadly general management, there has always been too much to see in the time allotted. The range of products for specialists in any of these areas is incredible.

Reading sales brochures or taking sales calls may be a traditional information gathering approach. But there’s nothing quite like seeing, for example, all the product options you were thinking about for your new bus purchase and being able to “touch” them, all under one roof.

It has been amazing to see the industry evolve to take advantage of the latest technologies and apply them to vehicle location, fare collection, customer information, data collection, power trains—and the list could go on and on.

Finally, you see every friend you’ve made in the industry on the EXPO floor, whether they are on the supplier side or the agency side. Whether it’s catching up with an old friend, learning about the newest product innovations or merging the two and tracking down a colleague to learn about their experience with a particular product, there’s always someone to talk to, someone new to meet and a vast array of new or updated products that greet you.

I suppose every industry has its exhibition floor that amazes people. But if you are going to be an active part of this industry, you have to do an EXPO if for no other reason than to give you the perspective to realize all of the people and products that make this industry what it is.

CATA: EXPO Is an Engaging Experience

Sandy Draggoo
CEO/Executive Director
Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA)
Lansing, MI
Member, Bus & Paratransit CEOs, Small Operations Committees

Few would refute APTA EXPO’s power to draw a big crowd and engage attendees. For CATA, it’s a “not-to-be-missed” affair; a place to see and be seen and an opportunity to network, learn, exchange ideas and see firsthand what’s on the horizon in our wonderful world of transit.

APTA EXPO is to transit what SXSW is to creative folks and what the Worldwide Developers Conference is to Apple and its army of developers. As part of their professional development, administrative personnel from CATA are attending EXPO 2017.

I have attended countless EXPOs throughout my 43-year career at CATA. More than anything else, I look forward to seeing my transit friends, old and new. I particularly enjoy catching up with vendors who are very knowledgeable and provide critically needed products and services. EXPO is also a great opportunity to reconnect with fellow CEOs and GMs from other properties. We face many of the same challenges and issues, but the solutions—many of them under this very roof—are endless.

“The key reasons I enjoy attending EXPO include the ability to network with colleagues from other properties and vendors who support the industry,” said Andrew Brieschke, CATA director of operations. “Learning about new best practices and trends in bus specifications that enhance the customer experience—fare collection systems, seating, wheelchair securements and so on. Experiencing new technologies that create efficiencies for the operation makes the operator’s job easier and our service more customer-friendly.”

Director of Marketing Lolo Robison said, “As a marketer I learn so much about what’s trending in terms of technology, fare media, data collection and more. It gets the old noggin thinking and the wheels turning, all of which benefit CATA. I particularly enjoy running into my counterparts and transit professionals from other agencies to brainstorm, compare notes, share ideas or just catch up. I return to my office with new ideas and creative solutions that may help my authority achieve the excellence in service delivery and efficiencies we continually strive for.”

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Directory of Exhibitors at APTA's 2017 EXPO

Editor's Note: This version of the story does not include graphics that appear in the print edition. To see these graphics, click here.

Hundreds of businesses that serve the public transportation industry have already signed up for APTA’s EXPO. A list follows:

A
A Customer’s Point of View, Inc.
ABB Inc.
ABC Companies
AbiliTrax
Access Interfacing Solutions
Acro Industries Incorporated
Acrosser USA
ACTIA Corp.
Activu Corporation
ADA Solutions, Inc.
Advanced Application Design
Advanced Interconnect Mfg
Advanced Transit Manufacturing
Advantech B+B SmartWorx
AECOM
Aerodry Systems LLC
Aesys Inc.
AFL
Agility Fuel Systems
AIC Rail
AKG of America, Inc.
Alexander Dennis Ltd.
Almott
Alstom Transport
Altro Transflor
Amasa Transportation Corporation
AmePower
American Compressor Engineering
American Cooling Technology, Inc
American Seating Co.
American Traction Systems
American Truck Wash Systems
Americaneagle.com
Ametek
AMF- Bruns of America LP
AngelTrax
ANGI Energy Systems
Anil Verma Associates, Inc.
Ansaldo STS
Anta Electric Inc.
Antaira Technologies
Apollo Video Technology
ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, LLC
Architect for Life - A Professional Corporation
Arms, Inc.
Arow Global Corp.
ASA Electronics - Jensen/Voyager
Asahi Seiko USA, Inc.
Astronics Test Systems
ATR Transmission Remanufacturing
Audiosears Corporation
Auto Motion Shade
Avail Technologies, Inc.
Avanti International
Avolution
Axalta Coating Systems
Axiomtek
Axis Communications
AxleTech International
Ayers Electronic Systems, LLC (aE)

B
B&C Transit Inc. BAE Systems
Balfour Beatty Rail
Ballard Power Systems
Baultar Concept, Inc.
BayNets Safety Systems
BBA Project, Inc.
BBM - Railway Equipment
BEA Inc.
Bentech Inc.
BikeLid LLC
Bitimec
BITZER US, Inc.
Blackstone Advanced Technologies
Blue Bird
Bombardier Transportation
Bostik, Inc.
Bostrom Company, H.O.
Brasco International Inc.
BraunAbility
Bremskerl North America, Inc.
Brentwood Industries, Inc.
Bridgestone/Mileage Sales
Brookville Equipment Corporation
BRS Labs
Brush Industries, Inc.
Bus Stuf, Inc.
Busline Magazine
BUSRide Magazine
BYD Motors Inc
Bytemark

C
C.E. Niehoff & Co.
CAF USA, Inc.
Calvert Wire & Cable, a subsidiary of WESCO Distribution Inc.
Cambridge Systematics Inc
Camira Group Inc.
Cancore Industries Inc.
Castrol
CBM N.A., Inc
CCI Thermal Technologies
CDM Smith
Centum Adetel Transportation Solution (CATS)
Cetest
CH2M
Chainzone Technology (Foshan) Co., Ltd
Chamberlin Rubber Company
Champion Bus, Inc
Chassis Plans, LLC.
Chetu Inc.
CHK America
CIEC Overseas Exhibition Co., Ltd
Clark Testing
Clean Energy Fuels
Clean Seal Inc.
Clements National Company
Clever Devices Ltd.
Coach Glass
CoachCrafters
Cofely INEO
Com-Net Software
Complete Coach Works
Conduent (formerly Xerox)
Consilium US Inc
Conta-Clip Inc.
Continental Corporation
ContiTech Luftfeder Systeme GmbH
Covestro LLC
CPI Crane Payment Innovations
CradlePoint
Creative Bus Sales, Inc.
Creditcall Ltd
Crosspoint Kinetics
CRRC MA Corp
CRSC Research & Design Institute (USA) Inc
CRYSTEX COMPOSITES LLC
CSched
Cubic Transportation Systems
Cummins Inc.
CURIS System
Curved Glass Distributors

D
D&D Instruments
Daktronics, Inc.
Danella Rental Systems, Inc.
Daniels Manufacturing
DDS Wireless
De Leo Transportation Fabrics
Delco Remy
Dellner, Inc.
Dero
Deuta America Corp.
DiagnoSYS Systems, Inc.
Diamond Manufacturing Inc.
Diesel Radiator Co.
Digi International
Dikita Enterprises
DILAX Systems Inc.
Discover Battery
Distribution International HP Inc.
DIT- MCO International
Dixie Electric Ltd.
Donaldson Co, Inc.
Doron Precision Systems Inc.
DoubleMap, Inc.
DTI Group Ltd
Duagon AG
Duo-Gard Industries
DuraBrake Co.
Durr Technik USA

E–F
E-Traction
EAO Corporation
Eastern Pneumatics & Hydraulics, Inc.
EBM-Papst.
Ecolane
EGIS
ElDorado National Co.
Electro-Motive Diesel
Elma Electronic, Inc.
EMP
EnerDel Inc.
Energy Suspension
Enertec Rail Equipment
Enfasco, Inc.
Enghouse Transportation
Engineered Plastics Inc.
Enseicom, Inc.
Entec Electric & Electronic CO., LTD
Esri
ETA Transit
Eurovac (Clean Air Technologies)
Everson Tesla Inc.
Evolis Card Printer
Excel Window Systems/Dura Automotive
Excellon Technologies
Expedited Transportation ­Services, Inc.
FAAC Incorporated
Fabricated Metals
Fall Protection Systems
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Federal Resources
Fellfab
Felton Inc.
Filnor Inc.
FIP Systems
Firetrace International
First Transit, Inc.
Flame Enterprises
Fluidmesh Networks
Fogmaker North America
Forbo Flooring Systems Ltd.
Fortress Systems International
Frank Ralphs Limited
Fresco Windows
FSX Equipment Inc.
Fuji Electric Corp. of America
Fuji SEMEC Inc.
Future Systems Inc.

G
Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Garavelli Enterprises, Inc.
Gatekeeper Systems Inc
GEA North America
General Cable Corporation
General Motors
Genetec
Genfare
Gerflor
GHH-BONATRANS
Giesecke & Devrient
Gillig LLC
GIRO Inc.
Glaval Bus
Glenair, Inc.
Global Display Solutions, Inc.
Global Traffic Technologies
GMT International Corp.
Graffiti Shield, Inc.
Grayson Thermal Systems Corporation
GRI Pumps
Groeneveld Transport Efficiency B.V.
GroupZOOM

H–I
HaCon
Haldex Brake Products Corporation
Halfen USA Inc
Hall Industries Inc.
Handheld
Handi-Hut Inc.
HANNING & KAHL GmbH & Co KG
Hanover Displays Inc.
HARTING, Inc. of North America
Heico Lock
Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision Gmbh
Hella, Inc.
Hendrickson
Herzog Transit Services, Inc.
Hill International
Hitachi America, Ltd.
Hitachi Rail Italy SPA
Hoppecke Batteries, Inc.
Hubner Manufacturing Corp.
Huitt-Zollars Inc.
Hunter Technology/eHunus, Inc.
Huntron Inc
Hutchinson
Hydrogenics
Hyperloop One
I/O Controls
Icomera US Inc
Idrive, Inc
IEI Integration Corp.
Igralub North-America LLC
Imeco Cables inc.
IMPulse NC LLC
Industrial PC, Inc.
Infodev EDI, Inc.
INIT Innovations In Transportation
InnoTrans 2018
Intelect Corporation
Intellectual Concepts, LLC
InterClean Equipment, Inc.
Intergraphics Decal Ltd.
InterMotive
IP Displays
iris – infrared & intelligent sensors NA, Inc.
Irwin Transportation Products
ISC Applied Systems Corp.
ISR Transit
ITT
ITT Veam
IVU Traffic Technologies Inc.

J–K
J-W Energy Company
J. Lanfranco Fastener Systems, Inc.
J.W. Winco
JCM & ASSOCIATES, INC.
JSR Micro Incorp
K.L.I., Inc.
Kalitec
Kapsch
Kawasaki Rail Car Inc.
Kelox IRT USA LLC
Keolis North America
Kidde Technologies Inc.
Kiel N.A. LLC
Kirk’s Automotive Inc.
Kismet Rubber Products
Knoedler Mfg.
Knorr Brake Company, LLC
Kontron
Krown Industrial

L
LaFrance Industries
Lang US
Lanner Electronics Inc.
Lantal Textiles Inc.
Lantech Communications Global, Inc.
LaVanture Products Company
Lazzerini Corporation
Lea + Elliott Inc.
LECIP Inc.
LED Smart
Lift-U
Lippert Components Inc.
Liquid Spring LLC
LS Gallegos & Associates Inc
LUCCHINI RS
Lucerix International Corp
Luminator
Lutze Inc.
Lytx, Inc.

M
M2S Electronics
Mackenzie Laboratories Inc.
Macton Corporation
Madico, Inc.
Madrax/Thomas Steele
MAE-EItel Inc.
MAFELEC
MAIOR
MAN Engines & Components, Inc.
MANCON
Marathon Brake Systems
March Networks
Maruti Transit Group
Masabi
MASATS LLC
Mass Transit Magazine
Mass. Electric Construction Co.
Masterduct, Inc.
Matric Group
Matrix Railway Corp.
Maximatecc
Maxwell Industries
Maxwell Technologies
Mayser USA, Inc.
McConway & Torley, LLC
Meritor
Metro Link
Metro Magazine
Metrom Rail
MetroSpec Display Systems
MGM Brakes
Michelin North America
Microvast, Inc.
Midwest Bus Corp.
Miller Ingenuity
Milrail Inc.
Milwaukee Composites, Inc.
Mitsubishi Electric Power ­Products Inc.
Mobile Climate Control
MobileView
Mobileye
Mobility Ventures, LLC
MobilityTRANS
Modine Mfg. Co.
Mohawk Lifts
Mohawk Mfg. & Supply Co.
Moltec International
Monogram Train
MOR/ryde International
Motor Bus Society Inc.
Motor Coach Industries
Mott MacDonald
Movex Innovation Inc.
MSTS
MTM, Inc.

N–O
Nanov Display Inc.
Nathan Airchime
National Express Group
NATSCO/International Name Plate
Neopart Transit LLC
Neousys Technology Inc.
New Flyer Of America, Inc.
NEXCOM
Nightstick by BAYCO
Nishiyama Corporation of America
No-Spill Systems Inc.
nora systems, Inc.
Norbar Torque Tools, Inc.
Nord-Lock Inc.
Nova Bus/Prevost
Nova Coil
NS Corporation
O’Neil & Associates, Inc.
Odyssey Battery by EnerSys
Optibus, Ltd.
Oran Safety Glass, Inc.
Orbis, Inc.
ORing Industrial Networking Corp.
ORX

P
PALRAM AMERICAS
Papercast
Parkeon
Parker Hannifin Corporation
Passio Technologies
Passport
Peerless-AV
Penasack Co., Inc.
Penn Machine Co.
Penn Union
Penta Corporation
Pettibone LLC
Phoenix Contact
Plastic Components, Inc.
Plastik M.P.
Plymovent Corporation
Point Blank Enterprises
Polymer Industries
Polymer Technologies
Power Pusher, Division of ­Nu-Star, Inc
Power Resources International, Inc.
Powerex, Inc.
Powerohm Resistors
PrecisionAir
Prelco
PRIMA Euramtec
Pro-Flex Inc.
PRO-VISION Video Systems
Productive Plastics
Proheat
Proterra
Protran Safety Technology, Inc.
PSI Repair Services, Inc.
Public Transportation Safety International

Q–R
Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
Questica Budget
Quinte Plastics Ltd.
Railquip
RATP Dev
RCA Rubber Co. The
Recaro North America
REI
Reitz Fan & Blower Inc.
Reliable Transmission Service
Remix Software
Renold Inc.
REO-USA Inc.
Reveal Management Services
Ride Systems
RideCell
RideFlag
Rigidized Metals Corp.
Röchling Industrial Division
Rockwell Collins
Roemer Industries
Rogers Corporation
Rollon Corporation
Romeo RIM Inc.
Ron Turley Associates Inc.
ROSCO Inc.
Ross & White Co.
Rotary Lift
ROUSH CleanTech
RouteMatch
ROV Railway Industry LLC
Roxtec
Royersford Spring Co.
RSCC Wire & Cable
RuggON

S
S & A Systems Inc.
SABIC
Safe Fleet Bus & Rail
Safety Vision, LLC
Saft
Sander Electronics
Santon Swith Gear
SanUVAire
Sardo Bus & Coach Upholstery
Schaefer, Inc.
Schaffner North America
Schaltbau North America
Scheidt & Bachmann
Schunk Graphite Technology
Scintech Associates Inc.
Seats Incorporated
Secheron SA
Seisenbacher Rail Interiors, Inc
Sekisui Polymer Innovations LLC
Select Advantage
Selex ES, Inc.
Sensor Electronics
Service Wire Company
Sherwood Electromotion Inc.
Shijiazhuang KING Transportation E­quipment Co., Ltd
Siemens Industry, Inc.
SIMON and SIMON Resources, Inc.
Simpleway, Inc.
Sintron Technology Corp.
SKF USA Inc.
SLEC, Inc.
SmartDrive Systems Inc.
Smith Systems Inc.
Southwire Company
SpaceAge Synthetics, Ltd.
Spacecraft Components
SPAL USA, Inc.
Specialty Vehicles Inc.
Spinner II Products/TF Hudgins Inc.
Sportworks NW, Inc.
Stadler Rail Management AG
StarTran Software LLC
Staubli Corp.
Stertil-Koni
STI-CO Industries, Inc.
Strategic Mapping
STV
STYL&TECH Inc.
Sumitomo Riko Company Limited
Sunland Group
Sunsource
Sutrak Corporation
Swiftly, Inc.
Sydac
Syncromatics
SYSTRA Consulting, Inc.

T
Talmolder Inc
TAPTCO
Taylor Made Glass Systems
TDG Transit Design Group
Teknoware Inc.
Telephonics Corp.
Teleste Corporation
Televic Rail
Ten Point Trim
TextSpeak Digital Acoustics
Thales Transport & Security, Inc.
Thales USA, Inc.
The Principle Partnering Group, LLC
Thermal Structures Inc.
Thermo King Corporation
TMD Friction
TOA Communication Systems, Inc.
Tolar Manufacturing Co.
Toshiba International Corporation
Total Plastics
Trackit LLC
Traction Systems Inc.
Trans/Air Manufacturing
Transdev North America
Transhield Inc.
TRANSIGN
Transit Cooling Solutions
Transit Marketing Group
TransIT Solutions (TSI)
Transit Training Solutions
Transitvue Communication Systems
TransitWorks
Translite Enterprises Inc. -
Bus Glass Distributors
Transport Products
Transportation Diversity Council
Transportation Technology ­Center Inc.
TransTrack Systems
Trapeze Group
Trillium CNG
Trim- Lok, Inc.
TripSpark Technologies
TSO Mobile
TTA Systems, LLC

U–V
U.S. Train Products, Inc
UGPTI
UKM Transit Products
Urban Engineers
Urban Solar
Urban Transportation Associates
UTC/RAS
Utility, Inc
Valeo
Vanner, Inc.
Vehicle Inspection Systems, Inc.
Ventura Systems North America
Vibrant Power Inc.
Vision Systems
Visual Marking Systems Inc.
VIVOTEK
Vix Technology
Voith Turbo, Inc.
Voltabox of Texas, Inc.
vRide Inc.
Vulcanite

W
W.O.W! Brand Products
Wabtec-Faiveley
Way Sine LLC
WBA Research
Webb Wheel Products
Wendel
Westcode Inc.
Westermo Data Communications
Western Sierras Inc.
Westmatic Corporation
Whiting Door Manufacturing Corp.
Woojin IS America, Inc
Wooster Products Inc.
Worthington Cylinders
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

X–Z
XALT Energy, LLC
XCP Corporation
Yokohama Industries Americas
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Zonar Systems
Zone Defense

(Current as of April 14)

1981: APTA's First EXPO



This year’s APTA EXPO will be the 13th since 1981, when the first was held in Chicago. PT reported “rave reviews from exhibitors and attendees alike” for the event, at that time the first international public transit trade show held in the U.S. in more than 10 years. While that first EXPO convened 265 exhibitors and 5,500 visitors, the 2014 EXPO in Houston hosted 800 exhibitors in 270,000 square feet of exhibit space visited by more than 12,000 attendees from 65 countries. EXPO 2017 is on track to be even bigger.

APTA MEMBER PROFILE

Meet Greg Percy!

Greg Percy
Chief Operating Officer
Metrolinx (GO Transit, Union Pearson Express)
Toronto
Member, APTA Executive Committee; vice chair, Commuter Rail CEOs, and member, Rail Transit committees

Please describe your agency’s scope.
GO Transit is a Toronto-headquartered, regional rapid transit system that is operated by Metrolinx, the provincial agency responsible for improving the coordination and integration of all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

GO Transit accommodates almost 70 million passenger trips per year—about 75 percent by rail and 25 percent by bus. The Union Pearson [UP] Express, Metrolinx’s express rail service between Pearson Airport and downtown Toronto, accommodates another five million passenger trips per year.

Our rail network is comprised of seven rail corridors spanning roughly 460 route kilometers (280 miles), 80 percent of which are owned by Metrolinx and 20 ­percent owned by Canadian National Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., C­anada’s two major railways.

This is complemented by a bus network that spans nearly 2,800 route kilometers. Together, our trains and buses serve a population of more than seven million across more than 11,000 square kilometers, connecting with 17 ­municipal transit systems along the way.

Our GO Transit fleet consists of conventional heavy commuter rail and a mix of highway single-level and double-deck buses. Our UP Express fleet consists of diesel multiple units.


What attracted your interest in the industry?

I have been in the transportation industry for 35 years, of which 15 have been in the transit industry. I am a hybrid transportation business professional, having had 20 years in the private sector—18 with CP Rail, two as a transportation engineering consultant—and 15 years of public sector experience with GO Transit, which then became Metrolinx in 2009.

I started my career in marketing and sales, believing I could fully commit to a career focused on improving the quality of service for freight customers and later, commuter passengers. At the time, selling products that got clothes whiter or made food taste better didn’t resonate with my inherent desire to make a real difference.


Please describe your involvement with APTA and note what’s rewarding about it.

I’ve been involved with APTA in some form since 2000. In addition to the committees I’m on [noted above], I am also on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the board of the Railway Association of Canada. The synergies of belonging to these three industry leadership groups expands my knowledge, increases my network and affords me the opportunity to be a stronger advocate for positive change in the railway industries in Canada and the U.S.

APTA offers a unique forum for information and experience sharing that ultimately benefits all members. APTA enables everyone to learn from the experience of others, as good and bad experiences really don’t have geographic borders.


What do you like most about your industry involvement?

The transit industry continues to undergo rapid change in almost everything we do. We all experience budget challenges, changing corporate priorities, vacillating risk appetites, regulatory intervention and leapfrogging technologies, and it’s great to be able to share opportunities and challenges with peers who get it and have lived it.

Our industry doesn’t allow anyone to get too comfortable. It’s fast-paced and sometimes chaotic, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I still have fun every day and don’t see that ever changing.


What would readers be surprised to learn about your agency?

In addition to operating transit, Metrolinx also plans and builds it. *  We are delivering hundreds of transit projects and services across the GTHA.

* We are expanding GO Transit train service to provide more trips on all lines.

* We are building 74 kilometers of new light rail transit and 68 kilometers of new BRT lines throughout the region.

* Connecting it all together, we are expanding and revitalizing Union Station, our country’s busiest transportation hub.

* All of this work is guided by our 25-year Regional Transportation Plan, which provides an overarching vision and specific recommendations for improving our transportation system.


What would you like to see change in the industry?

The big two are the fast-tracked evolution of tomorrow’s industry leaders, embedding diversity and inclusion as industry DNA, not issues to be managed; and the industry embracing the core principles of sustainability, including social responsibility, environmental preservation and climate adaptation. I’ll sneak in a third—a re-energized industry leadership focus on “doing, not talking about doing.”

APTA NEWS

APTA's Study Mission to Asia Yields Best Practices

Twenty-three APTA members from public transportation agencies and businesses of all sizes traveled to cities in Asia for a 10-day study mission to research innovative transit safety, state of good repair and operational practices.

The delegation, which included three APTA senior-level staff, participated in roundtable and small-group discussions and technical site tours during their visits to MTR, Hong Kong’s main public transportation operator of light and heavy rail; SMRT, one of the largest multimodal public transit providers in Singapore; JR East, the high-speed and commuter rail operator for Tokyo; Tokyo Metro and Tokyo’s Metropolitan Government’s Bus Division.

“The dedication of our sister agencies in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo to a significant and long-term investment in human capital is striking and commendable,” said APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA.

Delegates gained considerable insights into how each organization takes an integrated approach to safety culture and asset management in its planning and operations.

“The world-class performance of the Asian systems we visited proves that taking a holistic enterprise risk management approach to managing public transportation systems in a spirit of continuous improvement pays off in terms of service reliability and a customer centric focus,” said APTA Acting President & CEO Richard A. White.

Members of the delegation will share key takeaways at the upcoming APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference, May 7-10, Reno, NV; Rail Conference, June 11-14, Baltimore; Annual Meeting & EXPO, Oct. 8-11, Atlanta; and the June Board of Directors meeting. In addition, APTA will publish a full report in the next few months.

Delegates to the recent APTA study mission to Asia.

 

Engage Tomorrow's Workforce

Does your organization have a strategy to attract the next generation of public trans­portation’s workforce?

Now’s the time to introduce K-12 students to careers in the industry, advises APTA’s Workforce Development Committee, which is sponsoring the association’s 6th annual National Public Transportation Career Day, Thursday, May 18.

Committee Chair Paul Larrousse, director of the National Transit Institute, is encouraging agencies and businesses to host an activity or event to showcase the rewards of a public transit career. Suggestions include conducting tours and demonstrations, sponsoring poster contests and hosting career awareness programs.

Need more ideas? Visit the APTA website to find resources, information on careers and even job postings.

In addition, the committee is conducting a survey to gather information about outreach initiatives to students. Take the short survey here.

Bus Conference May 7-10

APTA is putting the finishing touches on the Bus & Paratransit Conference, May 7-10 in Reno, NV, with a program that features experts, educational sessions and numerous chances for networking and sharing.

The conference also includes such special events as the Bus Safety & Security Awards, the Customer Service Challenge and the International Bus Roadeo Awards Banquet. Click here to register.

COMMENTARY

Intelligent Solutions Beyond Technology: Three 'Collective Decisions' to Help Maximize Technology BY MATT COLE

BY MATT COLE
President, Cubic Transportation Systems

As companies in a multitude of industries seek to solve problems of the present and future with new solutions, there is always an emphasis on “intelligent options:” creating tech­nologically advanced versions of established infrastructure. From smartphones to smart refrigerators, these products join the Internet of Things and provide invaluable data and insight that allow us to streamline and improve our daily lives. I cannot think of an industry that is not currently discussing the impact new intelligent devices will have on their future.

But while we consider the various ways through which smart technology will change the way we live, we must also focus on making our decision-making as intelligent as possible. For as much as we can rely on the information provided by smart devices to inform our choices, it is also critical that we do everything possible to maximize the impact of our enhanced infrastructure.Intelligent transportation systems should not just refer to the technology involved. Rather it should also apply to the vision and choices of industry leaders. As the world gets smarter, from strategic innovation to technological advances, we must ensure that the word “intelligent” can apply to the complete picture of our work and not just a few new gadgets.

With that in mind, here are three collective decisions that we can commit to that will allow us to draw more from our technological advances.

Maximizing Previous Investments

While many in our industry are inspired by the prospect of creating new and revolutionary transportation systems, we can arguably find as much value in bringing new operational capabilities to established systems.

The first version of any new infrastructure is never flawless, and leveraging the lessons learned from the unintended consequences of our infrastructure development allows us to fine tune solutions that amplify the efficiency of existing equipment.

Is it necessary to construct an entirely new highway system when they could see substantial improvements in performance just by implementing small tweaks like lane changes or intelligent speed limits? When we complement our existing systems rather than replacing them outright, we can deliver improvements and solutions that are faster and more cost-effective than sweeping changes.

Every decision we make should have the end user in mind, and there is definitely something to be said for incremental improvements that will benefit the customer in the short term as opposed to complete overhauls that occur only a few times.

Collaboration Over Competition

While a great number of technological advancements have come as a result of competition between companies or governments, we have reached a point where our developments in the transportation industry will benefit far more from collaboration and integration than from rivalry and competitiveness.

Many cities rely on multiple transportation agencies and companies to serve their citizens, and the potential benefit of integrated information and communication technology grows as more organizations are involved. We can see the potential for unproductive competition in many cities where citizens are served by multiple transit agencies that are not integrated. For example what incentive is there for a regional commuter rail system to promote the train line serving the urban core?

The key here is to understand that the more companies work together to provide improved solutions to customers, the more likely that they are to choose public transit options over their own private vehicles. Powerful examples of successful collaboration can be seen in cities like London and Berlin where travelers benefit from integrated systems for efficient service and real-time information.

And as more organizations get involved in a single transportation ecosystem, the benefit of integrated information and communication technology grows. When a London commuter knows that they’re being provided with accurate, up-to-date information, they’re more likely to choose the public transit option. And this way, all of the transport agencies involved—from Chiltern Railways train to a London city bus—benefit from that customer’s business.

Of course, there is also a strong incentive for collaboration on the business side: Cubic has benefited from many partnerships. We are able to travel further together, and I’m certain that there is more untapped potential in these collaborations.

Innovation Fueled by Combined Data
In addition to establishing industry partnerships, our transportation community can create a spirit of collaboration by sharing and integrating data throughout the industry. I cannot overstate the benefit of this: The value of combining data is not in the commodity of data itself, but in the tools that can be developed from the knowledge of data in aggregate.

If each individual transportation operator and government agency were left with only their own data to make decisions for the future, we would be forcing thousands of organizations to “reinvent the wheel” with regard to many upgrades and innovations.

By combining data, we allow travelers throughout the world to reap the rewards. We must recognize that regardless of what agency or company we’re serving, the end user is the customer in any transportation environment.

Combined data will undoubtedly lead to improved solutions for the end user, and any individual’s reasons for hoarding their own data do not surpass the benefit of pooling our resources to serve a world of travelers.

A rising tide lifts all ships; so too will combined data propel all innovations in transportation.


This “Commentary” was originally published by Cole as a post on LinkedIn Pulse. The expanded version is published with permission. Based in part on the CTS white paper, Intelligent Travel Systems: Making Cities of Tomorrow a Reality Today.

Commentary" features points of view from various sources to enhance readers' broad awareness of themes that affect public transportation.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Who's Doing What in the Industry

Varga, Past APTA Chair, to Retire from The Rapid
GRAND RAPIDS, MI--Peter Varga, APTA chair in 2013-2014, has announced his plans to retire as chief executive officer of The Rapid when his contract ends Sept. 30, 2018.

The agency twice received APTA’s Outstanding Public Transportation System honor during Varga’s 20-year tenure as CEO. He joined the agency, then called the Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority, in 1993 as director of operations, becoming the interim executive director in 1997 before taking on the job permanently. He began his public transit career 36 years ago as a bus driver in Santa Cruz, CA.


Draggoo to Retire After 43 Years at Lansing
LANSING, MI—Sandy Draggoo, chief executive officer for 32 years with the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) as part of a 43-year career with the system, announced her plan to retire in February 2018.

Draggoo began her career at CATA as an executive secretary, eventually becoming one of the first women to lead a U.S. public transportation system and the longest-serving transit CEO in the nation. APTA honored her as Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in 2003 and CATA twice received the Outstanding Public Transportation System award during her tenure. A former member of the APTA Executive Committee and Board of Directors, she serves on the Bus & Paratransit CEOs and Small Operations committees.


SHERMAN, TX—Transdev has named Josh Walker general manager of its contract with the Texoma Area Paratransit Services (TAPS). He previously was assistant general manager, a position he started in March 2016 when Transdev and TAPS established an operating partnership. Walker joined TAPS in 2012 as director of safety and security and later became director of operations.





WASHINGTON, DC—The South West Transit Association (SWTA) recently honored Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) with its 2017 Legislator of the Year Award. He received recognition for his support of public transit and signature event: “Commuting with the Congressman,” where constituents have the opportunity to talk with Perlmutter during their daily commute.






SAN CARLOS, CA—The San Mateo County Transit Authority (SamTrans) Board of Directors elected Rose Guilbault chair and Charles Stone vice chair.

The board also welcomed Josh Powell, a public member representative, and Dave Pine, representing the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.