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Educational Sessions Cover A Broad Variety of Topics

The following is an overview of the concurrent ­sessions scheduled during the 2013 APTA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Small Operations: Advancing Policy Initiatives & Best Practices. APTA’s Small Operations Committee will present an interactive dialogue on funding, legislative, and regulatory issues specific to the challenges and opportunities of small public transit operators.

The Human Factor—Transit’s Greatest Asset. MAP-21 provides $7 million in FTA grants for innovative workforce development projects, with an emphasis on promoting training opportunities in emerging technologies and encouraging young people to pursue careers in public transportation.

Integrated Urban Mobility and the Future of Public Transportation. Mobility management is a strategic approach to service coordination and customer service that, when implemented, moves public transit agencies away from their roles as fixed route service operators and toward collaboration with other transportation providers.

Financing New Projects in the U.S. Private sector financing and the concept of public-private partnerships have come to play an important role in the launch of intercity passenger and high-speed rail lines around the world, and the U.S. can learn from these experiences.

Innovative Approaches to ­Public Involvement. This session presents innovative techniques that are changing the way organizations are approaching increasing participation in public involvement, using new technologies while saving time and money.

Capturing the Transit Generation. New APTA research illustrates why Millennials take public transportation and offers strategies to ensure that this generation continues not only to use public transit as they age, but to advocate for public transit funding as well.

The Local Realtor: A Friend of Transit. The recent APTA and National Association of Realtors joint research study showed that residential real estate values ­performed 41.6 percent better during the last recession if they were located near fixed guideway public transit.

Partnering with High Tech. Recent APTA research shows that hundreds of thousands of tech jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity from the tech sector are at stake due to inadequate investment in public transit.

Service Innovations that Enhance the Value of Public Transportation. Across the nation, cutting-edge service innovations both large and small—such as flexible bus routing, real-time customer information, and express bus corridors—are helping to create new ways to better serve riders.

Big Transportation Infrastructure Projects Worldwide. Many of the largest infrastructure projects in the world are public transportation projects that will help transform their communities and position public transportation as a key for shaping communities and serving future generations.

Public Transportation, Access to Health Services, and Healthy Living. APTA is improving its relationships with various associations and groups in the health care community to demonstrate public transportation’s role in providing access to health care and healthy food.

Public Transportation Revenue Initiatives at the Local and State Levels. In 2012, voters approved 49 out of 62 public transit ballot measures across the U.S. In 2013, state legislatures across the country have stepped up their consideration of transportation legislation.

Regional Economies: What Governance Model Is Right for Your Area? Across the country, many public transportation operations have taken the form of transit districts, regional transit authorities, or joint power authorities. Some regional authorities have taxing powers, while individual communities in some regions can decide whether or not to participate.

Congress and the Federal Transit Agenda. Congressional staff from key committees will share their views on the public transportation industry’s legislative priorities.

Public Trust—Transit’s Fiduciary Responsibilities. Decreasing public resources and escalating operating costs, combined with a general aversion to tax increases, have all contributed to increased public scrutiny of public funds and assets and of those entrusted with the fiduciary responsibilities to manage them.

Industry Standards & Best ­Practices. Public transit systems are relying more and more on industry best practices to help in procurement, design, operations, safety, maintenance, and sustainability.

Private Sector Participation in Financing Transit Development & Operation. Speakers representing a variety of perspectives on public-private partnerships will examine when private participation can be used most effectively in financing projects through creative leveraging of local, state, and federal revenue sources.

APTA/COMTO DBE Assembly—Transit Board Members’ Roles. This year’s Assembly will focus on best practices in the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs and the role of the public transit board member in effective programs.

After the Audit: How DOT is Responding to the Inspector General’s Audit of Transportation DBE Programs. This session will follow up on the recent audit of DOT’s DBE programs and will include a review of the department’s response.

Boston Marathon Attack and Key Role of MBTA.
Immediately after the April 15 attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority joined in the response effort with Boston area first responders and the entire Boston community.

AdWheel Awards Ceremony. Join in the excitement as we honor the first-place winners and announce the grand award winners in the 34th Annual AdWheel Awards competition honoring the best in public transportation marketing and communications.

Staying on Message. For a better understanding of messaging and sound bites, join this session on the art of maintaining control of media interviews.

Toward More Inclusive, Productive Board Meetings & Public Hearings. This session will help public transit board members better focus discussion, encourage participation, stay on task, and make strategic motions.

Local Policy Development: Ensuring Your Transportation Service Is Open & Accessible to All. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets the ground floor for knowing how to provide people with disabilities with equal access to transportation services. Looking beyond the ADA, however, transportation providers can shape the experience riders have on their systems through the policies they set.

Mineta Transportation Institute Summit: Transit Feeder and Distribution Systems for High-Speed and Intercity Rail. This program will feature a keynote presentation plus case studies from around the world with direct application to the nation’s ­public transit systems feeding high-speed and intercity rail stations.

Host Forum: Leveraging Innovation in Transpor­tation Investments. The ­Chicago metropolitan region is home to one of the largest and oldest public transportation systems in the country, moving nearly two million bus and rail riders a day. Operators are increasingly relying on innovation to grow ridership, improve efficiency, fight congestion, expand access, and serve residents more effectively.

Leadership APTA—Celebrating Our Graduates; Welcoming the Incoming Class. Members of the graduating class will make presentations on five topics. In addition to the graduation ceremonies, officials will introduce members of the incoming Class of 2014.

Strategic Workforce Development Partnerships—Transit Organizations, Private Businesses, & Academia. Transit executives, business leaders, and academics are forging new partnerships as they realize that each has a major stake in developing a highly qualified workforce.

Current Issues in Technology. As public transit’s commitment to technology evolves, issues related to management, planning, and finance as they relate to technology must evolve as well.

The Role of Research in Transit Operations. In the face of increasing demands from many perspectives on management and operations, where can public transportation professionals turn for guidance and assistance?

Mobilizing Citizens to Advocate for Public ­Transit. By and large, citizens support public transportation, but how do we turn them into strong and vocal advocates?

Complete Streets in Constrained Corridors. Complete streets strive to balance bikes, transit, cars, trucks, and pedestrians, often creating tension among competing modes and interests. Public transit agencies and municipalities must work together to moderate the conflicts and prioritize users for select corridors without sacrificing safety or the intent of the project.

Transit and MPO Partners in Advancing Multimodal Solutions. With the passage of MAP-21, public transportation has an increased opportunity to play a role in transportation planning and programming decisions and working with Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO).

Making Sustainability a Guiding Priority for the Transit Agency. Hear from APTA Sustainability Commitment Platinum and Gold-level recipients as they explain how developing a sustainability plan has led to improved service, satisfied customers, happy employees, and stronger communities.

Arts in Transit/Why Design Matters. The integration of public art and the emphasis on design excellence is a global phenomenon in the industry. Design in transit planning addresses the threefold challenge of a successful development project: aesthetics, function, and durability.

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