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Annual Meeting Keynoter Looks to Changes in Public Transit's Future

The public transit landscape is changing rapidly, as shifting demographics and rapidly evolving technology are converging to drive innovation and shape the future of the industry—a theme that will take center stage at the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO Opening General Session, ­Monday, Oct. 9, in Atlanta.

Joseph Coughlin, founder and director of MIT’s AgeLab, calls this trend “disruptive demographics,” which is the focus of his keynote remarks at the session. APTA leaders, including Chair Doran J. Barnes, Vice Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. and Acting President & CEO Richard White will also share their insights at the session.

Coughlin’s research focuses on how the convergence of baby boomer expectations and technology will shape the future of public policy and drive innovation across global industries including transportation, financial services, foods, insurance, health, IT, telecommunications and retail sectors.

He serves on the Transportation Research Board’s Advisory Committee on the Safe Mobility of Older Persons and recently chaired a national symposium on the impact of changing demographics in transportation for the National Academy of Sciences and U.S. DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

Register now
to attend the Annual Meeting & EXPO, Oct. 8-11.

In addition to educational and technical sessions, expert speakers and the products and services at the triennial EXPO, the schedule includes eight technical tours hosted by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA):

* Atlanta Streetcar/­BeltLine System: A bus tour showcasing the Atlanta Streetcar and Atlanta BeltLine—a development incorporating pedestrian-friendly rail transit, parks and affordable housing—and providing an overview of the Atlanta Streetcar System Plan.

* Atlanta Streetcar Economic Development: An overview of the development of the first segment of the Atlanta Streetcar and the development and investment that has grown along the route.

* MARTA Brady Mobility (Paratransit) Facility: The new MARTA Brady Mobility (Paratransit) facility accommodates the administrative functions, operations and maintenance needs for MARTA’s entire paratransit fleet. It is designed with sustainable features, achieving LEED Silver certification, and houses maintenance on the first floor and administration operations on the second floor.

* Relay Bikes: A biking tour to show off Atlanta’s new bikeshare system, the bicycling amenities throughout the MARTA system and the city’s rapidly expanding bicycle infrastructure

.* MARTA Integrated Operations Center & Emergency Operations Center: This facility is the hub of all MARTA command, control and communications centers.

* Safe Track: Tour participants will enjoy a firsthand demonstration and presentation of two innovative products being developed through a collaborative partnership among the FTA Office of Research, Innovation & Demonstration, MARTA and the private sector, specifically ­Bombardier and ENSCO Rail Inc.

* TOD Projects: This tour will showcase projects undertaken through MARTA’s TOD initiative at all stages of development: completed, under construction and planned.

* State Road and Tollway Authority Operations & Maintenance Facility: This recently opened facility serves as the south hub and base of operations for 13 of 27 Xpress commuter coach transit routes. It also features a separate administrative building that houses a high-tech dispatch command center.

Attendees wishing to participate in one or more of the tours can sign up on site at the host information desk in the APTA registration area in the Georgia World Congress Center.
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