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Meet Brian Alberts!

Brian Alberts
Member Services Department

What are your primary responsibilities—the job elements you focus on the most?

One of my major priorities is the planning and execution of sessions on safety-related topics at the major APTA meetings (Bus & Paratransit, Rail, Annual Meeting) and the APTA Mid-Year Safety Seminar for ­public transit safety officers and directors. I was responsible for three sessions at this year’s bus conference and four at the rail conference; I solicited and received abstracts on session topics, invited speakers and took care of on-site planning. I also helped plan safety sessions at the recent Transit Board Members & Board Support Seminar and Risk Management Seminar.

In addition, I co-manage the Bus and Rail Safety and Security Excellence Awards program, examining applications and recruiting members of panels to evaluate the applications and select winners. I work closely on this with Polly Hanson, director-transit security and emergency management.

Another large responsibility is my oversight of the APTA Safety Management Audit Program. I help plan safety audits; work with auditors to keep their skills and knowledge current, such as bringing them together for software training; and keep track of all audits on a single calendar.

Recently, I participated in a two-week safety audit in Hong Kong and prepared the final report after I returned.As the staff advisor for four APTA committees, I conduct a monthly webinar for them spotlighting safety issues. Currently, we’re focusing on the requirements of FTA’s State Safety Oversight program as well as other important transit safety regulatory and operational issues.

What kind of conversations do you have with APTA members?

I’m in contact with APTA members all the time—literally. I talk to members anywhere from two to five or more times a day. I am staff advisor for the four APTA safety committees, so I have a good deal of contact with all the committee chairs and vice chairs. Also, I used to work at FTA as the lead for safety policy and regulatory development so, when members ask about getting help from FTA, I can refer them to people I know there.  I see myself as a conduit between APTA members and FTA and FRA staff.

We have important issues to discuss with federal agencies, such as safety training, federal regulations, new technologies both inside and outside public transit vehicles and improved protections for workers in the right-of-way, to name just a few of the many critical safety issues.

What initiatives, projects, or programs have you worked on at APTA that you take particular pride in completing?

I’m proud of my work to help revamp the safety audit program. Some of the ways I have helped improve the audits include adoption of a software program, updating criteria and better organization of the calendar. I am really proud of all the work I have put into revamping the APTA Safety Management Audit Program in my short six-month tenure at APTA and I hope to continue to improve it. Polly and I also are working to improve the APTA Safety and Security Excellence Awards program, such as highlighting the Gold Award winners at a Learning Zone session at the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO.

How long have you worked for APTA? Have you held other jobs in the public transportation industry?

I’ve been with APTA for about six months. I first became involved with public transit at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), where I worked from 2008-2011 as public transit programs manager, then I took a job at FTA related to policy and safety issues. I attended some APTA meetings during my time at AASHTO and FTA, including the State Programs Meeting, the APTA Annual Meeting (at which I spoke on a panel in 2016), and the APTA Bus and Rail conferences.

What professional affiliations do you have?

I’ve been a member of the Young Professionals in Transportation group and also received numerous safety-related certifications as a FTA staff member.

Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

AI love to travel. I’ve been to more than 25 countries, but only one of them—Hong Kong—was for work. I hope to continue to travel more in the future!


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