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Annual Meeting & EXPO 2017 Only Weeks Away; DOT Secretary Chao to Address Closing Session

DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao will be the keynote speaker at the Oct. 11 ­Closing General Session of this year’s APTA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, reporting on the administration’s priorities for the future of the industry and the principles for developing an infrastructure initiative by year’s end.

Educational sessions are among the highlights of this year’s meeting schedule, examining numerous topics related to APTA’s strategic goals: Safety & Security First, Resource Advocacy, Workforce Development, Demographic Shifts and Technological Innovation. Register for the meeting here.

An Oct. 9 General Session, “Opportunity Is Knocking: Forward Looking Solutions for Challenging Times,” addresses the ways that emerging transportation, communication, energy technologies, changing public expectations, growing income disparity and the need for renewed and resilient infrastructure are affecting the future.

At other sessions, visionary leaders will convene an executive roundtable to discuss the transformation of their organizational culture and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), host system for the meeting, will conduct a forum that expands on the city’s deep ties to the transportation industry, dating back to its role as a railroad hub in the 1800s. Also, a breakfast discussion will consider ways to further career advancement for young professionals within the transportation industry.

At a time when numerous public transit agencies are recovering from hurricanes, officials from FTA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will lead a session describing how transit agencies have managed resources in the wake of catastrophic events.

APTF to Honor Ford
The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) will honor Incoming APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. at a fundraising reception Sunday, Oct. 8, from 8-11 p.m.  All donations will benefit the APTF and help provide scholarships and engagement opportunities for future leaders in the public transportation industry. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Tours, EXPO
MARTA will also present technical tours emphasizing its streetcar line and economic development, the new paratransit facility, its new bikeshare operation and the Integrated Operations Center and Emergency Operations Center, the nerve center of MARTA’s Command, Control, and Communications Center.

Concurrent with the Annual Meeting is the International Public Transportation EXPO, which provides a great opportunity for industry professionals to mingle, network and get firsthand looks at new technology and ways of best practices.

In addition to the more than 12,000 attendees expected at the three-day event, the exhibit floor will host more than 800 exhibitors displaying 50+ buses, a full-size railcar and multiple mockup railcars and a broad range of public transit-related technologies and services in an exhibition space totaling more than 300,000 net square feet—with autonomous vehicle displays outside the two exhibit halls. More than 200 exhibitors represent companies from outside the US.

Public Transit Industry and Advocates to ‘Rally 4 Transit’
APTA is sending a call to action to its members, EXPO attendees and Voices for Public Transit advocates telling them it is crucial to tell Congress to fully fund public transportation and include it in any proposed infrastructure investment initiative.
Members and supporters will receive more information soon on ways they can participate in this virtual and in-person “#Rally4Transit.” Here are three major actions you can take:

* Make a Boom on Social Media: Keep a lookout for an email to sign up for our #Rally4Transit ­Thunderclap. It’s easy to participate; all you need is a Facebook or Twitter account. On Oct. 9 at approximately 9 a.m., ­Twitter and Facebook will post the same message on APTA’s pages at the same time, using the hashtag ­#Rally4Transit. In this case, the message is, ­“Congress, fully fund public transit!” When all of our messages go live at once that day, it will signal the official start of three days of advocacy action in Atlanta and across the nation.

Add Your Name: Sign the petition, “Rally4Transit: Congress Must Fully Fund Public Transportation.” You’ll receive an email soon with a link to add your name to our petition.

* Contact Your Legislator on Rally Day: Starting immediately after the Thunderclap on Oct. 9, and throughout EXPO until Oct. 11, you will receive emails prompting you to take multiple actions to help your support for public transit be heard.
We’re want to make public transit the biggest topic of conversation online and in Washington, DC. Mark your calendars now!

A panoramic view of the downtown Atlanta skyline.

©2014, Gene Phillips, courtesy of ACVB &



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