Public transportation industry experts from across the country will meet in Tampa, FL May 6-9, 2018, for the Bus & Paratransit Conference which will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside.  Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), this conference will focus on operations and maintenance, accessibility and paratransit, integrated mobility and transformative technology, first-and last-mile transportation, safety and security, planning and sustainability, funding and finance, capital programs, procurement, and workforce development. A bus display and a bus and paratransit products and services showcase are also scheduled and are open to the media. (See below)

The 2018 International Bus Roadeo, which will be held on Sunday, May 6 at Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., highlights the best bus operators and bus maintenance teams in North America.  Local bus roadeo competitions are held in North America to select the competitors in this prestigious competition.  Additionally, the finals for the Customer Service Challenge will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside on Monday, May 7, at 2:00 p.m. The winners for both the International Bus Roadeo and the Customer Service Challenge will be announced at an awards dinner on Tuesday, May 8, at the Tampa Marriott Waterside from 7-9:00 p.m.

​What: International Bus Roadeo​ What:​ 2018 Bus & Paratransit Conference​
​Where: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
3201 Scherer Drive
St. Petersburg, FL​
Where:​ ​Tampa Marriott Waterside
700 S. Florida Ave.
Tampa, FL
​When: May 6, 2018​ When:​ May 6-9​
Time:​ 8 a.m.-5 p.m.​


*** Registration for the media is FREE! To pre-register, send an email to APTA Director-Media, Virginia Miller, at and she will send you the media registration form.  To register onsite, bring your media credentials. ***
Events:  Some conference events are highlighted below.


Monday, May 7
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.



Bus Display (Media: Good Visual Opportunity)
Different types of public transit buses will be on display for inspection and manufacturers’ representatives will be on hand to discuss their products and answer questions.

2 – 3:30 p.m.

Customer Service Challenge
Join us as the industry’s best bus operators compete in a test of customer service skills at this entertaining event. Come see who walks away with the title of transit’s ‘top ambassador.’

Tuesday, May 8
8 – 9:15 a.m.

GENERAL SESSION: 2018 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards Ceremony
The APTA Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards recognize public transportation organizations for their innovative and proactive safety and security programs.  It also provides value to the industry by benchmarking successful programs so other public transit systems can adopt them and derive similar benefits.

-Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., Chair, APTA; Chief Executive Officer, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Jacksonville, FL 

GENERAL SESSION: Big Data’s Big Impact
Join public transportation leaders at this session, which will explore big data’s role in our increasingly complex industry. Learn how both public and private sector organizations are gathering, using, and leveraging big data to improve service, deepen knowledge about riders and other stakeholders, strengthen operations, and integrate mobility options with diverse partners.

-William T. Thomsen, P.E., President & CEO, Urban Engineers of New York, P.C., New York, NY

-Matthew J. Cole, President, Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., San Diego, CA

-Kimberly Slaughter, Vice President, National Transit/Rail Market Sector Leader, HNTB Corporation, Chicago, IL

-Garrett Vandendries, Director, Business Intelligence, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL

 9:30 – 11 a.m.

The Role of Transportation during Emergencies
Public transit agencies can play a significant role in emergency evacuations, particularly in transporting the carless and special needs populations. Join a conversation on the role of public transit and transportation providers in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Hear what resources and tools FTA can offer during unfortunate disasters and other events.

10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Bus Products & Services Showcase
See what’s new and innovative in the world of bus and paratransit equipment and services and talk to the expert personnel who are on hand to answer questions.

1:30 – 3 p.m.

The Use of Technology for Bus Transit Safety & Security
This session will focus on various technologies that are available to deter accidents and crimes, including integrated video management systems for surveillance and data management, and coverage of operators and passengers. In addition, pedestrian detection and collision warning technologies will be discussed.

Wednesday, May 9
8 – 9:30 a.m.

Information Technology
The key to efficient and effective management is careful attention to information technology. There is more to it than just hardware and software. Integration with operations and other critical system elements is essential.

8 – 9:30 a.m.

Managing State of Good Repair, Improving Performance: Lessons Learned in Florida
In this session, Florida’s bus operators will identify the lessons they have learned to improve their asset management process. The audience will hear firsthand from asset managers on how they are improving their practices, they will share success factors and pitfalls to avoid, and discuss the key questions of interest to other agencies across the country.


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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organization which represent a $68 billion industry that directly employs 420,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. 



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