Program Update

After a great deal of thoughtful consideration, due to the transit industry’s priorities of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its after-effects, APTA has decided to delay or postpone our leadership programs for the year. One of the hallmarks of the Emerging Leaders Program is the networks built among participants and the access that they have to industry leaders through their participation in APTA national conferences. While several options were explored to hold virtual meetings, the Emerging Leaders Program Committee agreed that in-person sessions and interaction are required for the participants to benefit genuinely from the programs.

The Emerging Leaders Program Class of 2021 will retain their positions in the program and will become the Class of 2022. These participants will be asked to recommit the program in the Fall of 2020. An abbreviated application program will be conducted to fill any open slots. Please see the updated program timeline for more details.

Are you an emerging professional in the public transportation industry and considering the next steps in your career (e.g. how you achieve your next promotion)? If so, consider APTA’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) as a professional development opportunity that will help you grow as a leader and expand your understanding of the industry.

The ELP provides public transportation professionals with the skills, knowledge, and networks needed for advancement. Participants learn from industry leaders while participating in a program that provides opportunities to interact with areas of the industry beyond their specialization. Most importantly, participants learn from a talented cohort of professionals, their classmates, who will become life-long colleagues and friends.

The Emerging Leaders Program Committee will select 35 individuals from APTA member organizations who represent the rich diversity of the industry to participate in the 12-month long program. The curriculum includes a variety of skill building workshops, round table sessions, online collaboration, and unique access to the industry’s leaders through a national mentoring program.


The intended audience for this program is ​professionals with approximately 3-5 years of industry work experience, including 1-3 years of managing tasks, projects, or staff.​ ELP is meant as a predecessor to the Eno Transit Mid Manager Seminar and the Leadership APTA Program. If you have 6 or more years of transit experience AND 3 or more years of experience managing people, projects or tasks, please consider applying to the Eno Transit Mid-Level Managers Seminar.

The exception may be frontline employees who have 6 or more years of transit experience, but are new to management or administration. These individuals who have 1-3 years of experience managing people, projects, or tasks are candidates for ELP. ​

Program Benefits

  • Participate in a national professional development program specifically designed to meet your needs as you move forward in your career.
  • Deepen your knowledge of the public transportation industry outside your area of specialization.
  • Benefit from a local and national mentoring program.
  • Develop a strong network of transit professionals.
  • Build awareness of the breadth and range of transit career paths and opportunities.
  • Hone your talents and become the best of the next generation of industry specialists, managers, and leaders.
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