Billed as the industry’s premier meeting, an estimated 15,000 public transit-agency professionals will converge on Houston’s Hilton Americas & George R. Brown Convention Center Oct. 12–15 for the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA’s) Annual Meeting.
Funding for public transportation remains among the leading issues for transit agencies, and ridership appears to be growing. In a just-released report from APTA, “more than 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in the second quarter of 2014, a 1.1 percent increase over the same quarter last year, representing an increase of 30 million more trips.”
“It’s encouraging to see an increase in ridership, but public transit agencies continue to be strapped for funds during a time when federal policy remains uncertain,” says Linda Cherrington of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). Cherrington is the manager of TTI’s Transit Mobility Program, which will play a vital role in the upcoming APTA Annual Meeting.
TTI researchers will conduct a pre-conference workshop highlighting many of the most important transit issues: research and development, technology and performance, safety, sustainability and passenger mobility.
TTI’s Hot Topics in Transit Workshop is free and will be held in room 335C at the Hilton America Downtown on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP by contacting TTI Assistant Research Scientist Lauren Cochran at [email protected] or by calling (713) 613-9209.
“Technology will continue to play a huge role for transit agencies in the near future,” Cochran says. She’s heading up the transit portion of a project that includes a test bed at the Institute’s Riverside Campus that will explore automation and connected vehicle technologies for the transit industry.
Cochran is also an expert in alternative fuel options for transit agencies. “Many agencies are phasing out the use of diesel fuel in favor of cleaner and less expensive options, including compressed natural gas and electric vehicles. There are a lot of exciting things happening in the industry right now, and we are looking forward to presenting our research at the conference,” she says.
In addition to their meeting presentations and pre-conference workshop, TTI will have a booth (number 7609) at the APTA EXPO, which will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Oct. 13-15. The expo is the world’s largest public transportation exhibition with more than 750 exhibitors.