APTA 2013 Bus & Paratransit Conference & International Bus Roadeo
Conference Call for Presentation Ideas and Abstracts
Route Descriptions and Educational Topics:
Accessible public transportation is essential for independent living and community integration. This educational route will address effective ways to coordinate and improve accessibility and the efficiency of human service transportation delivery by showcasing new and innovative methods by transit operators, agencies and organizations. Abstracts are invited that address any of the following topics:
- Helping People with Disabilities and Older Adults Make More Use of Fixed-Route Transit Services
Passengers say the enjoy living more spontaneous and independent lives when they are able to ride scheduled bus services. What are agencies doing to help riders with disabilities and older adults to use fixed-route services whenever possible? How do the agencies measure riders’ usage of fixed-route services versus ADA-complementary paratransit?
- How Best Should Agencies Help Riders Learn their Rights & Responsibilities Under the ADA?
The question is, what are the best methods to reach riders with information to help them become educated on their rights and responsibilities under the ADA law and related regulations? Abstracts are requested on any aspect of education and communication to riders and descriptions of outreach programs on this topic.
- Offering "Reasonable Modifications" on Paratransit Services
Agencies are building policies and procedures for making reasonable modification to paratransit services. Will agencies be able to accommodate customer requests for particular types of vehicles or locations to board, for example? Come share what your agency’s experiences, requests received from riders, Federal agency communications, customer responses to services, and more. The outcome of this discussion will help to build a structure for agencies on when and how to offer reasonable accommodations.
- High Performing Eligibility Assessment Centers: Best Designs & Operations
You are invited to showcase your organization’s physical design for its eligibility assessment center and describe the operational aspects and metrics – e.g., operational effectiveness, financial costs and benefits, customer satisfaction, and service & assessment quality measurement.) At the session in May, conference goers would like to see designs for the physical center and discuss the operational aspects of how the assessment functions work in each environment. Abstracts are invited for presentations that take us through the physical center, describe its operations, and identify the project’s funding.
- With a "Common Wheelchair" No Longer Defined (by weight and size), How Do Passengers Learn Whether a Vehicle will be able to Transport Them?
Transit providers are mandated to carry passengers using a wheelchair/mobility device if the lift and vehicle can accommodate them, unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements – which include such circumstances as a wheel chair of such size that it would block an aisle, would be too large to fully enter the vehicle, would interfere with safe evacuation in an emergency – based on actual risks (not speculation nor generalization) or posing a safety threat to others.
Agencies have mixed fleets and often passengers travel using the services of multiple transit and paratransit systems. To help standardize approaches and best practices, agencies are invited to submit abstracts that describe their experiences and discuss them at this session which will be in the format of a roundtable discussion rather than formal presentations. What are the strategies that agencies are using to comply with USDOT’s ADA regulations and best serve passengers? Agencies want to serve customers; what do agencies communicate to customers with larger devices about accessibility of different vehicles? What can passengers do when vehicles aren’t able to carry them for parts of their trips?
Abstracts and presentations are invited to discuss: Instances of mobility devices not fitting onto vehicles (because of weight or size) or causing safety hazards; Identify wheelchair and scooter models that are too large or un-maneuverable to fit and carry on vehicles; Data about worker injuries and compensation related to mobility device assistance particularly with heavier weights or un-securable devices; or Other information agencies are seeking; and.Passenger communications from the passengers’ points of view.
Business Practices/General Management
Agencies and organizations are under constant pressure to do more with limited revenue and resources. In today’s economy, many have adopted new business models and processes. This educational route will showcase industry-wide best practices to improve daily operations. Abstracts are invited that address any of the following topics:
- Found Money - Lessons Learned from Transit Operations Internal Auditing
This session will highlight actual “found money” experiences from agencies who have improved transit operations and services after discovering internal mishaps during their auditing processes. Learn from their own lessons on how to prevent cases that could potentially cause an agency to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.
- How Secure Is Your Fare Collection Process?
It is not uncommon for transit agencies to experience fare loss, or even theft, during their day-to-day operations. During this session, fare system managers will address certain instances of fare loss and/or theft, and the measures that they took to ensure such losses would not happen again.
Across the country the maintenance and operations of any transit system – large or small is what gives it credibility. Providing safe, efficient, and quality service for our most important commodity, “the transit rider” is a common factor that is ever changing for the maintenance and operations of any system. This educational route will explore the many vital areas of the maintenance and operations a of transit agency.
- Service Planning: New Tools and Strategies
Transit agencies are using a variety of techniques, strategies and tools to help develop new and restructured service. Abstracts should address service development strategies that help provide more efficient and effective service for the community. Abstract should address performance outcomes of service planning and service development strategies.
- Atlernative Fuels
Zero emissions? Low emissions? The transit industry continues to make great strides with cleaner buses. What do transit agencies need to think about when looking at when lowering their emission output?
More and more agencies see the value in implementing BRT service. What are the challenges and successes? Is it the right decision for your agency?
Policy & Planning
Transit agencies are teaming up with local partners, cities, and businesses, to achieve success in creating accessible, sustainable, and livable communities throughout the nation. This educational route will provide updates and showcase key examples of the linkages between transportation, land use, and development to form livable communities. Abstracts are invited that address any of the following topics:
- Implementing Title Vi and Environmental Justice
Hear how transit agencies are implementing new and existing provisions of FTA’s Title VI and Environmental Justice Circulars. Abstracts should address how transit agencies are setting system wide standards and policies for board approval, sevice equity analyis, conducting ridership surveys, public engagment plans, and other key items contained in the circulars.
- Complete Streets and Complete Trip
Complete streets policies are increasing across the country. How are they being implemented and how do the affect the complete trip for the transit customer? Hear the concepts of complete trip and the need to foster partnerhsip with MPO, the city and public works departments. Abstracts should address first and last mile strategies including pedestrian and biking options in support of the complete trip.
Safety & Security
Although public transportation remains among the safest modes of transportation, agencies, operators and riders are all key stakeholders in maintaining its safety. This educational route will provide real-world examples and recommended practices in developing a safety-first culture. Abstracts are invited that address any of the following topics:
- How Are We Protecting Our Transit Operators?
Aggressive behavior of customers is a growing concern…but we are taking steps to mitigate this problem Throughout our history of providing transit service there has always been an on-going concern for protecting transit operators from the erratic and aggressive behavior of some customers. Whether these incidents are on the rise or we are becoming more informed of incidents, we bear the responsibility to bring measures into effect that will help to mitigate these situations. What types of technology, bus design, training and procedures are being introduced and are resulting in a positive benefit? Join us in this informative session and you will hear from transit practitioners and business representatives who have worked together to make a difference in providing a new level of security for transit operators.
Technology has changed how we do things in the transit industry. Innovations are at work daily. This educational route will showcase new and emerging technology options available to streamline operations and provide enhanced services to transit riders. Emerging technologies and current issues in critical fields will be addressed. Abstracts are invited that address any of the following topics:
- Transit Technology Systems Engineering and Integration
Big words for a big subject. Our industry is awash in new technology, some we ask for and some we get whether we like it or not. Given the constraints we live with on a daily basis how can we best deal with the introduction of new technology and the evolution of existing technology. This panel which includes representatives from the academic, engineering, operating and manufacturing communities will explore the tools available in the form of Systems Engineering and Systems Integration.
- The Future of Wireless
Wireless in here and becoming more pervasive. Once upon a time it was just voice, but today’s radio has expanded to offer CAD/AVL, maintenance data, customer wifi, security, onboard payment systems and much more. In this session we’ll look at both the legal and regulatory aspects of guaranteeing wireless service availability for transit but also the technologies coming out and what they can do for us (and when???). Join us for a thought provoking session on how the future of wireless will shape our industry.
- Social Media: Reshaping Transit Businesses and their Technology
To better meet the changing needs of transit agencies and their riders, transit industry businesses are quickly engaging and tailoring their use of social media and their technologies. This workshop will explore three ways social media is impacting Transit businesses and how using Web 2.0 tools can strengthen business relationships with transit agencies and riders.
Attracting, developing and retaining a quality workforce continues to remain a key issue within the transit industry. This educational route aims to address effective ways to improve career training and development opportunities and organizational cultures. This route will also showcase the efforts being made by agencies and organizations to support a workforce capable of meeting the evolving demands of the industry, and the evolving expectations of customers. Abstracts are invited that address any of the following topics:
- Recruiting and Hiring Returning Veterans - America's Untapped Workforce
America’s returning veterans represent an enormous set of highly skilled, respected, and dependable individuals. The public transportation industry has tremendous opportunity to tap into this pool of returning leaders and technical experts. The transit industry needs to lead by example in reaching out to our veterans and engage them in our industry. Hear from transit agencies who are leading the way in their veteran recruitment outreach and hiring campaigns and programs. Learn about APTA’s own outreach efforts to our returning veterans. Engage in dialogue with groups assisting returning veterans on best ways to reach and attract this audience.
- Work-Life Balance Across Generations
Our daily lives are pulled in many directions. At the end of day, have you succeeded in providing the best customer services? Making deadlines? Meeting family and others expectations? Walking your own talk and believing in what you do? This session takes an honest look at what it takes to find an acceptable level of work-life balance -- work, professional, home, family, and other needs and obligations. How do these questions get addressed and interpreted across cultures and generations? Engage in candid dialogue with seasoned leaders. Share insights, tips, lessons learned. This is a time for open discussion with panel and audience members.
- Managing Your Staff/Providing Quality Service: Impact of Absenteeism and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Abuse
Transit industry employees take pride in providing great service to our customers. We work as a team to meet deadlines, goals, and exceed expectations. We strive to the best, Yet, how do transit managers lead, manage, and plan when the team begins to breaks down - employees do not show up for work, repeatedly call in sick or abuse benefits. Do managers know and understand the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) law? Do you know and live up to your responsibilities? Do you lead by example? Engage in candid dialogue with seasoned leaders. Share insights, tips, lessons learned. This is a time for open discussion with panel and audience members.