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American Public Transportation Association

 Suggested Topic Areas

Following is a list of topic areas where we plan to focus the 2012 workshop. If you have topic ideas outside these areas that you would like to have considered, please do not hesitate to submit them. We are looking for the latest information on best practices, successful projects, and knowledge transfer relating to all areas of transit planning and scheduling.

More Expectations, Fewer Resources: Looking for Efficiencies

The economy is recovering; so why are our belts still so tight? Transit agencies are still trying to do more with less. When there is only so much low hanging fruit to be picked, where does looking for efficiencies become counterproductive? Where are our state legislatures beginning to see the value in investing in our transportation infrastructures and operations? When do we again start looking to plan for the future? In the meantime, how do we “right-size” our current service?

Ridership Changes Based on Transit Benefits Changes and Other Factors

The debate over transportation reauthorization and funding extensions is in full swing. Ridership changes based on the availability of transit benefits, both at the federal level and at the employer pretax level, has caused some to re-evaluate their route to work to adjust for their cost of commuting via transit. How have this and other factors influenced your ridership? What methods have you used to adjust routes that are no longer producing the desired ridership? What models are you using to predict your ridership over the next few years?

Service Planning and Scheduling for Special Events and Natural Disasters

The east coast experienced a one-hundred year earthquake this year in close proximity to a hurricane and several planned large events. What can we learn from our connections with the Emergency Management community to be prepared for these situations? What planning processes do you have in place within your transit agencies to deal with both the expected and unexpected? What advance preparations can be made, and what plans actually worked? What are the best approaches to shutting a system down if necessary and then bringing it back online?

Developing Relationships with City Planners

Relationships among planners from different jurisdictions at the city and regional levels can realize untold benefits. But not all planners speak “transit.” What are the best approaches to enhance these relationships, and what are the best ways to educate fellow planners on the benefits that transit brings to a region? What goals should transit planners have for these relationships, and what should we bring to the table?

Operations Scheduling

This session seeks abstracts to discuss both the basics of teaching and learning operations scheduling, as well as innovative and advanced concepts in the field. How are exceptions to your schedules determined and executed? What non-traditional approaches to scheduling do you use to expedite and optimize your services? Do you have some experimental approaches that did not live up to expectations that you could share with other systems? How are you approaching the bid process (rostering vs. open bid)?

Facilities Planning

Planning for facilities is as much a part of transit as getting operational service on the street. How have the approaches for developing transit facilities changed recently? What are the major drivers for planners to consider when developing new facility requirements? What successes have you had in building to environmentally-friendly goals for your agency and region?

Innovations in Vehicles, Service Planning and Scheduling

Today’s transit agencies are purchasing new vehicles with better passenger amenities and upgraded technology. Many of them have been able to leverage these new vehicles to attract new riders and keep existing ones. We are looking for your ideas on how new modes, new propulsion systems, and new driving technologies are changing how transit will look to our future riders. How will the mix of your agency’s vehicles change? Will spare ratios need to be updated? What are the forces that will affect tomorrow’s transit?

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