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American Public Transportation Association

 Session Descriptions

Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop - Last updated July 12, 2011

Please note that this is a preliminary schedule and is subject to change.

You can also download the final program (pdf).

Sunday, July 31
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Beginning after 12:00 p.m.

(Outside hotel)

Sustainability in Action Tours

  • Metro Support Services Center
  • El Monte Station and Metro Division 9 Operations Building
  • Metro Red Line Transit Oriented Development
  • Metro Orange Line Busway Tour/Bike Tour

Tour descriptions and additional information

4:30–6:00 p.m.

APTA Sustainability Steering Committee Meeting

6:00 –7:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception
Products and Services Table Top Display

Monday, August 1
7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Products and Services Showcase

8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Opening Session


  • William Millar, president, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC

Goals and Overview

  • Kevin Desmond, chair, APTA Sustainability Committee, general manager, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA

Welcome to Los Angeles Metropolitan Region

  • Art T. Leahy, chief executive officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Honorable Antonio R. Villaraigosa, 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, California (invited)
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Plenary Session: LA Metro Host Forum 

Presentations and roundtable discussion on what Los Angeles and its surroundings are doing to make their city and region more livable and sustainable through smart transportation and land-use policies and sustainable operating practices.

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.


10:45 – 12:00 p.m.

Plenary Session: International Perspectives 

Gain an overview of current trends in sustainable development and transportation worldwide. Hear from the UITP (the International Association of Public Transport), and ITDP (the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy) as well as the International Transit Studies Program’s recent trip to India and China. 

  • Moderator:
    Kevin Desmond, chair, APTA Sustainability Committee, general manager, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA
  • UITP Update:
    John Inglish, chief executive officer, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT
  • International Transit Studies Program Update:
    Clinton Bench, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Transportation Planning, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Boston, MA
  • ITDP Update:
    Walter Hook, executive director, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, New York, NY
12:00– 1:30 p.m.


  • Deputy Administrator Therese McMillian, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
1:45 – 5 p.m.

Sustainability Seminars

Hear how APTA members are operationalizing sustainability and making sustainable policy, procurement, design, construction, production, service, operations and maintenance the modus operandi. Learn from international examples of creating sustainable mobility today.

1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Part I: Sustainable Planning, Policy, and Community Development

This session focuses on partnerships for sustainable, healthy and livable communities, joint development, sustainable practices in transportation planning, land use, and urban design.

  • Moderator: David Taylor, national director, Sustainable Transportation Solutions HDR, Tampa, FL
  • Developing a MultiModal Transportation Strategy for Sustainable Outcomes
    • Karen Messmer, board member, Intercity Transit, Olympia, WA
  • Synergy and Sustainability: Leveraging Transit to Create Sustainable and Livable Communities
    • Cynthia Hoyle, FAICP, LCI, Transportation Planning Consultant, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Urbana, IL 
  • Sustainable Community Strategy
    • Ty Schuling, director of planning, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), San Bernardino, CA

Part I: Green Design, Materials and Infrastructure

This session focuses on integrating sustainability into construction projects and mitigating environmental impacts.

  • Moderator: Tian Feng, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Oakland, CA
  • In the Shadow of the Capital – Green Projects Effectiveness and Lessons Learned
    • Lawrence J. Murphy, senior project manager, CDM, Inc., New York, NY
  • Preserving the Past While Embracing a Sustainable Future: Rehabilitation of the Historic King Street Station 
    • Tim Williams, LEED AP, associate partner, ZGF Architects LLP, Seattle, WA 
  • Beyond LEED- Operating in a Highly Efficient Facility
    • Ken Anderson, AIA LEED AP, senior associate, RNL, Phoenix, AZ

Part I: Sustainable Operations – What You Can Do

This session focuses on energy-efficient, environmentally-sound, and socially-responsive practices in transit operations and maintenance (including the role of new technologies, energy-efficient fleets).

  • Moderator: James de la Loza, senior vice president, planning and project development lead, West Region, AECOM, Los Angeles, CA
  • Walter Kulyk,  director, Office of Mobility Innovation, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
  • Shelly Verrinder, executive director, Access Services, El Monte, CA
  • Angela Miller, chief technology and sustainability officer, North County Transit District, Oceanside, CA 
  • Laurie Actman, director of strategic partnerships & public policy, Viridity Energy, Inc, Conshohocken, PA

Part I: Sustainable Business Practices and Sustainable Organizations

This session focuses on sustainable business practices in manufacturing, procurement, project management, etc. There will also be emphasis on sustainable practices and design in organizations, including green offices, workforce engagement, performance metrics and sustainability reporting.

  • Moderator: Jeff Wharton, chair, APTA Business Member Business Development Subcommittee, chair, APTA Business Member International Business Development Subcommittee: and president, IMPulse NC LLC, Mount Olive, NC
  • Leveraging Sustainability through Employee Engagement for a Competitive Future
    • Danielle Willis, planning team leader/ sustainability coordinator, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Cleveland , OH
  • Our Route to Sustainability
    • Amy Miller, Director of Marketing, New Flyer Industries, Winnipeg, Manitoba , Canada
  • TransLink’s Sustainabilty Approach
    • Trish Webb, director, corporate sustainability, TransLink-South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, Burnaby, BC
  • David Carlson, director of sustainable development, Parsons Corporation, Washington, DC
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.


3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Part II: Sustainable Planning, Policy, and Community Development

  • Moderator: Catherine Cox Blair, program director, Reconnecting America and Center for Transit-Oriented Development, Denver, CO
  • Riding the Rails to a Sustainable Future: HSR Sustainability
    • Margaret Cederoth, AICP LEED, AP, Lead Planner, Professional Associate Sustainability and Alice Lovegrove, senior engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Chicago, IL
    • Alice Lovegrove, senior engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Chicago, IL
  • The Streetcar “Saddle”: Between Narrow Measures of Mobility Improvement and Economic Development
    • David Vozzolo, vice president and Peter Mazurek, senior planner, HDR Engineering, Inc., Vienna, VA
  • John T. Crocker, director of development and regional coordination, Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA

Part II: Green Design, Sustainable Indicators, and Infrastructure

  • Moderator: tbd
  • Sustainable Transportation Analysis and Rating  System  (STARS)
    • Paul Horton, principal consultant, Leigh Fisher, Burlingame, CA  
  • Christopher Behr, LEED AP, section manager, HDR Decision Economics, Silver Spring, MD
  • Sustainable Transit Design - Accomplishing More by Building Less
    • Catherine Calvert AIA, MAIBC, LEED AP, Director -- Commuinity Sustainability, VIA Architecture, Seattle, WA
  • Green Roofs and Green Streets
    • Mathew Joseph Condiotti, PE, project engineer and
    • Tiffany Ledesma Groll, consultant, CDM-Wilbur Smith Associates, Philadelphia, PA

Part II: Sustainable Operations – What You Can Do

Fleets Don’t Fail Me Now- How Prudent Operators Are Planning Low/Zero Emission Bus Fleets

With so many challenges with planning and implementing zero emissions bus fleets, bus transit operators have kept this idea under the radar. Not now. Join a cross sections of bus transit operators and how they are approaching long term planning an decision making necessary to achieve a low- or zero-emissions bus fleet over the next 15-30 years. Hear the technical, safety, and commercial considerations that impact plans. Join a lively talk show format and be part of the conversation

  • Moderator:
    • Collette T. Ericsson, P.E. LEED  AP, chief officer, environmental sustainability, MTA New York City Transit Dept of Buses, New York , NY
  • Panel Members:
    • John Drayton, director of fleet technology, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles, CA
    • George Karbowski, director of operations and maintenance, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA
    • Marty Mellera, manager, climate action and greening, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, CA 
    • Karl Peet, project manager, strategic planning and policy, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL 
    • Luc Tremblay, major engineering studies manager, Societe de Transport de Montreal (STM), Quebec, Ontario, Canada

Part II: Sustainable Business Practices and Sustainable Organizations

  • Moderator: Susannah Kerr Adler, AIA, vice president, national director, transportation facilities, URS Corporation, Washington, DC
  • Green Procurement Practices
    • Susan Reed Tanaka, manager – engineering department, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto, ON and Tian Feng,  San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, San Francisco, CA
  • Garbage to Gold: Developing a Recycling Program that Pays
    • Erik Johanson, sustainability planner, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA
  • Valley Metro’s Initiative
    • Robert  Forrest, environmental planner, Valley Metro Rail, Phoenix, AZ
  • Creating a Culture of Sustainability
    • Tesse Rasmussen, senior consultant, InfraConsult, LLC, Los Angeles, CA
5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

APTA Sustainability Commitment Subcommittee Meeting

6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Networking Social Event (outside hotel)

Tuesday, August 2
7:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.


7:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Products and Services Showcase

8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Transit and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Making Public Transportation Prominent on Climate Action

APTA Standards Leading the Way

Numerous cities, states, and regions across the country have set greenhouse gas emission reductions targets. This session is designed to focus on how the transportation environment is being affected and how transit agencies are playing a key role. What is the policy context for transit agencies’ actions in the climate arena is, what is transit’s true carbon reduction impact and how are agencies going about planning and decision-making on climate actions to take?

  • Moderator:
    • Eric Hesse, chair, APTA Standards Climate Change Working Group and strategic planning analyst, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District, Portland, OR 
  • Speakers:
    • Projjal K. Dutta, AIA LEED AP, director, sustainable initiatives,, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, NY
    • Timothy N. Papandreou, Deputy Director, Sustainable Streets-Planning & Policy, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, CA
    • Mark Minor, principal analyst, Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago, IL  
9:30 – 9:45 a.m.


9:45-11:45 a.m.

Concurrent Peer Exchanges

Partnerships and Planning for Livable and Sustainable Communities and Corridors 

  • Moderator: Paul P. Skoutelas, senior vice president & market leader, transit and rail, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Speakers:
    • Deirdre Oss, AICP, senior planner, CPD-Plan Implementation, City and County of Denver, Denver, CO
    • Kimberly Slaughter, Senior Vice President, Service Design & Development, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, Texas
    • Francie Stefan, community and strategic planning manager, City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica, CA
    • Robin Blair, director, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles, CA
    • Dennis Allen, executive director, Los Angeles Streetcar, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
    • Abigail Thorne-Lyman, project director, Reconnecting America, Oakland, CA

Moving Forward on Environmental Management Systems and Sustainable Plans

  • The  roundtable focuses on the practical side of implementing Environmental Management Systems  and how they can serve as framework for  sustainable plans. Hear brief presentations from FTA on EMS followed  by transit systems that have or in the process of implementing an EMS will share innovative approaches and practices, benefits, obstacles, and lessons learned.
  • Moderator: Diana C. Mendes, AICP, senior vice president, director of strategic investments transportation, AECOM, Arlington, VA
  • Speakers:
    • Antoinette Quagliata, LEED AP, environmental protections specialist, office of  planning and environment, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
    • Dan Locke, environmental compliance administrator, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT  
    • Dr. Emmanuel “Cris” Liban, P.E., manager, environmental compliance and services, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority,Los Angeles, CA
    • Drew Bargmann, planner, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Urbana, IL
    • Christine Anderson, special projects manager, King County Metro, Seattle, WA
    • Amy Shatzkin, sustainability manager, Sound Transit, Seattle, WA

Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER)

  • Join and participate in a Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program educations exchange and share innovative ideas that have TIGGER-like elements. Learn about the history, current issues, and future of the program. Enjoy presentations by your colleagues in the field and learn about the ongoing efforts of the TIGGER Assessment Program. Focus will also be given to the FY11 TIGGER Program and potential changes under the FY12 budget.
  • Speakers:
    • Walter Kulyk, director, Office of Mobility Innovation, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
    • Matthew Lesh, transportation program specialist, Office of Mobility Innovation, Research, Demonstration & Innovation, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
    • Leslie Eudy, sr. program manager (TIGGER Assessment Program)National Renewable Energy Lab/ Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy,U.S. Department of Energy, Golden, CO
    • Dana Coyle, analyst, sustainability initiatives, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, NY
    • Andrew D. Brennan, director of environmental affairs, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston, MA
    • Tom Fitzwater, manager, Environmental Programs and Resources Management. Sata Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Luncheon: The Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities 

  • Come join a lunchtime celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the partnership that helps support innovative strategies that connect housing and transportation to jobs, health care, and educational opportunities. Hear about upcoming funding opportunities and regional perspectives from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S Department of Transportation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Facilitator: Therese McMillan
  • Panel Members:
    • Leslie Rogers, regional administrator, Tederal Transit Administration, San Francisco, CA
    • Ophelia B. Basgal, regional administrator, Region IX, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, San Francisco, CA
    • Enrique Manzanilla, director, Communities and Ecosystems Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, San Francisco, CA
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Closing Session: The Value of Sustainability

  • Join a prominent panel of sustainability leaders in an interactive discussion of howto truly measure and communicate the value of sustainability from a transit industry perspective.
  • Moderator:
    • Kevin Desmond, chair, APTA Sustainability Committee, general manager, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA
  • Speakers:
    • J. Barry Barker, executive director,  Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY
    • John Robert Smith, president, Reconnecting America and Center for TOD, Washington, DC (invited)
    • Gordon Feller, director-urban innovation, Cisco, San Jose, CA
    • Cynthia Jarrold, federal policy coordinator, Transportation Equity Network, Kansas City, KS
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

APTA Sustainability Committee Meeting

Wednesday, August 3
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

FTA Transit Climate Change Adaptation Seminar

Optional: pre-registration required

Keynote Speaker: Dr. B. Tod Delaney, PE, president, FirstEnvironment, Boonton, NJ

This half day seminar will feature a mix of interactive exercises, discussions, and presentations. Come learn directly from experts in the field how to adapt transit assets and services to current and projected impacts of climate change. Climate impacts include flooding of bus facilities and subway tunnels from more intense rain storms; buckled tracks, material stress, and customer and worker health impacts from heat waves; and damage to coastal infrastructure from sea level rise and storm surge.

Public transit agencies who have conducted their own climate change vulnerability and risk assessments and participated in state and local adaptation efforts will share what they have learned. Climate scientists will explain the most up to date science and how it applies to planning at the regional level.

Attendees will then participate in an interactive mock climate adaptation assessment. Participants will join in discussion with transit professionals from across the spectrum of fields affected by climate change: asset management, planning, engineering, safety, operations, maintenance, policy, and sustainability.

By assessing both existing and planned transit infrastructure, we can ensure that vital assets are protected, and that future investments are guided by the best available information about future climate and sea level rise conditions.

This morning seminar is designed for public transportation agency personnel, FTA staff, and metropolitan planning organizations.

The event is free of charge. Pre-registration is required as space is limited. The seminar will directly follow the APTA Sustainability Workshop being held earlier in the week. For more information, please contact Tina Hodges at 202-366-4287 or

1:00-5:00 p.m.

APTA Standards Urban Design Working Group Meeting

1:00-5:00 p.m.

APTA Standards Sustainability Performance Metrics Working Group Meeting

Additional working groups TBA

Thursday, August 4
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

APTA Standards Urban Design Working Group Meeting

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

APTA Standards Sustainability Performance Metrics Working Group Meeting

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