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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News



Virginia Miller

 Public Transportation Leaders Will Convene In Chicago Next Week

 U.S. DOT Transportation Secretary and Acting Surgeon General To Participate; Reports on Millennials and Their Views on Public Transit Will Be Released

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will hold its Annual Meeting from September 30– October 2, 2013 at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, IL.  Hosted by the Chicago Transit Authority, this premier industry event will attract more than 1,200 public transportation leaders from across North America.   The 2013 APTA Annual Meeting will include sessions that focus on a number of topics affecting the public transportation industry including:  MAP-21 legislation, sustainability, economic issues, workforce development, technology, safety and security, high-speed rail, and public-private partnerships. 

On Monday, September 30, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will share his vision for the public transportation industry and priorities for the department on September 30 from 2:30-4:00 p.m.  Earlier in the day, Peter Rogoff, the administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will speak at the morning Opening Session, and share his thoughts on the FTA’s national initiatives for the industry. 

On Tuesday morning, from 10:15-11:15 a.m., two reports on the views that the Millennial generation (ages 18-34) holds toward public transportation will be released by APTA and PIRG.  Reporters can attend in person or phone in to hear the discussion of the reports’ findings.  To phone in, please RSVP to Katilyn Barrett at

At the Tuesday morning General Session Gil Penalosa, former Commissioner of Bogota Colombia and now Executive Director of 8-80 Cities, will focus on how transportation shapes our urban environment. Later on Tuesday afternoon from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m., Acting U.S. Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, will share his perspective on how public transportation provides access to health care.

Additionally, a product showcase with more than 100 exhibitors will take place on Monday, September 30, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Chicago Hilton.  Listed below are some highlighted session topics; to view a complete schedule visit

News media are invited to attend the conference at no charge but early registration is encouraged.  Please complete the media registration form.  On-site media registration is available at the conference registration desk at the Chicago Hilton in Boulevard A, Second Floor.  The media center is in room PDR 2 at the Chicago Hilton.


Monday, September 30

8 – 9:30 a.m.

Second Floor

International Ballroom

OPENING GENERAL SESSION: It's All About the People



      -Michael P. Melaniphy, president & CEO, APTA

Sponsor Recognition:

      -Francois-Xavier Perin, chief executive officer & president, Ratp Dev, Paris, France

Host Welcomes:

      -Terry Peterson, chairman, Chicago Transit Board, Chicago, IL

      -Forrest Claypool, president, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL


      -Administrator Peter M. Rogoff, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC

      -Flora M. Castillo, CHIE, 2012-2013 chair, APTA, and board member, New Jersey Transit Corporation, Newark, NJ

      -Peter Varga, 2013-2014 chair, APTA, and chief executive officer, Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid), Grand Rapids, MI

American Public Transportation Foundation Scholarship Awards Presentation

      -Bonnie D. Shepherd, chair, American Public Transportation Foundation, and vice president, Northeast transportation, Hatch Mott MacDonald, Rockville, MD



10 – 11:30 a.m.

Lobby Level

Continental Ballroom A

Host Forum – Leveraging Innovation in Transportation Investments

The Chicago metropolitan region is home to one of the largest and oldest public transportation systems in the country. A major transportation hub, it moves nearly 2 million bus and rail riders a day. Operators are increasingly relying on innovation to increase transit usage, improve efficiency, fight congestion, expand access, and serve residents of the Chicago metropolitan region more effectively. New transportation technology and programs that deliver a variety of mobility options are benefiting transit users and the environment, and enriching daily life by increasing accessibility and giving users options. The goal is a modern, integrated, coordinated, and innovative rapid transit system that serves the entire Chicago metropolitan region. 



10 – 11:30 a.m.

Second Floor

Grand Ballroom



Boston Marathon Attack and Key Role of MBTA

On April 15, 2013, a heinous act of terrorism was carried out at the site of the Boston Marathon. Immediately following the attack, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority joined with Boston area first-responders and the entire Boston community in actions that were incredible and heroic.  Learn from their experiences that spanned issues and challenges ranging from security to crisis operations and communications to inter-agency and government interface.



11:30 – 2 p.m.

Lower Level

Salons C & D

Products & Services Showcase

Many business members’ products and services are showcased at the 2013 Products & Services Showcase.  Expert personnel are on hand to answer questions as you inspect what’s new and innovative in the world of public transportation equipment and services. 



2:30 – 4 p.m.

Second Floor

International Ballroom

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx

Join us for an informative session as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx shares with us his vision for the public transportation industry and priorities for the department.  Come hear Secretary Foxx, a strong proponent of public transportation and former mayor of Charlotte, NC, in his first appearance at an APTA conference.  FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff will join the Secretary for this robust session on department priorities.



2:30 – 4 p.m.

Lobby Level

Continental Ballroom A

Transit's Next Decade: Supporting Millennials & the Business Community

Recent APTA research shows that hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity are at stake due to inadequate investment in public transit. Meanwhile, generational forces and demographic change are increasing the demand for public transportation. Learn about new research and strategies that can make our next decade an even better one.



4:30 – 6 pm.

Third Floor

Waldorf Room

Congress and the Federal Public Transportation Agenda

Key congressional staff engaged in overseeing public transportation programs will share their views on the outlook for legislative progress during the remainder of the 113th Congress.



Tuesday, October 1

8:30 – 10 a.m.

Second Floor

International Ballroom

GENERAL SESSION: APTA Business Members Present Gil Penalosa

Our guest speaker, Gil Penalosa, former Commissioner of Bogota, Colombia and Executive Director 8-80 Cities, is an internationally recognized livable cities consultant who works to create vibrant, sustainable, and healthy cities for all ages.  Penalosa’s focus is on how transportation shapes our urban environments to create vibrant and active places.



10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

Eighth Floor

Lake Ontario Room

New Research on Millennial Generation’s Transportation Behaviors

Two new reports on the views by the Millennial generation toward public transportation will be released by APTA and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).  Media can attend in person or phone.  To phone in, please RSVP to Kaitlyn Barrett at or call 202-446-1159.


             -Michael Melaniphy, President and CEO, American Public
              Transportation Association (APTA)
             -Peter Varga, CEO of the Interurban Transit Partnership
             (The Rapid”), Grand Rapids, MI and the new APTA Chair
             -Phineas Baxandall, Senior Policy Analyst for the U.S.
              Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG)
             -Max Muller, Director of Government Relations and
              Advocacy for Active Transport Alliance



2:30 – 4 p.m.

Lobby Level

Continental Ballroom B

Public Transportation, Access to Health Services, and Healthy Living

Studies show that each year 3.6 million American’s skip or delay medical appointments due to transportation problems, bringing on prevention challenges that become costly to society overall. In addition, the walkability associated with transit-oriented communities leads to healthier lifestyles and social interaction, and safer and cleaner communities. In this session, several of APTA's key partners will share their perspectives as to the value public transportation brings to communities.


            -Flora M. Castillo, CHIE, 2012-2013 chair, APTA, and
             member, New Jersey Transit Corporation Newark, NJ
-Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., Acting
             U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health & Human
             Services, Washington, DC
            -Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FNAPA, FACEP
            (E), Hon FRSPH, executive director, American Public Health
             Association, Washington, DC
            -Ken Rose, senior policy advisor, Centers for Disease
             Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 
            -Jan Lynott, AICP, senior strategic policy advisor,
             AARP, Washington, DC (invited)



Wednesday, October 2

9:30 – 11 a.m.

Lobby Level

Continental Ballroom C

Complete Streets in Constrained Corridors

Complete Streets strive to foster the balance among bikes, transit, cars, trucks, and pedestrians, often creating tension between competing modes and interests. How do transit agencies and municipalities work together to moderate the conflicts and prioritize users for select corridors and not sacrifice safety or the intent of the project? Hear perspectives on how urban circulators, street cars, and Bus Rapid Transit become part of the ultimate complete street in a constrained right of way.


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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.


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