More than 500 public transportation leaders will convene in Washington, DC at the 2017 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Legislative Conference at the JW Marriott Hotel from March 13-14.  This conference directs the industry’s advocacy effort and legislative strategy to the U.S. Congress and Administration executives; and offers sessions with key members of Congress, Hill staff, Administration officials, and Washington opinion makers.  A variety of topics will be discussed, including: insight on the FAST Act; updates from USDOT; and issues affecting public transit and intercity passenger rail. The public transit leaders will spend Tuesday and Wednesday on Capitol Hill lobbying their congressional representatives.

A press conference highlighting how communities and the nation will benefit if there is a trillion-dollar infrastructure initiative will be held on Monday, March 13 at 11:00 a.m.  Public transit agency leaders and APTA leadership will participate. Details are below.

As part of this year’s Legislative Conference, APTA members will hear from U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer; U.S. Representative John Delaney; U.S. Representative Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.; and U.S. Representative Seth Moulton; and leaders from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; The Associated General Contractors of America; and American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

What: 2017 APTA Legislative Conference
​Where: ​JW Marriott Hotel
1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC
​When: ​Monday, March 13 – Tuesday, March 14, 2017
​Events: ​Some conference events are highlighted below

*** Registration for the media is FREE! To pre-register, send an email to APTA Director-Media, Virginia Miller, at, along with the name of your organization and title. Bring your media credentials onsite as they will be requested when you register. The APTA Media Center will be located in the Justice Room at the JW Marriott. ***

Monday, March 13

8 – 9:15 a.m.
Ballroom Level
Grand Ballroom III & IV

The “Insider” Perspective for the Transit Industry
Start the first full day of the conference listening to remarks from Jack Howard, Senior Vice President, Congressional and Public Affairs, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Ballroom Level
Grand Ballroom III & IV

OPENING GENERAL SESSION: What’s Ahead for Transit – Update from the Federal Transit Administration.
The opening general session kicks off the conference with remarks from Matthew J. Welbes, Executive Director of the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Welbes is responsible for directing the daily operations of the agency in support of public transportation services in communities across the United States.

Featured Speaker:
Matthew J. Welbes, Executive Director, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Ballroom Level
Grand Ballroom III & IV

GENERAL SESSION: Public Transportation – A Catalyst to Local Economic Development
A panel of regional leaders will discuss how strategic investments in bus rapid transit (BRT), light-rail, and heavy-rail public transportation projects, in their respective communities, have spurred significant residential and commercial development along and in proximity to these transit projects.

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Meeting Room Level
Senate Room

PRESS CONFERENCE: How Communities and the Nation Will Benefit If There is a Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Initiative
Hear local public transportation executives talk about how a trillion-dollar investment in America’s infrastructure could impact their public transit systems and the communities they serve. The national economic impact of public transportation will also be addressed.

Doran J. Barnes, Chair, American Public Transportation Association and Executive Director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA

Richard A. White, Acting President and CEO, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC
Paul Wiedefeld, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC
Dorval Carter, President, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL
Eric Wolf, General Manager, Altoona Metro Transit, Altoona, PA
Michael Terry, President & CEO, IndyGo, Indianapolis, IN

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Ballroom Level
Grand Ballroom III & IV

General Session: The Transit Coalition: Partners in Surface Transportation Funding
Join APTA’s coalition partners in the surface transportation authorization process as they discuss how their organizations are advocating for additional infrastructure investment to build on the success of the FAST Act. Attend this session to learn more about the importance of coalition building and the ways in which we have achieved shared success in working with these important partners.

Diana C. Mendes, AICP, Member, APTA Board of Directors; Vice Chair, APTA Legislative Committee; and Senior Vice President, National Transit/Rail Market Sector Leader, HNTB Corporation, Arlington, VA

Jim Tymon, Chief Operating Officer/Director of Policy and Management, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC
Sean O’Neill, Senior Director, Congressional Relations, Infrastructure Advancement, The Associated General Contractors of America, Washington, DC
Dean Franks, Vice President, Congressional Relations, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Washington, DC

3 – 5 p.m.
Ballroom Level
Grand Ballroom III & IV 

GENERAL SESSION: View from the Hill (Media Note: Off The Record)
With major infrastructure and tax proposals being debated on Capitol Hill, this session will feature three panels of key Congressional staff representing House and Senate authorizing, appropriations, and tax committees. Each panel will discuss different perspectives of the legislative process as it affects public transportation and take your questions.

Tuesday, March 14

8 – 10:30 a.m.
Ballroom Level
Grand Ballroom III & IV

GENERAL SESSION: Get Started with Members of Congress
Key members of Congress will share their perspectives on the implementation of programs authorized in the FAST Act, offer insights on how Congress plans to finalize FY2017 federal spending bills, look ahead to the formation of the FY2018 budget, and share their thoughts on potential infrastructure and tax reform legislation.

Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., Vice Chair, APTA; Chair, APTA Conference Planning Committee; Chair, APTA Diversity Council; Vice Chair, APTA Finance Committee; and Chief Executive Officer, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Jacksonville, FL

Featured Speakers:
The Honorable Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Member, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable John Delaney (D-MD), Member, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Member, U.S. House of Representatives
Seth Moulton (D-MA), Member, U.S. House of Representatives


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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. 


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