Program Overview

Are you an emerging professional in the public transportation industry and considering the next steps in your career (e.g., how you achieve your next promotion)? If so, consider APTA’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) as a professional development opportunity that will help you grow as a leader and expand your understanding of the industry.

The ELP provides public transportation professionals with the skills, knowledge, and networks needed for advancement. Participants learn from industry leaders while participating in a program that provides opportunities to interact with areas of the industry beyond their specialization. Most importantly, participants learn from a talented cohort of professionals, their classmates, who will become life-long colleagues and friends.

The Emerging Leaders Program Committee will select 35 individuals from APTA member organizations who represent the industry’s rich diversity to participate in the 12-month long program. The curriculum includes various skill-building workshops, round table sessions, online collaboration, and unique access to the industry’s leaders through a national mentoring program.

New for the Class of 2023

In addition to the kickoff and capstone sessions, the Class of 2023 will meet for a new mid-year session, planned as a two-day workshop providing additional access to speakers, skill-building sessions, and networking opportunities.

The Program Tuition Fee will be $5,000 for the Class of 2023, covering workshop sessions and materials, some meals, and registration fees for the APTA Rail Conference, TRANSform Conference, and Mobility Conference.


This program’s intended audience is ​professionals with approximately 3-5 years of industry work experience, including 1-3 years of managing tasks, projects, or staff.​ ELP is meant as a predecessor to the Eno Transit Mid Manager Accelerate and the Leadership APTA Program. If you have 6 or more years of transit experience AND 3 or more years of experience managing people, projects or tasks, please consider applying to the Eno Transit Mid-Level Managers Accelerate program.

The exception may be frontline employees who have 6 or more years of transit experience but are new to management or administration. These individuals who have 1-3 years of experience managing people, projects, or tasks are candidates for ELP. ​

Program Benefits

  • Participate in a national professional development program specifically designed to meet your needs as you move forward in your career.
  • Deepen your knowledge of the public transportation industry outside your area of specialization.
  • Benefit from a local and national mentoring program.
  • Develop a strong network of transit professionals.
  • Build awareness of the breadth and range of transit career paths and opportunities.
  • Hone your talents and become the best of the next generation of industry specialists, managers, and leaders.
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