Program Goals

APTA’s Emerging Leaders Program will equip you to advance as a public transportation professional.

  • Understand the overall breadth of the public transportation industry — public and private sectors; industry partners – federal, regional, municipal; business community, academic institutions, and other intersecting industries.
  • Gain insight into the industry’s overarching components — its many successes, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Develop the knowledge, skills, and insights that general managers, CEOs and executive leaders seek when identifying industry talent and promoting from within.
  • Develop relationships with mentors in your field and benefit from their feedback and advice regarding work and career planning.
  • Build and expand your network with transit leaders and industry experts.


Program Highlights

This program provides a number of opportunities for members of the Emerging Leaders Program to grow, bond, and develop as public transportation professionals. We will maximize in-person and virtual events so that participants have many opportunities to learn about the industry, engage in dialogues with middle and senior management, and develop/sharpen a core set of skills that are key to the success of an early career professional.

Opening Workshop

Participants will attend a three day pre-conference workshop preceding the APTA Rail Conference. The workshop will feature training and skill building in goal-setting, communications, project management, career development, as well as round-table sessions addressing transit industry challenges.

Participants will engage in various dialogues with industry leadership and benefit from a customized industry tour.

Participants are highly encouraged to attend the APTA Rail Conference and related APTA committee meetings to better understand and appreciate the scope and impact of the transit industry.

Mentor Program

Participants will work in small groups with national leaders (mentors) to learn the full scope our industry. This personalized guidance will be a great benefit to participants and encourage developing talent from within. In​ addition, participants will work with a mentor from their own organization or an affiliate. This “local mentor” will assist in their career development from a perspective of intimate understanding of the particular challenges and opportunities of public transportation within their respective communities. During the course of the mentor program, we will feature participants in online meetings and events to share what they are learning along the way. We will compliment these presentations with insights from experienced industry leaders.

Capstone Session and Graduation

The capstone session in the spring of 2020 will showcase the skills participants gained as well as provide opportunities to develop additional skills. We will celebrate the achievements of each at a graduation program held in conjunction with the 2020 Mobility Conference

Additional Benefits

Members of the Emerging Leaders Program w​ill receive complimentary registration for the APTA Rail and Mobility Conferences as well as the APTA Annual Meeting.


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