Bus

BusCon to Bring Latest Ops Trends, Tech and More to Indianapolis

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Alex Roman, Managing Editor

BusCon offers budget-conscious bus operators extraordinary value, with a full conference pass ranging from $115 to $150, which includes two networking receptions, educational programming, the exhibit hall, and more.
BusCon offers budget-conscious bus operators extraordinary value, with a full conference pass ranging from $115 to $150, which includes two networking receptions, educational programming, the exhibit hall, and more.
With the idea of mobility evolving and impacting all facets of bus transportation, BusCon 2018 will feature all of the latest vehicles and technology, as well as host discussions on some of the hottest topics, including autonomous vehicles and electric bus usage, when it makes its return to Indianapolis’ Indiana Convention Center Oct. 1 to 3. Registration at the event begins Monday, Oct. 1 from Noon to 5 p.m. at the convention center.

BusCon offers budget-conscious bus operators extraordinary value, with a full conference pass ranging from $115 to $150, which includes two networking receptions, educational programming, the exhibit hall, and more.

Top-Tier Education
In addition to taking a look at end-user usage of alternative-fueled and battery-electric vehicles, the conference will also address autonomous vehicles, including how autonomous shuttles are being used and what the future for the technology may look like as it matures, as well as the positive impact it can have on paratransit users.

As the idea of partnering grows to better provide transportation options for increased mobility and so-called complete trips, the “Forging Partnerships to Improve Mobility and Boost Ridership Session” will host a discussion on microtransit, as well as take a look at how developing partnerships can help effectively grow an operation’s paratransit coverage.

New for this year, the National Transit Institute will host two training sessions — “Overview of Transit Procurement for Senior Leadership” and “Transit Asset Management Implementation for Tier II Providers and Sponsors” — that are available for the first 50 attendees to RSVP for each. For those interested in Lithium-ion battery technology, EnerDel will host two training courses, which will provide an overview of electrochemistry and discussions on Li-ion characteristics, life expectancy, and cell components, as well as designs that make for effective and safe battery solutions.

The United Motorcoach Association will also return to BusCon with two sessions on Monday, Oct. 1, including a look at how to expand your bus operation through diversification, which is ideal for those entering the motorcoach industry or for operators looking to get into using smaller-sized vehicles.

Other topics include how to use social media to sell your company; preparing your operation for pandemics such as this past flu season; and how the evolution of bus safety technologies will impact the industry both now and in the future.

Maintenance forum to focus on safety, tech

Technology, safety, electric bus charging, and more will be discussed at this year’s Transit Maintenance Forum (TMF) for senior-level transit maintenance professionals, which returns to Indianapolis in conjunction with BusCon.

TMF offers the chance to learn about some of the latest trends faced in maintenance shops, affording transit professionals the unique opportunity to network and share challenges with peers and keep up-to-date with the newest vehicles, technologies, and products on the market today.

This year’s TMF will focus on the latest in technology, including “How A.I. is Helping Manufacturers Build More Reliable, Efficient Buses” session, which will look at how manufacturers are using Big Data analytics and Artificial Intelligence algorithms to build better buses, while also allowing fleets to prevent breakdowns and minimize maintenance costs. Also on tap, John Hronich, from BAE Systems, will discuss the benefits that can be derived from having all-electric accessories on diesel and CNG buses, while Carl Harr, from Liquid Spring LLC, will talk about the company’s revolutionary technology, which can drastically improve the smoothness of a bus’s ride.

Meanwhile, Bus Maintenance Consultant and well-known Industry Expert Halsey King will review a number of fascinating facts about bus fires and give participants insight into the work of a fire investigator in hopes of preventing bus fire situations at their operation, during his “Bus Fires: Stop them Before they Start” session.

As more and more transit agencies move to all-electric fleets, TMF also includes the “Considerations for Creating a Long-Term Electric Bus Charging Plan” session, which will focus on best practices for upgrading infrastructure and take a look at how two transit agencies are tackling the challenge.

John Schiavone of the Transportation Learning Center will also examine a national effort by the center and the U.S. Department of Labor to establish a registered apprenticeship program specifically for transit bus technicians.  
For an economical $115, attendees have the opportunity to not only attend TMF, but also all of BusCon’s networking events and the Keynote Address, as well as visit the extensive show floor.

In addition to taking a look at end-user usage of alternative-fueled and battery-electric vehicles, the conference will also address autonomous vehicles.
In addition to taking a look at end-user usage of alternative-fueled and battery-electric vehicles, the conference will also address autonomous vehicles.

Show Floor
“North America’s Biggest Bus Show” offers the largest quantity and widest variety of vehicle and products on the show floor, giving attendees the chance to see more than 60 vehicles, from shuttles to motorcoaches and from public transit buses to vans, including electric, propane, and hybrid vehicles. The show floor will be open Tuesday, Oct. 2 from Noon to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., with attendees able to use BusCon’s mobile app, which is available via iTunes or Google Play, to navigate the show.

Platinum Sponsor Forest River, a Berkshire Hathaway Co., and its six bus brands — Battisti Customs, Berkshire Coach, Elkhart Coach, Glaval Bus, Starcraft Bus, and StarTrans Bus — will mark its return to BusCon with a nearly 7,000-square-foot booth showcasing a range of vehicles suitable for a variety of public and private sector transportation providers.

Other manufacturers scheduled to display vehicles include Alexander Dennis, ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, Blue Bird Commercial, BYD, Complete Coach Works, Embassy by SVO Group, Ford Commercial Vehicles, Freightliner Custom Chassis, General Motors Fleet, Karsan/Morgan Olson, Mercedes-Benz Vans, MobilityTRANS, Motor Coach Industries, New England Wheels, New Flyer, Ram Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, XL, and more.

In addition to vehicles, many other suppliers and technology providers will be on hand to showcase all the latest solutions on the market, with more than 30 new companies taking part in this year’s BusCon.
In addition to vehicles, many other suppliers and technology providers will be on hand to showcase all the latest solutions on the market, with more than 30 new companies taking part in this year’s BusCon.

In addition to vehicles, many other suppliers and technology providers will be on hand to showcase all the latest solutions on the market, with more than 30 new companies taking part in this year’s BusCon. Some of those companies include technology solutions provider ViriCiti LLC; bio-decontamination system provider CURIS System; and bus-wrap company Turbo Images.

Additional new suppliers, include AM Equipment, Creative Carriage Ltd., VIS Check, and Vehicle Technical Consultants.

Awards
Attendees will also not want to miss the BusCon Breakfast Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, featuring the return of METRO’s Innovative Solutions Awards, honoring operations and their supplier partners who launched new programs that positively impacted their business. New to the program is the Transit Maintenance Director of the Year Award, which will honor two directors who have gone above and beyond to create a well-run maintenance shop. Also on hand to present awards will be the Propane Education & Research Council, who will honor operators out in front in the use of propane-fueled vehicles.

For more information and to register, visit www.BusConExpo.com or call (800) 576-8788.

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