Bus

EXPO opening session focuses on New Orleans rebirth, leadership changes

Posted on October 4, 2011

EXPO 2011 kicked off bright and early Monday morning with the Opening General Session at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

While the list of speakers covered regions from East to West, the basic message was clear: this is a trying time for our country, and specifically the public transportation industry, but everyone must take their seat at the table to make their voice heard.

While the situation may look dire to some, there appears to be no better place to call for the industry to stay the course than New Orleans, as was demonstrated by a host of speakers from the area, including Mayor Mitchell Landrieu who called the city's work since the hurricanes six years ago "one of the great stories of resurrection and redemption."

<p>New Orleans Mayor Mitchell Landrieu called the city's work since the hurricanes six years ago

Mayor Landrieu spoke about the difficult times public transportation is facing as well as the difficult decade New Orleans faced following the shriveling of tourism post 9/11, the hurricanes, the BP oil spill and the nation's economic recession and joked that now the city is just "waiting for the locusts."

Despite the numerous hurdles, Mayor Landrieu commended the city itself as well as the nation for their work in rebuilding New Orleans, including the work of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and its private industry partner Veolia Transportation for working to fill the gap in transportation in the areas that have repopulated.

Mayor Landrieu called on the audience to continue to fight to save public transportation as well as the larger issues the nation is facing by calling for more investment and creating more jobs.

"When you invest...the country grows strong," he said before adding a note of optimism. "Like your mama told you, where there's a will, there is a way."

Bittersweet and emotional would be the best way to describe outgoing President William Millar's final Opening Session speech at an APTA EXPO.

Greeted by a rousing standing ovation, Millar delivered his patented "Gooooooood morning!" greeting before telling the crowd that ridership is up 1.7 percent over the first six months of 2011, compared to last year, and that there are discussions going on in Washington, D.C., to get a long-term authorization bill done before the current extension lapses.

Millar also spent time thanking everybody he has worked with, inside and outside of APTA, and his wife Barbara, as well as offering incoming President Michael Melaniphy his ringing endorsement.  He also reminisced on all his accomplishments over the years, while remaining true to his nature that has endeared him throughout the industry to remain humble.

"You should be tired, you've been busy," he told the crowd. "We did all these things together." 

Other speakers addressing the crowd included Justin Augustine, CEO at RTA; incoming APTA Chair Gary C. Thomas; and incoming APTA President Michael Melaniphy.

 

 

 

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Starcraft Bus named Ford's top volume pool account for 10th year

The company has purchased and sold more Ford E-Series chassis than any other bus manufacturer in North America since 2006.

Cummins announces new 'SmartEfficiency' initiative

The product improvement plan focuses on improved fuel efficiency, lower total cost of ownership and improved uptime.

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi sensing from mobile devices may help improve bus service

University of Washington researchers have developed an inexpensive system that uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals from passengers’ mobile phones and devices to collect better data about where bus riders get on and off, how many people use a given stop and even how long they wait to transfer to another bus.

'Off route' Calif. bus driver runs double-decker into bridge

According to the agency transit manager, the driver “got off route” and drove under the bridge, though why is still under investigation. The bus was out-of-service and had no passengers at the time.

BusCon 2016's Call for Papers

conference planning committee is working on the 2016 schedule and is looking for your ideas. If you would like to help lead the conversation as a presenter, we want to hear from you.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close