Bringing with it the latest in technology, vehicles, and more, BusCon, which was named one of the 50 fastest growing shows of 2016, makes its return to Indianapolis’ Indiana Convention Center Sept. 11 to 13. Registration at the event begins Monday, Sept. 11 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 $98 to $130, which includes two networking receptions, and educational programming.
The show kicks off Monday afternoon with two sessions hosted by the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) and the Bus & Motorcoach Academy that will feature a session on the capital cost of contracting services, which allows public transit agencies to reduce their capital outlay by contracting for just the service delivered. The often overlooked formula is a great method for public agencies to engage local, private bus companies in special projects and commuter services. The other UMA-branded session will focus on how to make the most of the Data Q system to appeal errors that show up on an operator’s federal Safety Measurement System scores — a key component to ensuring that your operation’s crucial customer-facing safety score is accurate.
Following the afternoon programming, this year’s Welcome Reception will be held at the NCAA Hall of Champions, where attendees can network with peers and test their athletic skills.
Next-day educational sessions at BusCon will touch on everything from how to instill core principles to improve driver safety to what you need to know about aftersales service, warranties, featuring representatives from REV Bus Group, MCI, Trans/Air, and United States Warranty.
Additionally, the how-to’s of implementing propane, CNG, and electric vehicles will be covered in two separate sessions, featuring operators using these sustainable-friendly options in a variety of applications in various geographic markets. These sessions will discuss what is involved with adding “alternative-fueled” vehicles to your fleet, including training and infrastructure improvements, as well as lessons-learned once the vehicles were implemented in daily use.
New for this year, Bill Faeth founder of Limo University and Inbound Marketing Agents (IMA) will provide two presenta-tions — “Leveraging Automation to Sell 24 Hours a Day” and “Creating a High-Powered Infrastructure for Growth.”
After spending several years in the limousine industry, Faeth founded IMA, an award-winning marketing agency special-izing at serving the online marketing and sales needs of over 165 ground transportation companies globally. He also developed Limo University, where he shares the tools, resources, and knowledge gained during his time in the industry, as well as the current tools he and his IMA team utilize every day to help limousine companies grow a more profitable business.
‘Connected, Automated’ Keynote
The Keynote Address on Tuesday at 11 a.m., “How Connected/Automated Vehicle Technology Will Impact Transportation,” will be delivered by WSP USA’s Scott Shogan.
Shogan, connected/automated vehicle (C/AV) market leader, for WSP USA, has more than two decades of experience in transportation planning, traffic operations, and advanced transportation technology, including over 10 years focused on the C/AV market. In addition to his long-standing work on the connected vehicle pilot efforts in Ann Arbor, Mich., Shogan currently leads the company’s involvement with Mcity and the American Center for Mobility, two C/AV test tracks in Southeastern Michigan.
“These technologies are already impacting transportation systems, and particularly, bus and transit operators,” explains Shogan. “One of the first commercially available AVs are small, low-speed shuttles, that are being put in operation today. These are envisioned to help with ‘first/last mile’ linkages in transit systems, as shuttles on closed campuses, and other applications. A little further out on the horizon, most automakers and technology firms developing this technology are talking about high levels of automation being available in consumer vehicles in the early 2020s.”
Additional educational sessions will touch on topics including how to create a social media strategy and compliance best practices for new and seasoned bus operators.
Meanwhile, BusCon’s Night on the Town will be held at Punch Bowl Social, giving attendees the chance to network while also having fun bowling, and playing video games.
After a successful inaugural launch, the Transit Maintenance Forum (TMF) for senior transit maintenance professionals returns once again with an expanded program that begins Monday afternoon with training sessions from Cummins and Allison Transmission officials.
With content curated by a steering committee that includes Bus Maintenance Consultant and well-known industry expert Halsey King; Rick Streiff, manager, fleet design and maintenance, at Southern California’s Access Services; Gary Glasscock, VP, maintenance, for San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit; Vicki Learn, director, maintenance, for IndyGo; and John Calame, sr. VP, fleet and facilities, for MV Transportation, TMF will again give senior transit maintenance professionals the chance to learn about some of the latest trends they are facing in their shops.
Topics include the shaping of zero-emission bus procurement and workforce development training standards, with the American Public Transportation Association’s Jeff Hiott and the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consor-tium’s Nina Babiarz, and a look at conductive and inductive charging of electric buses with Michael Masquelier, CEO for WAVE, and David Warren, director, sustainable transportation, for New Flyer.
The program continues on Wednesday with a federal regulatory update and an informative session on how the industry is tackling labor and staffing needs in maintenance shops. TMF attendees also have the opportunity to attend all of BusCon’s networking events.
“North America’s Biggest Bus Show” offers the largest quantity and widest variety of vehicles and products on the show floor, giving attendees the chance to see more than 70 vehicles, from shuttles to motorcoaches and from public transit buses to vans, including electric and propane vehicles. The 135,000-square-foot exhibit hall will be open Tuesday, Sept. 12 from Noon to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with attendees able to use BusCon’s new mobile app, which is available via iTunes or Google Play, to get around the event.
REV Bus Group will have a large presence on the show floor this year, bringing with them a host of vehicles from their various brands, which include Champion Bus and ENC, while New Flyer and MCI will display their vehicles side-by-side.
Meanwhile, Blue Bird and Micro Bird will combine efforts under one brand — Blue Bird Commercial Group — on the BusCon show floor. The company is bringing to market a complete line of small and big buses, which offer superior comfort, dura-bility, and reliability, with flexible floor plans that allow for many configurations, including multiple special needs layouts.
Additional manufacturers scheduled to display vehicles include ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, BYD, CH Bus Sales, Complete Coach Works, Diamond Coach, Embassy by SVO Group Inc., Ford Commercial Vehicles, Freightliner Custom Chassis, General Motors Fleet, Glaval Bus, Irizar, Mercedes-Benz Vans, MobilityTRANS, Ram Trucks, and Thomas Built Buses.
Many other suppliers and technology providers will be on hand to showcase all the latest solutions on the market, with more than 20 new companies taking part in BusCon, including Cradlepoint, EMP, and Vehicle Inspection Systems.
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. The Propane Education & Research Coun cil will be on hand to honor operators at the forefront of propane-fueled vehicle usage.
Sponsors for the 22nd installment of BusCon include Host Operator IndyGo; Platinum Sponsor REV Bus Group; Gold Sponsor MobilityTrans; Silver Sponsors Ford, HSM, and Terrapin Blue; and Bronze Sponsors AC Delco and GoExpress Travel.
For more information and to register, click here, or call (800) 576-8788.