CTAA provided a look into the latest products and vehicles that are helpful in the NEMT space.  -  Photo: Louis Prejean/METRO

CTAA provided a look into the latest products and vehicles that are helpful in the NEMT space.

Photo: Louis Prejean/METRO

The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) hosted its annual CTAA Expo in Oklahoma City, with a focus on non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT).

Companies such as AMF-Bruns of America and Q’STRAINT displayed their products to help riders with disabilities. AMF-Bruns presented its seating solutions, while the Q’STRAINT ONE sat in the showroom for all exhibitors to see. 

NEMT wasn’t the only topic of discussion at the expo, however. 

Session from the CTAA Expo included conversations about women in transportation, latest trends in the U.S., and more.  -  Photo: Louis Prejean/METRO

Session from the CTAA Expo included conversations about women in transportation, latest trends in the U.S., and more.

Photo: Louis Prejean/METRO

CTAA Expo Sessions Highlight Women in Transit, Hydrogen Efforts

On May 23, a panel of industry professionals held a conversation about women in public transportation

Conversations with Women about Women in Transportation

Julia Castillo, Enjoli Dixon, Meredith Greene, Heather Thomas, Robin Phillips, and Sarah Hidalgo-Cook discussed how women can navigate the industry.

The panel addresses how women can be champions for each other and how to handle conflict in the workforce. They also provided advice for women in the industry:

  • “No” is a complete answer. You don’t have to always explain the reasoning.
  • Stop saying “I’m sorry” to everything.
  • Know your worth.
  • Always ask questions.
  • Build relationships in the community.

U.S. Transit Trends

Podcast host Paul Comfort hosted a workshop to engage industry professionals in a conversation about the latest trends in transit.

Comfort presented trends such as:

  • Improving customer experience
  • Merging traditional paratransit and on-demand microtransit
  • Promoting equity and inclusion
  • Improving passenger safety
  • Enabling integrated networks with improved technology

Building an Environment for Transit

Building an environment to grow transit in communities was another topic discussed at the CTAA Expo.

Kevin Coggin, executive director of Coast Transit Authority, Suzanne Kalmbacher, transit chief in Cecil County, Md., and Taylor Johnson, transit and parking program manager in the city of Norman, Okla., provided insights on how to improve a transit environment.

Kalmbacher and Johnson gave an update on recent programs involving their cities’ transit agencies. Coggin discussed the challenges of growing transit in the South. 

To build a better environment for transit, Coggin said transit systems can build rapport with key elected officials to better position for funding.

Staying involved with the public is another way to set the stage for transit in the community.

“You have to communicate what you’re doing with the public,” Coggin said. “Our marketing program is about public awareness. The main challenge is to get people to ride the bus.”

All Things Hydrogen with Industry Leaders

Richard Cheng, VP of Hydrogen at Certarus, Andrew Isherwood, director at TC Energy, and Eric Scheriff, managing director and head of Clean Energy at Capstone hosted a conversation about incorporating hydrogen in fleets.

The group listed the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating hydrogen.

Cheng mentioned fueling infrastructure as the biggest hurdle for the mass adoption of hydrogen. Isherwood said two disadvantages were achieving a similar quality of life to an electric vehicle and optimizing storage.

Isherwood then mentioned hydrogen is something that can be produced on-site, which is one advantage of incorporating hydrogen.

MobilityTRANS, Oklahoma Transit Association, and BYD all displayed vehicles at the CTAA Expo in Oklahoma City, OK.  -  Photo: Louis Prejean/METRO

MobilityTRANS, Oklahoma Transit Association, and BYD all displayed vehicles at the CTAA Expo in Oklahoma City, OK.

Photo: Louis Prejean/METRO

Vehicles on Display at Trade Show

The CTAA Expo held the trade show’s grand opening reception on May 23, with several vehicles on display for the exhibitors to examine.

As exhibitors made their way around the trade show, MobilityTRANS’ customized Ford Transit passenger van showed off seating arrangements and safety features. 

Features include: 

  • Lane-correction 
  • Lane-drift alerts
  • Back-up camera
  • All wheel drive
  • Speed limiter
  • Cameras

The Oklahoma Transit Association presented the Rolling Oklahoma Classroom.

The company taught exhibitors more about the bus, as it is designed to provide hands-on safety and security training for transit workers.

Build Your Dreams (BYD) drove its new 35-foot K8M bus to the CTAA Expo.

The BYD 35-foot K8M bus features a top speed of 65 mph, a working range of up to 196 miles, and a turning radius of 35.4 ft.

Exhibitors also had the chance to see the Lighting eMotors Lightning ZEV3 Zero-Emission Transit Passenger Van. The van is available in battery-electric versions that offer 140-mile and 200-mile ranges.

From the sessions to the trade show, CTAA provided a look into the latest products and vehicles that are helpful in the NEMT space. Industry professionals also had the opportunity to network and offer in-depth conversations about the latest in transit.

About the author
Louis Prejean

Louis Prejean

Assistant Editor

Assistant editor Louis Prejean works on Metro Magazine and Automotive Fleet. The Louisiana native is now covering the fleet industry after years of radio and reporting experience.

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