Thousands of leaders from around the world will come together this October in Orlando, Fla., for the return of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) TRANSform Conference & EXPO to see the industry’s latest innovations and technologies.
The conference makes its return to Orlando after a successful show in 2021 that occurred just as the restrictions of COVID relaxed. Judging from attendance at some of the more recent APTA shows, it’s almost safe to say EXPO could exceed expectations this year.
“APTA has seen record-breaking attendance at its other conferences this year, and we anticipate the largest attendance at TRANSform and EXPO since 2017,” said T.J. Doyle, VP, communications & marketing, at APTA. “With travel restrictions eased further since 2021, we're also excited to welcome more attendees from around the globe.”
Back in Orlando
From Oct. 9 to 11, APTA’s TRANSform Conference and EXPO will offer the diverse public transportation industry the opportunity to display a wide array of technologies and practices that can enhance the passenger experience, streamline system management, improve safety, and increase sustainability.
“The 2021 TRANSform and EXPO in Orlando was an astounding success,” said Doyle. “With its proximity to the parks, favorable weather, and international airport, not to mention fantastic host system LYNX, returning to this popular location an easy decision.”
Highlights for 2023
With attendees and exhibitors from all aspects of the transit industry, EXPO offers a unique opportunity to stay ahead of the curve by allowing attendees and exhibitors to learn where the industry is — and isn’t — headed.
APTA's 2023 TRANSform Conference & EXPO is one of the largest gatherings of public transportation professionals in the world and is an extraordinary opportunity for public transit leaders to gain critical knowledge and tools to help them lead successfully.
This year’s programs feature an exciting line-up of speakers, including the opening keynoter Duncan Wardle, former head of Innovation and Creativity at the Walt Disney Company, who will be sharing his dynamic process and tools that have been used successfully by Fortune 100 companies like Pepsi, Apple, Coca Cola, and the NBA.
Meanwhile, the Closing General Session will feature Piers Kowalski, a transgender storyteller & inclusion advocate, who will share his powerful story of pain, self-discovery, fear, love, and hope to help others better understand the transgender experience, community, and humanity. After sharing his personal story, Kowalski typically invites the audience to ask questions — extending openness to all, gratitude for the willingness to learn together, and grace for mistakes that are a part of learning and growth.
In addition, attendees can look forward to speakers and educational sessions exploring hot topics, such as transformative technology, innovative funding, workforce development, an update from the FTA, and more. And of course, EXPO, the world's largest public transportation showcase, is not to be missed with the latest technology and products from hundreds of service providers.
Those exhibiting at EXPO, from large manufacturers, such as Alstom, the NFI Group of brands, and GILLIG, to new entrepreneurial businesses, will all have a powerful platform to launch products, increase brand awareness, conduct competitive research, and expand their professional network.
“APTA’s TRANSform Conference and EXPO is a powerful platform to launch products, increase brand awareness, conduct competitive research, and expand professional networks,” says Doyle. “As a global industry that faces a wide array of ongoing challenges, this event offers a one-stop shop to interact with transit agencies, policymakers, regulators, and customers to preview innovations and best practices while also gaining knowledge from the unique attributes and perspectives of this diverse and inclusive industry.”
The Time is Now for Transit
With millions of people relying on buses, trains, and light rail to travel, public transportation is essential not only to keeping life moving but also to economic growth and stability. With 87% of trips directly benefiting local economies, public transit builds communities and directly employs more than 450,000 people.
Ongoing innovation in public transportation featured at APTA's TRANSform and EXPO is vital to helping meet the climate and mobility demands of the nation’s cities and communities. To keep pace with technology, the industry is rapidly innovating operations that support passenger needs, including swift and continuous exchanges of information, safety improvements, and increased operational efficiencies.
In the past, TRANSform and EXPO has featured discussions on key topics, such as zero-emission buses, mobile fare payment technology, and autonomous vehicles, which are all part of the landscape in today’s industry. With ridership starting to truly make a comeback post-pandemic, now is the time for the industry to once again meet and share ideas for both today and the future.
The TRANSform Conference and EXPO is hosted by APTA, a non-profit with more than 1,500 public and private sector organizations. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation, including bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail.
In addition, APTA members are engaged in every aspect of the industry — from planning, designing, financing, constructing, and operating transit systems to the research, development, manufacturing, and maintenance of vehicles, equipment, and transit-related products and services. More than 90% of the people using public transportation in the U.S. and Canada ride APTA-member systems.