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American Public Transportation Association

 2019 Mobility Conference: APTA's enhanced Bus & Paratransit Conference Call for Abstracts

APTA invites you to participate in its 2019 Mobility Conference: APTA's enhanced Bus & Paratransit Conference, which is being updated and strengthened to reflect the changing mobility environment in which bus and paratransit systems operate. The conference will continue to address the critical priorities and challenges facing bus and paratransit systems and feature programming that has relevance and value to bus and paratransit operators within the broader framework of the mobility landscape.

This conference is public transportation’s leading professional development and networking opportunity for professionals engaged in bus and paratransit systems. APTA welcomes members’ contributions to conference sessions. This “Call for Abstracts, Ideas, and Papers” gives members an opportunity to present innovative ideas, case studies, and best practices that will motivate and inform participants during—and beyond—the conference. (Please note: Abstracts are brief summaries of proposed session topics and specific technical papers.)

Submit Your Abstracts

Session Topics

APTA invites abstracts and session ideas in the following areas:

  • Mobility and Access

​​Sessions will address topics related to enhancing quality of life through improved mobility service

Potential topics: ridership, MaaS, the role of technology in improving service, ridesharing, route optimization practices, the impact of people who are homeless, local and state partnerships, first mile and last mile strategies, creating and expanding access to jobs, healthcare, and other services, ADA and paratransit, transit centers of the future, bus-centered design of facilities

  • BRT

Sessions will address all aspects of BRT

Potential topics: re-envisioning traditional bus systems; branding and marketing; BRT stations and stops design, best practices for traffic prioritization, implementing BRT ITS, operations, coordinating BRT and fixed route service

  • Technology

Sessions will address topics related to best practices, new ideas, and opportunities related to the role of public transportation in strengthening communities

​Potential topics: smart cities and connected communities, ITS and connected vehicles, vehicle and fuel technologies, alternative fuel, autonomous vehicles, capital programs, drones and remote sensing

  • Transit’s Future Workforce

Sessions will address strategies for developing and managing resources for a 21st-century organization

​Potential topics: training and development at all levels, developing the workforce of the future, succession planning, knowledge sharing and transfer, the impact of advanced technologies on workforce development, and the changing  mobility landscape

  • Planning, Operations, Revenue, and Maintenance

Sessions will address strategies for planning and paying for public transit improvements, expansion, and change

Potential topics: P3s and mid- and small-sized agencies, VMT models, “green bonds,” anticipating changes, building grassroots campaigns, community-based advocacy and coalition-building, fare collection and ticketing, using and communicating Transit Asset Management Plans, including target setting with MPOs,  complete streets including corridor and bus stop design, bus centered TOD,  innovative revenue strategies, new procurement strategies, strategic planning for new mobility, sustainability programs, key performance indicators, the role of data, predictive maintenance, dispatching and scheduling

  • Safety, Security, Risk Management, and Emergency Preparedness

​Sessions will address how public transit systems safeguard assets, systems, and riders

Potential topics: building a safety-first culture, safer streets, the role of riders, State Safety Oversight Programs, SMS, protecting operators, emergency preparedness drills, data security, cybersecurity threats and responses, partnerships with municipal and state law enforcement, security challenge, transit’s role in stopping human trafficking, preventing loss, reducing cost, managing claims

  • Other​​

​APTA invites abstracts and session ideas on all other topics related to the role of bus and paratransit operations in the changing mobility landscape

Guidelines for Abstracts

Below are guidelines that will help you with your submission.

  • ​Abstracts must address specific needs, challenges, trends, or issues and specify the topic’s importance and relevance to the industry.
  • Each abstract MUST identify three main take-aways attendees will learn from the proposed presentation.
  •  All participants must belong to an APTA member organization.
  • Abstracts must be 200 words or fewer (about a half page in length). The abstract is intended only as a brief description of the idea or topic.
  • Selected speakers will be required to submit a bio and presentation and/or technical paper by the deadline.
  •  All abstracts must be submitted online through the APTA website. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, please contact David Bruening at​

Planning Schedule

  • Abstracts due to APTA - Wednesday December 19, 2018
  • Speaker notifications – Starting mid-January 2019
  • Presentations and technical papers (if written) due to APTA -  Friday, May 10, 2019
  • Presentations and technical papers posted online – Friday, May 31, 2019

A Final Note

All presenters must be members of APTA or a federal partner such as the FTA and FRA. If your organization is an APTA member, its employees are automatically APTA members. For information about joining APTA, please contact Helene Brett, Senior Director of Membership, at (202) 496-4837 or

Submit Your Abstracts




The following APTA staff is available to answer any of your questions about the Call for Abstracts

Cheryl Pyatt

Sr. Program Manager, Conference Programs & Services or (202) 496-4875

David Bruening

Sr. Software Developer/Database Administrator, Technical Issues or (202) 496-4825

Helene Brett

Sr. Director-Membership, Membership Questions or (202) 496-4837

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