Public and private transportation companies meet and greet, and find common ground
By Michael Melaniphy
What exactly can a private motorcoach operator expect to gain by attending the world’s largest trade show for public transportation? More than one might think possible.
Bus operators could literally spend months reading trade journals and perusing the Internet for the same intelligence they will be able to gather in only three days this fall at APTA EXPO in the Big Easy.
Every three years the American Public Transportation Association stages its behemoth public transit trade show, which attracts more than 17,000 attendees from around the world who come to see the latest in public transit equipment, visit with expert consultants, learn about industry trends and see what is coming next in the world of public transportation. This year the show takes place October 3 – 5 in New Orleans, LA, taking up most of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
Independent bus and motorcoach operators would find it worthwhile to set aside the time and makethe trip. APTA EXPO 2011 is essentially a one-stop shop for the latest innovations and services both public and private. More than 750 companies will display products and services that will help:
- Plan for future equipment purchases and upgrade decisions
- Review the latest in safety and security systems
- Interact with the newest driver training programs and systems
- Meet international companies as well as small and diverse suppliers
- Build an efficient, state-of-the-art front office and maintenance operation
- Green up the fleet and operations facility
- Learn how public transportation agencies operate and are expanding
- Gain a public perspective of the Government transportation agenda
- Learn private/public partnerships could help grow the business
- Discover the common threads between public and private transportation
Of the 1,500 APTA members, 600 represent public transportation agencies that do business with the private sector — one more big reason why APTA EXPO needs to be on the radar of everyone in the coach business.
The smallest tour and charter companies can benefit, as APTA EXPO 2011 sets the stage to meet representatives from transit authorities and governmental entities, who can help identify future business opportunities or available grant programs.
Buses and motorcoaches by the dozens from the major OEMs will be on exhibit, not to mention trains and railcars setup inside the 280,000 square-foot exhibit space, as well as hundreds of component and system suppliers. There will be an array of latest technology for fleet management, maintenance systems, driver training, safety and security, asset tracking, vehicle health monitoring, passenger entertainment, insurance and leasing. Experts in bus depot construction, state-of-the-art bus wash systems and vehicle maintenance technology will be on hand to help with more efficient facilities. BR
Michael Melaniphy, Vice President, Public Sector for Motor Coach Industries, Inc. Shaumberg, IL, serves as Chairman of APTA EXPO 2011. He also serves on the APTA Business Member Board of Governors as the First Vice-Chair, the Board of Directors and chairs several committees.