BusCon 2019 to showcase tech, mobility, and more

From the show floor to the classroom, this year’s event will feature all the latest in the bus industry, from electric buses and software to safety and autonomous vehicles, as well as take a look at the changing transportation landscape including a Keynote Address featuring Uber’s Head of Global Policy for public transportation.

By Alex Roman, Managing Editor – METRO MAGAZINE

Bringing buses, technology, and some of the latest educational topics, BusCon 2019 will return to the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis Sept. 23 to 25. Registration at the event begins Monday, Sept. 23 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 $120 to $150, which includes two networking receptions, educational programming, and more.

In addition to some of BusCon’s typical offerings, this year’s show also features an expanded BusCon Connect, the Indiana Transit Association’s Annual Meeting, a special talk on Rural and Tribal Networks from National RTAP; and a limited capacity training course from the National Transit Institute – Transit Asset Management Implementation for Tier II Providers & Sponsors.

Top-tier education

As battery-electric bus technology continues to mature, bus operations are looking more and more at evolving their fleets into all-electric. In “From Pilot to Prevalent: Key Considerations for Embracing Electric Buses’ Future Adoption,” ChargePoint’s Mark Kerstens will focus on the latest considerations for the private and public sectors when turning to electric, including innovations in bus charging solutions available; energy management; and ways to reduce administrative over-heads and increasing efficiency. The session will also include perspective from a transit operation, who recently embarked on the journey, including lessons learned and real-world testing numbers.

This year’s BusCon sessions will also focus on technology, including “How Tech Can Trans-form Your Transportation Operation,” which will take a look at how transit resources are used and destination decisions are made in a data driven transit technology world, as well as what sort of tech may be right for your operation. Meanwhile “Integrating Autonomous Vehicles with other Trans-portation Options” will discuss how to plan and design new autonomous and driverless mobility services and integrate them into public transit networks with examples and lessons learned from real-world deployments.

Also on tap is a stream of programming for private motorcoach operations, including On Your Mark Transportation’s Mark Szyperski, who will take a look at how to better retain motorcoach drivers, so that you can stop spending valuable time, money, and resources on recruiting and on-boarding new applicants.

The session “3 Ways to Pull Ahead of Your Competition” will provide insights into how industry leaders were able to drive measurable impact through new, easy-to-deploy programs, and how to implement those strategies to your fleet operation, while “To ELD and Beyond” will discuss what technologies and services have been developed to take your operation to the next compliance moni-toring now that ELDs are the norm.

Additional sessions will discuss alternative fuel usage; providing better, more efficient transporta-tion options; and how compliance with new CLD requirements can help your operation.   

This year’s Keynote Address will feature Uber’s Chris Pangilinan, head of global policy, public transportation, who will not only discuss what’s new at the Transportation Network Company, but also the new models of mobility taking place in cities and regions throughout North America and how they are impacting and expanding options for more efficient travel.

Show floor

“North America’s Biggest Bus Show” offers the largest quantity and widest variety of vehicle and products on the show floor, giving attendees the chance to see scores vehicles, from shuttles to motorcoaches and from public transit buses to vans, including electric and propane vehicles. The show floor will be open Tuesday, Sept. 24 from Noon to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., with attendees able to use BusCon’s mobile app, which is available via iTunes or Google Play, to get around the show.

Proterra will showcase its latest Catalyst battery-electric bus. The purpose built design of the Cat-alyst places batteries beneath the floor of the bus and outside the passenger compartment, with the option for additional battery packs on the roof. The distinct design creates a low center of gravity and enables more energy to be stored on board to increase power and range.

IC Bus will also return to BusCon’s show floor to showcase its new commercial buses, which pair Cummins engines with Allison transmissions, and offer a self-diagnosing electrical system, along with an expansive parts distribution system and 24/7 dealer network support.

Additional manufacturers scheduled to display vehicles include Alexander Dennis, ARBOC Spe-cialty Vehicles, BYD, Complete Coach Works, Embassy by SVO Group, Ford Commercial Vehi-cles, General Motors Fleet, MicroBird, MobilityTRANS, Motor Coach Industries, New Flyer, Phoenix USA, TEMSA North America, and more.

In addition to vehicles, many other suppliers and technology providers will be on hand to show-case all the latest solutions on the market, including surveillance cameras, seating and fabrics, HVAC systems, driver training, and software, with several new or newly returning companies tak-ing part in this year’s BusCon. Some of those companies include Allison Transmission, Heavy Haulers, Saint-Gobain, Vixen Composites, and Vivotek.

Awards, Sponsors

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 sup-plier partners who launched new programs that positively impacted their business. Also on hand to present awards will be the Propane Education & Research Council, who will honor operators out in front in the use of propane-fueled vehicles. Meanwhile, the Transit Maintenance Director of the Year Award will return to this year’s show, which honors two directors who have gone above and beyond to create a well-run maintenance shop.

Sponsors for the 24th installment of BusCon include IndyGo, Heavy Haulers, AbiliTrax, Allison Transmission, Cummins, Ford, Q’Straint, Motor Coach Industries, and New Flyer.

For more information and to register, visit www.BusConExpo.com or call (800) 576-8788.