Tampa to host ThinkTransit conference

The technology conference by Trapeze Group will run for three days in April

By Skylar Griego

The transition into spring brings many things to look forward to in North America: blooming plants, longer days and the annual ThinkTransit conference by Trapeze Group.

In the last 26 years, the ThinkTransit conference has evolved from a hands-on training event for Trapeze product users to a gathering for anyone with a vested interest in mobility and transportation innovation. The 2019 ThinkTransit Conference will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa, Florida from April 14 to April 17.

As of publishing date, Trapeze has released a tentative agenda (subject to change) for this year’s featured speakers and event sessions. Attendees can see a quick overview of the scheduled events at www.trapezegroup.com/thinktransit/ataglance, where you can also download a PDF of the full agenda to date.

The conference sessions will be arranged based on six “focused industry tracks” and five Trapeze product hands-on training tracks, according to the ThinkTransit website.

The industry focused tracks include:

  • Dispatch. The Dispatch track will cover developments in the data-based aspect of transit, including data ingestion and distribution, collecting real-time data, and the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
  • Scheduling & Planning. The Scheduling & Planning track will cover efficiency in aspects of scheduling like trip building, runcutting, route definition and reporting.
  • Passenger Experience & Fare Collection. This track will cover topics that have risen with passengers’ expectations for real-time, reliable mobility systems that they can access on their devices and choose automated fare collection options.
  • Asset and Maintenance Management. Sessions in this track will cover topics related to best practices in maintaining rails, buses and facilities, as well as managing assets, work and materials.
  • Innovation Intersection. According to the website, “this track will focus on the innovative ways transit agencies and Trapeze are reshaping the transit industry, discussing topics like cloud managed services, mobility management, integration and women in transit.”
  • Demand Response. The Demand Response track will focus on paratransit, with “solution-based sessions” led by transit professionals to address specific paratransit operational challenges.

The hands-on tracks will include FX, PASS, EAM, ITS, and OPS. According to the site, each track will offer a variety of topics at various skill levels to provide new insights to even seasoned Trapeze users. Some of the sessions on the detailed agenda include “A Look at Recent Additions to the TransitMaster Suite,” “Trapeze Wizards,” “Features You May Not Have Tried Yet,” and many more.

In addition to these topic-focused sessions, there will be Keynote speakers throughout the conference. The first will be a welcome Keynote by Greg Lindsay, a “journalist, urbanist, futurist and speaker,” according to Lindsay’s blog bio.

In a webinar with Trapeze and a blog post referencing J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” Lindsay gave a sneak peek at what he’ll be discussing in his Keynote in April: Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and micromobility. In the webinar, he discussed some key concerns on how these recent developments have impacted the transit industry and what questions he wants to address about using these concepts to complement transit rather than compete with it.

Other Keynote sessions will include a CEO Roundtable in the form of a live episode of “Transit Unplugged,” an industry-focused podcast produced at Trapeze, and a presentation from Benjamin Limmer, the CEO of Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART).

Trapeze will also present the 2019 Awards of Excellence at the conference. This year’s categories will include the following:

  • Advancement. This award recognizes those who are striving to expand the boundaries of transit and advance the industry.
  • Innovation. This award recognizes innovators who are “doing things differently for the betterment of the transit industry,” according to the website.
  • Alliance. The award in this category recognizes a strong alliance or partnership with Trapeze.
  • Community Building. This award recognizes those “who are actively demonstrating leadership on the Trapeze Collaborate customer community,” according to the website.
  • Best Live Session. This award will be selected by the actual participants of the ThinkTransit conference via live polling throughout the event.

Visit https://www.trapezegroup.com/thinktransit/awards to nominate your agency or one of your peers for an award. For a detailed look at the events scheduled so far for ThinkTransit 2019, download the PDF here.