2021 Annual Conference logo

Join Us LIVE!

October 24-27, 2021 | Daytona Beach, Florida

Schedule – last updated 9/17/21

This schedule is considered draft. The final schedule will be loaded into our event app, as well as provided as a printed pocket-sized schedule on-site.
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Sunday, October 24, 2021

10:00am – 5:00pm

Registration Open

Check in to receive your entry badge and registration bag. You can also purchase extra meal tickets here, and ask questions.

12:00pm – 4:30pm

FPTA Golf Tournament | Off-site at LPGA International

2:00pm – 4:00pm

FPTA Volleyball Tournament | First come, first serve for T-shirts

6:00pm – 7:15pm

Welcome Reception

Enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while networking with your transit peers. Golf and Volleyball winners will be announced.

INVITE ONLY| 7:30pm – 10:00pm

FPTA GM Dinner

General Managers of all FPTA-member systems are invited to attend, with their spouses/significant others.

Monday, October 25, 2021

8:00am – 5:00pm

Registration Open

Check in to receive your entry badge and registration bag. You can also purchase extra meal tickets here, and ask questions.

8:30am – 9:45am

General Session: Celebration Breakfast

Join us at the Opening Celebration Breakfast where you will be welcomed to the local area and get an update from Votran on their latest innovations. We will also be giving out both our Marketing Awards and the FPTA Hall of Fame. In addition, we will be recognizing the Florida Transit Leadership Program Alumni and Certified Transit Technical Program graduates.

10:00am – 11:00am | Breakout Sessions

Lessons Learned from AV Shuttle Deployments

Presenters: Ben Walker PE, HNTB; Dan Rodriguez, HART; Michael Feldman, JTA
Automated Vehicle (AV) shuttles have the potential to serve important first and last mile connections for transit users. Recent AV deployments in Florida and across the US offer an opportunity to incorporate lessons learned from these plans and deployments for other agencies considering integration of AV components into their systems. The presentations by Dan Rodriguez (HART), Michael Feldman (JTA) and Ben Walker (HNTB) will detail best practices and lessons learned from the recent AV shuttle deployment in Tampa and Jacksonville as well as other deployments or planned deployments across the US. 

Innovative Mobility-On-Demand (MOD) Services and Creative Jurisdictional Transit Stops and Customer Amenities | FLORIDA TRANSIT PLANNING NETWORK

Presenters: Rob Gregg, Madrid CPWG; Jonathan Roberson, Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT); Michael Hetrick, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA); Dr. Victoria Perk, Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and Martin Catala, Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
This session will feature a discussion and presentation on the MCAT MOD ConneXion Shuttle concept and explore the challenges and opportunities a small to medium size transit agency faces in implementing such flexible service, including weighing the use of emerging technologies, maximizing operating efficiencies, developing local/community partnerships, and identifying sustainable funding.
To complement the discussion and address access to mobility services, PSTA will provide an overview of the unique partnerships being forged with municipalities and developers to fund, design, construct and maintain passenger amenities.
A Panel discussion will be facilitated, inviting audience participation, to discuss recent innovations in Mobility-on-Demand (MOD) service implementation, experiences in developing and integrating community transit accessibility infrastructure, and funding opportunities from innovative federal, state, and local programs.

Transit Staffing and Retention

Presenters: Stephanie Lewis, CUTR; James Egbert, MCAT; and TBD, Miami-Dade DTPW
The current workforce recruitment and retention environment has been challenging and demanding as the nation works through a global pandemic. Please join us for an interactive session that will focus on employee retention and attracting new employees. The facilitators will present ideas, tips and best practices that support attracting and retaining employees in these challenging times.

Implementing your PTASP/SMS

Presenters: Paul Goyette, CUTR; Colin Mulloy, BCT; Jafari Bowden, LYNX, and TBD
Now that you have your Public Transit Agency Safety Plan in place, it’s time for implementing and executing your plan through a daily Safety Management System approach. This session will discuss implementation plans by interacting with the audience and providing tips on how to maintain a holistic approach to safety, identifying and mitigating risk, review employee reporting, tracking hazards and developing corrective actions to mitigate potential and existing safety events down to the lowest particle level. Join us for this interactive session!

11:30am – 1:00pm

Luncheon General Session

1:15pm – 2:15pm | Breakout Sessions

Miami-Dade Transit Leverages Intelligent Software to Cut Labor Costs And Provide Ability To Change Destination Sign Content in Real-time.

Presenters: Harry White, Luminator Technology Group; Robert McClellan and Elias “Javier” Salazar, Miami-Dade Transit
To communicate effectively with riders, public transportation operators must have an economical and easy-to-use method for updating destination signs. A Luminator Technology Group (Luminator) customer for over 30 years, Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) leverages Luminator’s intelligent and unified software to wirelessly update destination display messages throughout its fleet.
By incorporating this technology, MDT will save thousands of hours in labor costs. Software updates that would previously take an average of 15 minutes per bus across its fleet of nearly 1,000 fixed route vehicles, will be completed through a fleet-wide automatic wireless update.
The transit industry is leveraging new technologies to ensure an informed, efficient and safe journey for riders while controlling labor costs. Wireless updating of destination displays has become an invaluable tool for transit agencies to be both proactive and fiscally responsible.
Together, Luminator technology experts and MDT managers will present data on the importance and need for integrated technology solutions that help transit agencies reduce labor costs and ensure transit riders have the most up to date information.

Exploring Opportunities to Enhance Transit Planning Initiatives Through Multi-Agency Collaboration | FLORIDA TRANSIT PLANNING NETWORK

Presenters: Gabe Matthews, Florida Department of Transportation; Richard Dreyer, Tindale Oliver and Associates; Mary Ross and Michelle Peronto, Florida Department of Transportation; Brandy Otero, Collier County MPO; Michelle Arnold, Collier County Public Transit and Neighborhood Enhancement Division; and Dawn Huff, Lee Tran
Entities involved in local and regional transit planning activities including transit agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged must comply with legislative mandates applicable to the planning documents each is required to prepare. These include Transit Development Plans, Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plans and Long Range Transportation Plans.
Current Federal and State legislation stipulates submittal due dates, update requirements and planning horizons that are not always in alignment. As a result, there is growing interest in evaluating opportunities for developing a more holistic approach to transit planning to enhance the efficiency and efficacy of plan preparation.
This session will feature presentations and an interactive discussion with panelists about best practices and recent examples of collaborative inter-agency initiatives to integrate and streamline the transit planning process.


Presenters: Alexander Kolpakov, CUTR; Suzanne Murtha, AECOM; Racquel Asa, BEEP; Alan Danaher, WSP; and Doug Jamison, LYNX
New transit automation technologies can potentially improve safety by eliminating human error, reduce operating costs and increase convenience of the transit service. While more and more transit providers continue testing and demonstrating passenger vehicles with high levels of automation, these technologies still face challenges with ensuring adequate safety in all operating conditions, achieving public acceptance, standardization of automation technologies and communication protocols, regulatory obstacles, and other issues. Transportation professionals continue debating when transit automation technologies will see widespread market adoption and what impact they will have on transportation costs, urban planning and overall travel behavior. This session will cover the latest developments in automated transit in Florida and the U.S., including the review of implementation models, financial considerations, best practices and lessons learned from recent deployments, as well as update on coordinated efforts for procuring, testing and certification of AV transit vehicles.

Florida Firm Sets Record Setting Public Engagement Levels Within Southeast Region

Presenters: Kelly Robertson and Molly Collins, BowStern Marketing Communications
The Charlotte metro and surrounding regions are growing every day. The CRTPO wanted to launch a study designed to help address this and create long-term transportation solutions on and around the I-77 corridor that would improve commutes. This 70-mile stretch of interstate was a hot topic within the community, and it was critical that the public would be engaged throughout to offer opinions and participate in being part of the solution.
BowStern began with branding the study “Beyond 77: Move Us Forward.” This campaign brand was crafted to get residents thinking beyond the interstate itself, right from the start. During the first phase of the study, we wanted to gauge resident travel patterns along the corridor. To drive awareness and get the public’s feedback, the team deployed a fully integrated campaign, utilizing a campaign website, online survey, public relations, social media, and advertising.

2:00pm – 5:00pm

CTD Commission Meeting

2:45pm – 3:45pm | Breakout Sessions

Bus on Shoulder Pilot Program

Presenter: Abhishek Dayal, Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority (PSTA)
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in coordination with the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) District 7 recently launched the “Bus on Shoulder” concept to Pinellas County. This is the first interstate-based bus operation of its kind in the State. FDOT identified a five-mile segment of the I-275 corridor to run the pilot program. The primary goal of this I-275 BOS project is to increase connectivity and improve travel time reliability to and from the City of Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. PSTA has extended route 100X service further south to downtown St. Petersburg as part of this effort. In addition, the project includes technology for buses to communicate with the ramp signals on I-275 to control the flow of traffic and providing clearance for the buses driving on the shoulder. This effort involved coordination with FDOT, State Highway Patrol and SunGuide for providing safety messages on the dynamic message signs. This presentation will give an overview of the project as well as the partnership between PSTA and FDOT.

Fare Free Transit

Presenters: Murriah Dekle, Treasure Coast Connector/St. Lucie County BoCC and Peter Haliburton, Principal, Cambridge Systematics
In September 2017, St. Lucie County began offering fare-free service as part of a pilot program aimed at improving transportation access for all in the County in line with the mission of the Board of County Commissioners. This presentation reports on the ridership and fiscal impacts of the pilot, and the potential long-term benefit to the community.


Presenters: Jennifer Flynn, CUTR; and TBD
The shared mobility service model offers a new solution to one of the transit industry’s long-standing challenges: meeting demand amid limited resources. As more transit agencies begin to explore options such as microtransit or partnerships with transportation network companies (TNCs), they will need the most current, objective, and innovative research and information. If you want to learn about best practices, lessons learned, and latest developments in shared use mobility in Florida, this session is a must!

Florida Transit Safety and Operations Network

Moderators: Paul Goyette, CUTR; Ashley Porter and Tony Brandin, FDOT; Jim Egbert, MCAT; and Jafari Bowden, LYNX 
Please join us for an interactive session of the Florida Transit Safety and Operations Network (FTSON). This session promises to be interactive while discussing current transit challenges, new mobility initiatives, State rule updates, as well as general discussions related to transit issues. Please join us for this important meeting of the FTSON!

3:00pm – 3:45pm

FPTA Business Member Meeting

All FPTA Business Members are encouraged to attend the Annual Business Member Meeting in the Exhibit Hall. We will discuss several items and vote for a new voting Business Member on the FPTA Board.

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Transit Leadership Program Graduates’ Happy Hour (invite only)

6:00pm – 7:00pm
FPTA Awards Reception – To be held outside of the banquet hall.

7:00pm – 9:00pm
FPTA Awards Banquet & Dinner – The Awards Banquet highlights the amazing accomplishments of our transit systems and employees!

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

8:00am – 5:00pm

Registration Open

Check in to receive your entry badge and registration bag. You can also purchase extra meal tickets here, and ask questions.

8:30am – 10:00am

General Session: State & Federal Updates Breakfast

FTA, FDOT, APTA, and CTAA will discuss important updates and information regarding transit here in Florida and around the nation.

10:30am – 11:30am | Breakout Sessions

Florida Electric Transit Bus Procurement Update + State of the Industry

Presenters: Jared Schnader, CALSTART; Alvin Burns, Henry Lukasik, and Edith Randle, Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority (PSTA)

Mobility, Connectivity, Reliability: Meeting Tomorrow’s Transportation Needs

Presenters: Brad Thoburn, Florida Department of Transportation and Karen Deigl, Senior Resource Association
Mobility means people and freight have efficient and reliable options for moving between key origins and destinations. It means roads, transit, sidewalks, trails, and other systems are complete with no gaps to meet customer needs. It also means enhancing access for all Floridians to jobs, education, health care, and other services.
Attendees will learn how the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is prioritizing mobility for people and freight and transportation choices that improve accessibility, which are goals of the Florida Transportation Plan and central to the Department’s mission, and how to apply these concepts in their communities. Attendees will also learn about the Vital Few – Improve Safety, Enhance Mobility, and Inspire Innovation to achieve the state’s vision of a congestion- and fatality-free transportation system. The importance of the state’s Strategic Intermodal System and the role it plays in the movement of people and freight will be addressed as will the role of Florida’s 30 urban and 18 rural transit systems in improving connectivity. Finally, panelists will address the importance of leveraging innovative solutions to create the potential for a future with zero transportation fatalities, reliable travel times, seamless mobility, and universal accessibility for all residents and visitors.

Trends in Public Transit Suicides and Attempted Suicides and Potential Mitigation Measures

Presenters: Jodi Godfrey, CUTR and Jim Egbert, MCAT
The national increasing trend in suicides/attempted suicides in public transit is a challenge that is not unique to any one specific geography, therefore it is important that agencies share the strategies they are employing to address them, and the lessons learned. This session will begin with a data presentation followed by a report of best/model practices, and then presentations from a peer transit agency who has focused efforts on working with their local mental health agencies.

Florida Transit Maintenance Consortium Meeting

Presenters: Todd Parsons, CUTR; Joe Cheney, PSTA; and Elvis Dovales, LYNX
The Florida Transit Maintenance Consortium (FTMC) is a collection of transit maintenance professionals from around the state and includes representatives from many public transportation agencies’ maintenance departments.  This maintenance consortium will allow for the exchange of information related to current issues, trends and programs affecting transit agencies across the state. 
Please join the FTMC Quarterly meeting to discuss maintenance training, the status and direction of the Certified Transit Technician program, and transit ASE testing.  Do not miss this very informative meeting and your opportunity to ask questions.  

12:00pm – 3:00pm

Grand Opening of Exhibit Hall & Lunch

Join FPTA Business members in the EXPO Hall to see their latest products and services. We will have lunch ready, and you will have plenty of time to visit each booth and vehicle display.

3:15pm – 4:15pm | Breakout Sessions

Selling Public Transit to Both Sides of the Aisle

Presenters: Mark Kruse, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney; and Ivan Rodriguez, The Routing Company
Discussion/role playing on transit agency strategies when seeking information/assistance in-person from relevant transit state agencies and/or the Governor’s office.

Building an All-Inclusive Experience for Employees and Customers with Disabilities

Presenter: Nicole Fincham-Shehan, Palm Tran
This presentation will be conducted by an employee of Palm Tran and a user of Public Transportation – in addition, I am Blind. The goal is to discuss the importance of clearly communicating with not only fellow employees who are disabled, but the public we serve. I have a unique perception of how the workplace and public transportation in general is perceived by those with disabilities. We will discuss how and what are appropriate questions to ask, how to properly set up a diverse, all-inclusive work environment and transportation system and how to handle employee and rider reasonable accommodations. Attendees will also learn various ways to communicate and offer assistance with individuals with disabilities that are not offensive and condescending.

I think it is important to include the people we serve on discussions about how to better serve these individuals. I am happy to start the conversation.

Attracting and Retaining Bus Operators and Mechanics

Presenters: Robert T. Babbitt, Robert Babbitt PLLC and Kenneth Fischer, RATP Dev USA
Learn how the trucking and school bus markets are adapting to the pressures of the pandemic; before, during and after. We’ll also explore how the growth in Uber, Lyft and Amazon (among others) has exacerbated the challenge. You’ll leave with new ideas on reaching candidates and making careers attractive.


Presenters: Todd Parsons, CUTR; John Hatch, BYD; Bill Fay, Gillig; and Michael E. Hennessy, Proterra
The Florida Transit Maintenance Consortium (FTMC) is a collection of transit maintenance professionals from around the state and includes representatives from many public transportation agencies’ maintenance departments.  This maintenance consortium will allow for the exchange of information related to current issues, trends and programs affecting transit agencies across the state. 
Please join us while the FTMC host three Battery Electric Bus (BEB) vendors; BYD, Gillig and Proterra to discuss their BEB battery technology, design, warranty and BEB battery safety, followed by a question-and-answer session.

3:30pm – 5:00pm

FPTA Annual Board Meeting

ALL FPTA Transit System Members are encouraged to attend. We will be electing our new FPTA Board of Directors for the upcoming year. Don’t miss your chance to represent your agency on the Board!

5:30pm – 7:30pm

EXPO Reception & Costume Party

Celebrate the occasion with plenty of food and drinks in our EXPO Hall. Dress to impress in your best costume for a chance to win prizes.

7:30pm – 9:30pm

After Party & Desserts Hosted by FPTA

The fun won’t stop with our live band and dessert at the after party. Costume winners and best exhibitor booth will be announced, along with prize giveaways.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

8:00am – 1:00pm

Registration Open

Check in to receive your entry badge and registration bag. You can also purchase extra meal tickets here, and ask questions.

8:30am – 10:00am

General Session/Breakfast

10:30am – 11:30am | Breakout Sessions

Transportation Disadvantaged 101

Presenters: CTD Staff
Description TBD

Non-Profit Organization: Managing Your Financials

Presenters: CTD Staff
Description TBD

Transit Providers and Riders With Dementia

Presenter: Kiarra Krulikowski, Alzheimer’s Association
Description TBD

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Luncheon General Session

1:30pm – 5:00pm
FDOT District Meeting

2:00pm – 3:15pm | Breakout Sessions

Helping Vulnerable Populations Find Transportation: On-line Information and Referral Resources to Reduce Mobility Barriers

Presenters: Sandra Winter, PhD, OTR/L, University of Florida, Dept of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions; Liz Peak, Regional Mobility Group LLC; Marybeth Soderstrom, Central Florida Regional Planning Council; Brian Abrams, HART
Florida’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition and its partners support safe mobility for older adults, persons transitioning from driving, persons who are disabled, and those who are transportation disadvantaged. This panel presentation underscores the importance of mobility for these vulnerable populations and how each agency works to remove mobility barriers. The presentation highlights resources from four regions of Florida – each designed to break down barriers for riders by identifying transportation options. Panelists will discuss system features, future directions for on-line information and referral resources, the importance of accurate data and how the CTCs can help in maintaining that data. The featured trip planners interface with Web-enabled devices such as computers, tablets, and smart phones and some provide real-time arrival and departure information for the public buses. After this presentation, participants will be able to identify and promote resources that can be used by riders to help identify appropriate transportation options; identify the costs and benefits of incorporating on-line information and referral systems to website for regional transit; and, understand how a trip planner can break down transportation barriers by assisting residents in moving across county lines.

Community Transportation Coordinator Session

Presenters: CTD Staff
Description TBD

Becoming a Successful E-Learner: I’ve Signed Up – Now What?

Presenter: Stephanie Lewis, CUTR
Description TBD

3:30pm – 4:45pm | Breakout Sessions

Small and Rural Transit Agency Roundtable Discussion

Moderators: Stephanie Lewis, Bill Mayer, and Roberta Yegidis, CUTR; and Tony Brandin and Heather Kay, FDOT
This session will be offered in a roundtable format to discuss a variety of challenges and successes met by small and rural transit agencies. Topics will include lessons learned from the last 18 months, service changes, and the Florida Transit Managers Toolkit (currently under development). Attendees are encouraged to bring their questions and issues to share with the moderators and their peers.

Planners’ Session

Presenters: CTD Staff

Innovation and Service Development Grant Best Practices

Presenters: TBD

6:30pm – 7:00pm
CTD Awards Reception – To be held outside of the banquet hall.

7:00pm – 9:00pm
CTD Awards Banquet & Dinner – The Awards Banquet highlights the amazing accomplishments of our Community Transportation Systems, employees, and volunteers!

To review SAFETY INFORMATION, please visit ourMeeting Safely page.