Reconnecting at APTA’s TRANSform Conference & EXPO Show 2021

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No Background Noise

The global economy has started to pick up, even as we continue to navigate variants of the worst pandemic in centuries. Events and tradeshows are coming back to life, and companies are rushing to plan the next event, hoping attendees will show up.

The trajectory is uncertain, considering that there is a shortage of everything in the tradeshow industry, including workers, supplies and time. They say, “Build it and they will come,” but will they? 

People showed up to APTA EXPO, so the event certainly proved the point. APTA EXPO normally happens every three years, but even though it was delayed a year due to COVID, the who’s who of the Public Transit industry was there.

Orlando was a wonderful setting to spend time with great people from companies such as Conduent, Genfare, INIT, Flowbird, Cubic, Payment In Motion, Vontas, Scheidt & Bachmann, VenTek and more. There was no rush, no background noise, just a very laid-back feeling of camaraderie.

A Surge of Creative Energy

Despite the laid-back attitude there was a lot going on. From booths to sessions to committee meetings, the atmosphere was electric, and we’re not just referring to all the conversations about electrified buses. People were anxious to get back together and get on with what’s next.

The past year changed the entire public transit industry from top to bottom in many positive ways, so what’s next turns out to be a pretty big deal.  

  • Bus electrification
  • Tackling procurement and supply chain issues
  • Developing and delivering new customer information and fare collection technologies
  • Balancing new ridership trends
  • Putting equity into action

There’s Plenty to Do

Here are a few stats to demonstrate the scope of the challenge and how important it is to step into this ambitious vision:

  • There are around 7.8 million public transportation commuters in the U.S.
  • 70% of these commuters live in one of the seven largest metropolitan areas
  • Public transportation systems operated about 185,732 railcars, buses, vans and other vehicles
  • Demand response service and bus modes make up the majority of vehicles available, at 73,155 and 72,665, respectively
  • The heavy rail fleet of 11,198 vehicles is the largest among the rail modes

Covid-19 taught us that it is paramount to keep our transportation resources clean for community safety, with technology at center stage to accomplish this goal. An ecosystem of transit bodies and municipalities, system integrators,  payment systems, providers and gateways is working together to resolve these challenges. Together we are creating open-loop cashless fare collection processes that avoid contagion, and seamless payment solutions that optimize and streamline operations.

A Vision for the Future

The APTA show brought out a great sense of hope and optimism for the future of the transit industry and the new mobility era, with safety and technology occupying center stage.

“We want to thank the many attendees who stopped by our booth and talked with us about our cVEND “Touch & Go” payment technology, which is designed for mobility and transit, said Eric W. Pitts, Senior Manager, Payment, at FEIG ELECTRONIC.

“To all the customers and integrators who already use our products inside their validators and solutions, we appreciate your trust in our products and services. We will continue to bring you the highest quality in payment solutions and our continued support of those solutions,” he continued.

FEIG ELECTRONIC is a development partner and specialist in RFID contactless identification, control electronics, traffic sensors and unattended payment terminal solutions. We have been in business for over 50 years and are headquartered in Weilburg, Germany, with more than 400 people contributing to the future of transit and other industry technologies by developing and manufacturing innovative solutions for a wide range of applications.