SmartTransit, Los Angeles 2019 is over but we are hosting the next SmartTransit in Boston on March 17-19. Click here to visit the website and learn more.


Monday 28th October

9:00am LA Metro Regional Connector Transit Project Station Visit

In partnership with LA Metro, the event opens with a site visit to the Regional Connector Transit Project. This new Metro Rail extension will create a one-seat ride for travel across Los Angeles County from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica when it opens in 2022. The Regional Connector will improve access to both local and regional destinations and increase ridership by an estimated 17,000 new daily riders.

Visitors on the tour will have an opportunity to view construction progress of the underground station at the corner of 1st St and Central Av and hear from project staff on the unique engineering challenges faced when working in a dense, urban environment.

Regional Connector tour is now fully booked.

11:30am Registration
12:00pm Networking lunch
1:00pm Welcome address
A regular difficulty for companies is persuading financiers to look at long term benefits rather than just the short term expenditure. Large scale projects that produce equally impressive savings in future years are balked at due to their initial capital or projects that may ultimately increase passenger numbers and therefore revenue are refused as they do not provide a direct benefit to operations. This opening section of the conference looks at the innovative projects and ideas that have made LA Metro one of the nation’s most progressive transit operators and assesses the methods that can be used to increase the likelihood of gaining investment for these types of projects.

Moderator: Mike Ogborn, Senior Advisor, ASLRAA

Innovation at LA Metro
• Learn what the latest innovative strategies and techniques are being implemented at LA Metro to improve operations and provide a more reliable and enjoyable service.
• Understand what initiatives are being followed to ensure that public transit is viewed as a more attractive transportation option to increase ridership numbers.
• Examine the methods being used by LA Metro to provide a more effective service through integrating platforms by using a range of different technologies such as the TAP card system.

Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer, LA Metro


The business case for investing in innovation & new technology
• Analyze how short term capital expenditure on new technologies can result in long term financial savings.
• Understand how the case for investing in innovative technology can differ between passenger and freight services.
• Discuss how a lack of investment in new communications technology may have a detrimental effect and cause the transit industry to fall irreparably behind other modes of transport.

Neal Hemenover, VP Innovation, Transdev North America

2:00pm Financing strategies for digitalizing transit
• Understand how to justify technologies that are considered ‘non-essential’ such as on board Wi-Fi.
• Assess the funding options available to operators concerning both small and large scale investment projects.
• The business case for funding digitalization with tight budgets such as on buses, less regular services or for freight rail.
• Discuss other, more unusual sources for funding such as local businesses that may directly benefit.

Kimberly Williams, Chief Innovation Officer, METRO Houston (MTAHC)
2:20pm The Texas High-Speed Train – Connecting People, Creating Jobs, and a New American Industry
The Texas High-Speed Train will be the first high-speed train in the country, connecting Houston to North Texas in less than 90 minutes.  It will drive huge economic growth as it is being built, and when operational, create a new high-tech American industry.

Holly Reed, Managing Director, Texas Central
2:45pm Panel discussion: “We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none, and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.” President Trump made this quote three years ago – what has changed?
• To what extent has the federal government supported and improved transport infrastructure since the current administration assumed office in January 2017?
• Discuss the extent of funding and specific changes that are required to ensure improvement and achieve the promise of ‘second to none’ in future years?
• Discuss what, if any infrastructure projects and funding is promised in the near future and understand what routes are available to press authorities for funding and the likelihood of this being effective.

Joshua Schank, CIO, LA Metro
Neal Hemenover, VP Innovation,Transdev North America
Kimberly Williams,
Chief Innovation Officer, METRO Houston (MTAHC)
Holly Reed,
Managing Director, Texas Central
3:15pm Networking Coffee break
3:50pm LA Metro Dedicated Panel Discussion: Everything New Is Blue Again

Metro’s Line A recently underwent a complete overhaul – closing for 9 months – and in the process Metro learned a lot about technology and the customer experience.   This panel is a practical discussion from a variety of viewpoints – including representatives from Metro Art, Program Management and Marketing groups.   We’ll look the challenges and opportunities that this first of its kind project presented.

Moderator: Anthony Crump, Deputy Executive Officer, Community Relations, LA Metro
Tim Lindholm, Senior Executive Officer, Program Management, LA Metro
Maya Emsden, Deputy Executive Officer, Creative Services, LA Metro
Lan-Chi Lam, Director, Revenue Generation for Marketing Communications, LA Metro

Now, more so than ever, we live in a world where businesses and the population as a whole relies heavily on digital communication technologies. The capabilities of different applications and software seems endless, even more so with the recent announcement of the 5G network and the latest development in mobile communications. Such advancements create a huge amount of potential for the transportation industry and making use of this could have a significant effect on operations and potentially even save lives, yet risk to the system is also increased with the enhanced reliability on digital connectivity leaving the industry even more open to cyber attacks

Why having a private communications system underground can potentially save lives
Allen plans to talk about how our new P25 digital radio system will strengthen the communications capabilities of WMATA and its jurisdictional partners throughout the region. The technological advances included in this system will enable WMATA to improve operational efficiencies and ensure operational continuity in the event of a catastrophic failure

Allen Wonder, Project Manager, WMATA

4:40pm The growing threat of cyber-attacks and the potentially severe effects of an attack occurring
• How has the threat of cyber attacks developed over recent years with the constant modernization of data and technological capabilities?
• In a world that relies heavily on digital assets, how damaging could a severe cyber attack potentially be?
• Smaller scale attacks have already cost millions and endangered lives. Discuss the true vulnerability of the industry and the risk, not only financially, but of lives being lost.

Amanda Winters, Vehicle Maintenance System Admin, Metro St Louis
5:00pm Panel discussion: Discuss the potential benefits of new 5G technology whilst understanding how this in turn increases the risk of cyber attacks and the need to adapt accordingly to these risks.
• How can we gain the most out of 5G technology and ensure that the transport industry uses the software to its full potential by becoming safer, more efficient and more effective?
• Despite the growing threat of cyber attacks, how can we use 5G to our advantage to become stronger and more vigilant?
• Discuss the idea of operating both a private LTE and public network to maintain business continuity, safety and become much more equipped to dealing with incidents.

Amanda Winters, Manager Transit Operations, Metro St Louis
Allen Wonder,
Project Manager, WMATA
Randy Sac, Head of Information Mgt & Technology, Light Rail Manila Corporation
5:30pm End of Day One

  Tuesday 29th October
8:00am Registration - Light Breakfast & Refreshments
9:10am Welcome address
The possibility of collecting and interpreting data almost instantly has enabled operators to streamline a range of tasks and instantly recognize areas of success and those that require improvement. From providing automated reports to agencies to enabling direct links to customers, the real-time transmission of information gives companies and customers a live picture that they can act upon without delay.

Moderator: Brian Tsukamoto,
Chief Rail Equipment Branch, Caltrans

LA METRO Opening Speech


9:30am Public transport and continuous connectivity: building smarter cities

Everyday tens of millions of people worldwide use public transport; this critical infrastructure is the backbone of cities and more than ever citizens are expecting digital innovations that improve their commute. This session will:

• Share the results of a study into rail users in five global cities about their expectations around transport and connectivity
• Talk about the ‘connected train’ and using the right technology for the right application
Detail BAI’s work delivering dedicated trackside networks in Hong Kong’s MTR and Toronto’s new Crosstown line

Josh Mackinnon, Director of WiFi Technologies, BAI Communications

Innovations in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in Los Angeles
Robin O'Hara, Executive Officer, LA Metro

10:15am Advisory session
Craig Stratton,
Director of Business Development, Comtran
10:35am Maintaining and Monitoring Transit Assets through an IOT-based Sensor Network
The latest advancements in signalling technology to improve safety & awareness
• Understand how the network has been fitted and improved the New York Subway
• Assess the benefits of implementing this new technology and how safety is drastically increased

Daniel Lax,
Principal, Clear-Vu Lighting
10:55am Panel discussion: Using data to its fullest potential
• Discuss the importance of capturing the right data types and the potential difference that this data could have on operational effectiveness when used intelligently.
• Assess ways to take full advantage of software that enables direct reporting and can save valuable time in administration costs and use significantly less manpower.
• Discuss what partnerships may be possible as a way to fund such software through companies or agencies that may also gain from this information

Josh Mackinnon,
Director of WiFi Technologies, BAI Communications
Robin O'Hara,
Executive Officer, LA Metro
Daniel Lax,
Principal, Clear-Vu Lighting
Craig Stratton,
Director of Business Development, Comtran
Melinda White,
CEO, Transit Wireless
11:25am Networking coffee break

Strategies being used to prevent rising track fatalities

There has been a steady increase in fatalities across major cities in the US, not only causing loss of life but also traumatic experiences for those nearby the incident and severely impacting service operations. During this session we examine the links between fatalities and factors such as homelessness and lifestyles and the strategies and technologies being used to effectively reduce occurrences in what is a difficult but important issue to address.

Svetlana Grechka,
Deputy Project Manager, Denver RTD


How emerging wireless technologies will benefit agencies and ridership in underground environments

Joseph F. Mullin, CTO, InSite Wireless Group


Interactive Audience Panel Discussion

Svetlana Grechka, Deputy Project Manager, Denver RTD
Joseph F. Mullin,
CTO,InSite Wireless Group


Networking lunch


Accessible Autonomous Vehicles
How are Santa Clara working alongside AV providers and Human Machine Interface providers to build a more Accessible Autonomous Vehicle (AAV). The project will be working with disabled VA clients to understand and demonstrate how new disruptive technologies can be used to build a more accessible vehicle when the driver and on board assistants are removed.

Gary Miskell, Chief Innovation Officer & Chief Technology Officer, Santa Clara VTA

The roundtable sessions promote niche and open discussion amongst delegates. The conference hall will be divided into zones, each themed around a different challenge. Delegates can choose which zone they would like to join and a moderator will lead the group in discussion of the topic.

Following the discussion, each table leader will feedback to the whole group their key conclusions from the session.
  Enhanced transit location systems and asset tracking technology

Piper Networks
Increasing communication technology whilst decreasing its threat

Randy Sac,
Head of Information Mgt & Technology, Light Rail Manila Corporation
Adapting the industry to compliment a modern workforce Financing projects through private stakeholders agreements
3:15pm Networking coffee break
It is widely known that, on the whole, public transport ridership numbers across the US are down and have been reducing in recent years. On the other hand, micro transit ridership is on the rise. This section analyzes the whether there is a correlation between the two and the strategies available to put an end to this trend.
The pace of advancements in AI, robotics and machine learning have opened up a range of new possibilities when concerning the maintenance of infrastructure. From using data to predict failures before they occur to prioritizing maintenance tasks and even performing the tasks more quickly and with less manpower, modern technologies have revolutionized the way maintenance and repairs are performed. This section examines the new and innovative ways to perform maintenance and in doing so, drastically reduce downtime and increase efficiency.

Moderator: G Satish, Chief Executive Officer, Connixt

Riding the roller coaster of changing ridership trends
• Examine changes in ridership numbers across public transport and discuss any trends and their possible reasons.
• Look at the few areas in which numbers are increasing and examine the potential reasons for this.
• How can we as an industry begin to change habits and a shift back to public transit?

Tim Healy, Creative Services Director, Sound Transit

Predictive maintenance – using analytics to predict failures and increase uptime
• The benefits of failure analysis and how predicting failures can lead to an increase in uptime and optimization.
• Assessing predictive maintenance and the true potential of machine learning.
• Understand how data analytics and machine learning can enable prioritized maintenance where operators prioritize workload based on the severity and financial implications.

Frank Ibe, Head of Line Operations & Performance, Transport for London

How should the industry compete with micro transit? Do operators provide direct competition or rather find ways to embrace competitors and create partnerships?
• Discuss the options available to operators regarding the most appropriate approach to the surge in micro transit.
• What market is available for operators to directly compete with micro transit through their own forms of micro mobility platforms?
• What precedent is there for creating partnerships with micro transit companies where the two mobility providers work together to solve the first/last mile issue through means such as discounted fares?

Lauren Skiver, Chief Executive Officer, SunLine Transit Agency

Modernized maintenance – the benefits of robots over the need to send a workforce
• How new technology enables efficiencies within the workforce.
• Understand why remote devices allow prioritized maintenance and therefore increase efficiency.
• Change management and the need to train staff to use new and innovative forms of technology.

Girija Subramaniam, Founder, Forcing Function
Michael Scott, Founder & President, ADOJAM

Panel discussion: Innovative strategies to best deal with micro transit companies that provide a quality service whilst significantly undercutting competitors.
• Discuss ways to financially complete with companies providing a service that is far higher than what would normally be expected at that cost.
• Assess ways that micro transit companies could be used to compliment public transport companies such as bus services which have severe capacity issues.
• In what ways can public transportation adapt to provide a more private and personal door to door service?

Tim Healy, Creative Services Director, Sound Transit
Lauren Skiver, Chief Executive Officer, SunLine Transit Agency
Jeff Arndt, President & CEO, VIA Metropolitan Transit

Panel discussion: The evolving methods for maintenance & the resulting effect on workforce
• Understand how the advancements in robotics and machine learning are drastically changing how maintenance is performance and what is involved.
• Examine how these changes affect the daily activities involved in maintenance and adaptations required in terms of skills.
• Understand the future outlook of infrastructure maintenance and where operators should focus its attention going forwards in terms of investment and enhancing the workforce

Frank Ibe, Head of Line Operations & Performance, TFL
Girija Subramaniam, Founder, Forcing Function
Michael Scott, Founder & President, ADOJAM
Prabu Ekambaram,
Chief Technology Officer, Connixt
The workshop sessions offer a perfect platform for interaction, debate, and sharing of best practice. Following the moderators' introductory presentation, delegates will sit on tables of no more than 10 led by specialist facilitators and will discuss the challenges presented on their tables. Each table will then feed their conclusions back to the whole group, so you can take practical information back to the office to improve your business.
4:50pm Building the framework for enabling Mobility-as-a-Service partnerships Innovative solutions for meeting State of Good Repair commitments

5:30pm Networking drinks reception

  Wednesday 30th October
8:30am Light Breakfast & Refreshments
 9:10am Welcome address
Looking at ideas on how to regulate carbon emissions as the need for tighter rules becomes increasingly more relevant. States such as California are tightening down on carbon emissions and challenging targets are being placed onto companies to ensure a cleaner environment and more healthy way of living for local residents. This section examines ways to reduce emissions such as electrification.

Moderator: Robert Newhouser, Retired Deputy Director - Strategic Initiatives, New York City Transit

Mobility on demand in San Antonio
This talk discusses the highly successful pilot project concerning Mobility on demand in the city of San Antonio.

Jeff Arndt, President & CEO, VIA Metropolitan Transit


Vehicle To Grid & EV monitoring
Developing and deploying software to better manage an electric transit bus fleet. The Vehicle To Grid & EV monitoring project is funded through the California Energy Commission.

Gary Miskell, Chief Innovation Officer & Chief Technology Officer, Santa Clara VTA


Alternative propulsion substance to reduce carbon emissions
• What is being done to reduce the use of diesel across the transport industry?
• Electric cars, buses and trains are available but what are the setbacks?
• Examine the results and operators that have already implemented non-diesel vehicles?

California Air Resources Board


Panel discussion: Software & Innovative techniques to improve performance whilst reducing emissions
This session discusses the latest innovative methods that can improve performance whilst being effective in the fight to reduce carbon emissions and other forms of pollution to ensure operators are able to meet environmental targets.

Jeff Arndt,
President & CEO, VIA Metropolitan Transit
Gary Miskell,
Chief Innovation Officer & Chief Technology Officer, Santa Clara VTA
California Air Resources Board


Panel discussion: Understanding how to address the skills and gender gaps in what is an aging, male dominated workforce
The transport industry is seeing dramatic changes with the need to respond to growing populations and new contenders in the mobility space with smarter, more efficient, and high capacity services. Without the right skills, digitalization and major infrastructure projects are impossible to implement. The industry needs to modernize to attract a younger, more balanced workforce in the future.
• How are the skills needed for professionals as the industry becomes more digitalized?
• The digital workforce: how can greater connectivity and technologies such as AI & robotics deliver efficiencies and improve safety?
• What is the financial cost to the transit industry of an aging workforce?
• How does a more diverse workforce give you a competitive edge?
• How can the transport sector accept and integrate younger workforce and women?
• What careers are millennials seeking and how can the industry become more aligned to this?
• What are the opportunities for working with schools and universities?

Amanda Winters,
Manager Transit Operations, Metro St Louis


11:20am  Networking coffee break
The need for constant connectivity has never been greater as WiFi and communications continues to become more and more heavily relied upon by operators and customers alike. This section looks at the need for constant connectivity and how the industry must adapt to changing customer needs as they embrace contactless payment methods that do not involve cash or even a physical card.

Moderator: Jim Baker
The aim of this section is to look into the benefits of PTC and the argument for its implementation and also the business case for implementing the latest signalling technologies and at the most effective locations as well as the ways in which they can ultimately increase the intelligence of operations, before focusing on improving the national network through projects such as high speed rail.

Alla Reddy, Deputy Chief, Data Research & Development, New York City Transit
 12:00pm Wireless 101 - An introduction to the Federal Communications Commission and it's regulation of wireless
There has been a shift of public demand over recent years due to the access and reliability of the internet and overall connectivity. The younger generation are now constantly connected to media and the transit industry must adapt to this shift to attract these people groups.
• Assess how the reliability on apps and the world wide web has impacted on mobility habits with transit playing catch up.
• Discuss the options available for on board WiFi to improve connectivity across the network to attract the younger generation.
• Examine the benefits of a connected network with the introduction of apps and ability to send instant updates/information to passengers

Alan Tilles, Partner, Shulman Rogers.
New York City Transit Subway Service Visualization
• What technologies are available that can effectively collect and distribute information?
• How can the service visualization enhance operations and overall service to the customer?
• Understand the ways in which this software can increase safety as well as operational efficiency and passenger comfort

Alla Reddy,
Deputy Chief, Data Research & Development, New York City Transit
12:25pm  Integrated Payment Systems: Working with other operators to provide the best priced fares on a single ticket that covers a full journey
• Understand the challenges to overcome to ensure collaboration between operators for a working integrated system.
• Discuss the benefits that integrated payment would bring to customers that use multiple forms of transport for a single journey.
• How can operators work together to ensure passengers are able to use various operators and mobility types on a single journey with just one ticket at the most reasonable fare?

Monica Morton, Director of Fares, Utah Transit Authority
How TFL has implemented safety systems to a level that allows the Victoria Line to operate at a train per minute in London

Frank Ibe, Head of Line Operations & Performance, TFL
12:50pm  Panel discussion: Other forms of automated payment technology such as the use of cameras and recognition
What other technologies are now available that mobility platforms could intelligently implement to further enhance the payment of fares? This may include software able to:
• Track distance traveled
• Provide automatic recognition
• Estimate destinations based on previous habits

Alan Tilles, Partner, Shulman Rogers
Monica Morton, Director of Fares, Utah Transit Authority

Panel discussion: Discuss the benefits of implementing PTC in ways such as safety and standardization. Getting the absolute most out of its use
Many have questioned the financial sense behind the rollout of PTC against the actual benefits it provides. Gain an understanding of the status of PTC in the US and the extent of its rollout across the network
• Examine the benefits of standardization and the safety element of PTC and discuss whether this method is the most efficient to achieve these factors.

Alla Reddy, Deputy Chief, Data Research & Development, New York City Transit
Frank Ibe, Head of Line Operations & Performance, TFL
Robert Hanczor,
Chief Executive Officer, Piper Networks

1:10pm Networking lunch
One of the main problems facing public transit is the ability to provide passengers with an experience that rivals that of micro transit and private vehicles. The level of comfort, privacy and ease of access associated with the other forms of mobility means that transit companies need to improve their overall service. This section looks at innovative ways to attract passengers to use the system regularly and improve public opinion on public transport in terms of safety and on board experience.

Moderator: Jim Baker
The aim of this section is to look into the benefits of PTC and the argument for its implementation and also the business case for implementing the latest signalling technologies and at the most effective locations as well as the ways in which they can ultimately increase the intelligence of operations, before focusing on improving the national network through projects such as high speed rail.

Alla Reddy, Deputy Chief, Data Research & Development, New York City Transit

The importance of providing safety and assurance to customers concerned about the heightened risks of travelling in large numbers
• How are transit companies providing the safest possible environment to passengers travelling on their systems?
• What more can be done to assure the public of their safety while ensuring they remain vigilant to potential risks?
• Are security measures and response strategies adequate to the evolving risks presented to public safety?

Joseph Holmes, Sales Director, Easymile

Interactive Workshop: An update on the roll out of PTC, Breaking down barriers, The latest technology.
• Gain an understanding of the status of PTC in the US and the extent of its rollout across the network
• Where is PTC lagging behind and for what reason?
• Assess any difficulties of PTC being applied
• What is the future of PTC and what are the latest technologies on offer?


The Connected Customer Experience - Operator Perspective

Where can we make effective impacts for improved customer experience with technology that also create efficiencies for operators? Understanding the varying business models for implementing technology projects and how these can be used to drive improved customer experience and corporate goals.

Jim Allison, Manager of Planning, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA)

Workshop as above


Creating the Connected Customer Experience

Bringing customers joy through connection to the information, entertainment, and experience they desire throughout the journey.  What are the key building blocks and considerations when creating a secure, modern communication platform that can be used for enhanced passenger experience and operational applications.


Alan Rowe, Technical Manager, CCJPA Wi-Fi Services

Update on US High Speed Rail projects following recent funding difficulties in California
There has been a recent surge in the possibility of introducing high speed rail projects in the US and linking certain major cities via railway. With trains now able to travel at 250mph, high speed rail could potentially be a good option to travel distances considered too far for cars, but too small for flying. This session examines the progress being made on projects such as the proposed Houston/Dallas railway line from a financial aspect and looks at the benefits it would provide.
• What are the costs of high speed rail projects and how do they compare to the benefits the system would provide?
• How could the option of HSR genuinely make a difference and change the habits of US citizens who currently only consider transport via car or plane?
• Discuss the potential for a larger high speed network across the US and the possibility of various networks linking up in the future.

Adelle McKinney, Vice President, Magnetrain

Panel discussion: The benefits of transit and the use of automated vehicles
• What are the barriers to customers effectively using transit?
• What are the associated barriers of automated vehicles?
• Which customer experience factors do riders prioritize?
• How can transit compete with other modes of transport?

Joseph Holmes, Sales Director, Easymile
Jim Allison,
Manager of Planning, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA)
Alan Rowe,
Technical Manager, CCJPA Wi-Fi Services

3:30pm  Closing speech
3:35pm  End of SmartTransit 2019