Key Insights from APTA’s 2024 Business Members’ Annual Meeting: A Recap by SDI Presence

SDI Presence is proud to hold a voting seat on APTA’s Business Members Board of Governors, and it was a pleasure to not only attend the Business Members’ Annual meeting, but also help develop the program. 

As the transit industry convened last week, there was strong representation from both the private and public sector, as well as the FTA and USDOT. Just as we do every year, vital informational and educational discussions and sessions filled the couple of days together. If you couldn’t make the conference—or you’re looking for a recap—here are SDI’s top takeaways from APTA’s 2024 Business Members’ Annual Meeting: 

  1. Many representatives from the USDOT were in attendance, and their largest message for the group was that this administration is dedicated to DBE / WBE / MBE opportunities and that equity is a major focus on the current administration. A lot of the discussion circled around the question of whether it’s time to change the model. What does change look like? What could new goals look like? How do we continue the discussion around resetting the DBE-related goals? Is a transition program necessary for these businesses to avoid falling off a cliff? The transit CEOs are committed to working with the business members to find new strategies and approaches. 
  2. While the volume of cyber threats keeps growing, transit organizations struggle to navigate the perception that resources they have in place are merely enough. Since the news (and threat) of Volt Typhoon hit last summer, cybersecurity should be far more top-of-mind for us all. Is your transit agency prepared? Is your business prepared? We need to get out of the “good enough” mindset around cybersecurity. Many organizations in transit cannot afford a CISO—so how do we challenge the “good enough” mindset?
  3. SDI was incredibly proud to plan and moderate APTA’s first all-female technology panel, led by Christina Belmont, SDI’s VP of Marketing. The session topic focused on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can transform transit, and the panel did not disappoint! The panel kicked off with some audience participation, which showed the conference was split between seeing AI as an opportunity driver with the other half seeing it as being surrounded by fear and risk. This panel focused on the positive, though, and experts from Hayden AI, Miovision, INIT, and SDI all shared perspectives and solid case studies of how AI is already positively impacting transit. From bus lane monitoring technology to innovations in fare payments and departure predictions, these applications are only the beginning. Just as we said in the session, we invite everyone about the AI Express, with the next stop being the future of transit. 

SDI provides cybersecurity services like penetration testing and remediation work for both transit agencies and businesses, and we’re also doing some interesting application modernization proof-of-concepts with AI. Contact us to learn more about how SDI can help solve these important challenges.