APTA TRANSform and EXPO 2023: Transforming Transportation Through Innovation

By Christina Belmont, Vice President of Marketing

What an invigorating ride it was at APTA TRANSform and EXPO 2023! SDI joined this event with a spirit of innovation, vibrant energy, and an interest in exploring the future of public transportation. This triennial event, bringing nearly 15,000 people from more than 88 countries, was inspiring and thought-provoking. From AI to cybersecurity, there was a lot of focus on cutting-edge technologies and their ability to move the industry forward—here are a few of our takeaways.

  1. Cybersecurity Remains Top-of-Mind:

In our evolving digital world, the importance of cybersecurity in the public transportation sector cannot be overstated. Throughout the conference, cybersecurity was featured across discussions, meetings, and sessions emphasizing bolstering cybersecurity measures to safeguard our vital transportation systems. Industry leaders—both public and private—emphasized the need to be proactive and prepared to face emerging threats. With an increasing reliance on interconnected technologies, it is essential to invest in robust security solutions—ensuring the safety of critical infrastructure and our riders.

  1. DEI Provides an Inclusive Path Forward:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion were also vital focal points at APTA TRANSform and EXPO 2023. Recognizing that our industry needs to reflect the diverse communities it serves, numerous sessions and discussions revolved around fostering a more inclusive environment and industry as a whole. The event emphasized the importance of actively promoting diverse talent and its value to public transportation. These discussions serve as a reminder of the industry’s commitment to ensuring transportation options are accessible and beneficial to everyone.

  1. Data Integration and AI:

Public transit agencies rely on various systems—from fare collection to vehicle tracking and maintenance systems—all geared toward operational efficiency. However, these systems often operate in silos, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for improving service quality. One of the top IT concerns for these agencies is integrating these disparate data sources into a unified platform.

Data integration efforts focus on creating a comprehensive view, enabling better decision-making—optimizing routes, and enhancing the rider experience. Implementing technologies like APIs, data lakes, and AI (to name a few) is essential in achieving seamless integration. AI in public transportation offers several benefits, but one of the top benefits is improved efficiency and data-driven decision making. AI enables transportation authorities to make informed decisions—improving planning, resource allocation, and more. It also allows for continuous improvement by analyzing historical data to identify trends and opportunities for optimization.

The EXPO’s technology showcase—of more than 700 vendors—was filled with cutting-edge products and services, reflecting an industry on the cusp of exciting advancements. Is your transit agency ready to embark on your modernization journey? CONTACT SDI TODAY to learn how we can help bring your IT systems from legacy to leading edge.