Important transit system takeaways from APTA Mobility 2024

View of TriMet bus outside of Oregon Convention Center during APTA Mobility 2024

Major takeaways from APTA Mobility

The major themes of APTA Mobility 2024—accessibility, collaboration, and integration—are not new topics. 

That doesn’t make them less important.

During our week in Portland we rode the TriMet system and experienced some “liquid sunshine”—what the locals refer to as rain. We also met with our amazing customers, talked to new connections, and shared insights with our partners. We took away a lot of key lessons. Here are some of the important things the Vix team learned during APTA Mobility 2024.

Public transit and accessibility

Accessibility as a topic provided an outsized contribution to the conference and rightfully so. It was discussed from the start of the show as part of the opening day’s keynote. Artist Phil Hansen shared his story about his evocative style that continues to evolve due to a tremor in his drawing hand. Collectively, APTA attendees contributed to our own artwork, see it here:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) closing panel educated through first-person narratives, clear calls to action, and by informing the industry how it can continue to ensure equal access to transit for all people in all communities. At 34-years-old, the ADA has become a part of everyday lives. It was, however, a starting point. 

The session reminded us that paratransit was meant to be a temporary program before buses, rail, and other modes were equipped to effectively manage people with disabilities. Moreover, the rules haven’t been updated since that time. Technology and cultural change mean that issues that face riders now (for example, people with disabilities have difficulty affording phones or internet plans due to underemployment) were inconceivable in 1990.

Collaboration in transit technology

The ADA panel stressed collaboration among passengers, public transit agencies, technology vendors, and government. That spirit of collaboration was present in other ways too.

Mobility hubs require planning across the entire transit ecosystem. This includes  regional involvement, agency collaboration, mobility as a service (MaaS), and integrated fare collection systems. Together it makes multi-modal trips seamless.

Increasingly, mobility hubs also serve as centers for electric vehicles. For buses, electric scooters, and personal vehicles, having the infrastructure to efficiently charge will make these spaces more than transit centers, they can become a connection point for the community. 

A planned mobility hub in Ohio, for example, includes retail space dedicated to childcare to better support commuter parents. In Utah, preparation includes last-mile options like a circulator and micromobility devices (which the FTA is planning to include for federal funds).

Oregon Convention Center logo from APTA Mobility
Scenes from the Oregon Convention Center

Systems integration in transit

A holistic approach to regional planning requires more than collaboration. Integrated systems are necessary to transform places into smart cities. 

Using data from different systems to improve the way people move in a city is still a work in progress. Currently, many of these systems operate in silos. It takes cooperation, planning, and integration to ensure that traffic signals function effectively and efficiently to ensure that buses can improve on-time performance. 

Traffic signal priority (TSP) can mitigate delays in schedule adherence. Working together with CAD/AVL, TSP can improve dwell times, limit ghost buses, and enhance on-the-fly detour management. 

The need for accuracy in the Real-Time Passenger Information (RTPI) provided to passengers is crucial to making smart cities a reality. This is necessary across all media channels (on-board and on-street displays, as well as passenger’s phones). Examples given during APTA Mobility highlight this need, such as the way that Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) necessitated workarounds to extract real-time information from their existing CAD/AVL solution. 

Building smart cities needs the integration of Intelligent Transportation Systems across the network to improve on-time performance and offer the best possible passenger experience.



Accessibility, collaboration, and integration are foundational elements to improving transit systems across the United States and the world. The availability of federal funding to further these goals has supported industry innovation, but government dollars are not a certainty in the future. These major APTA Mobility 2024 themes underline the importance of technology that evolves with the needs of transit authorities and their passengers.

Vix Technology team at the booth during APTA Mobility 2024

Thanks for stopping by our booth

The Vix Technology team was excited to share the latest in fare collection and Intelligent Transportation Systems at APTA Mobility 2024. Our solutions for account-based ticketing, CAD/AVL, and ITS were on full display during the product showcase. If you missed the opportunity to see the Vix passenger displays, mobile data terminals, and Assure ticket validators, let’s talk. Register for a demo below.