Transformational Times for Transportation

Nov. 16, 2017
October saw the triennial event of the public transportation industry, the American Public Transportation Association’s EXPO, held in Atlanta, Georgia.

EXPO showcased the latest technologies and services available in the industry, while giving insight into the trends making an impact.

APTA Acting President & CEO Richard A. White said during the opening general session that this year’s EXPO was designed around transformational change. With the industry evolving at an ever-increasing pace, electrification, digitalization and autonomous technology are revolutionizing mobility.

"Our industry is evolving at a pace we've never seen before," said APTA Chair and Jacksonville Transportation Authority Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel Ford Sr. While the different technologies, service providers and modes can be disruptive to the transit industry, he said the evolution is already underway and stressed that the industry  will need to use technology and innovation to ensure the industry's transformational change is sustainable.

The private sector is responding to the shifting trends, offering solutions for autonomous operations, dynamic service delivery options, integrated solutions and holistic solutions meeting the mobility challenges or improving the passenger experience, as opposed to focusing only on specific products.  

While the following pages provide some of the highlights from the show floor, you can see more at and you can view Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s show dailies at

CRRC had a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Orange Line railcar on display. The vehicles incorporate solid state microprocessor technology, LCD passenger information displays, CCTV cameras, platform gap mitigation, automatic passenger counting and computer-based training simulators.

The GreenPower Bus EV-250 All-Electric Transit Bus utilizes the latest electric drive, battery technologies and battery management systems. The 30-foot bus gets more than 150 miles on a single charge. It is built with select suppliers, including Siemens, ZF and Parker Hannifin.

Danella offers both short-term and long-term rentals of vehicles, construction equipment and on/off track work equipment for both the freight and the transit industries.
Danella made the announcement to increase its options for transit, widening its portfolio of equipment.

Thermo King
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To address the demand for efficient heating and cooling solutions, Thermo King has two new all-electric, hermetically sealed rooftop HVAC units that were on display: The Athenia AMII E-800 and the RLF-E. Both units are designed for battery bus, hybrid bus, trolley bus and engine-driven alternator-powered applications.
The units feature a rugged, one-piece design which provides durability and ease of installation. The systems come from the factory pre-charged with R-407C refrigerant and all pipes and fittings are enclosed within the system. The absence of hoses and fittings external to the unit drastically improves reliability, lowers maintenance costs and overall life-cycle costs.
The RLF-E unit, pictured, features high-voltage AC electric compressors, and low-voltage DC blowers, allowing for optimized operation by varying speeds as needed.

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REI introduced its newest line of video surveillance, the HD5 Series, as well as its new 360-degree camera system, as well as some products that are in development, like the NVR-2400 Mobile Video surveillance which connects up to 16 HD cameras.
The HD5-1200 DVR Mobile Video Surveillance System, pictured, features AHD or IP cameras to create a custom surveillance solution, providing video and documentation to review any incident.

Motor Coach Industries unveiled the D45 CRT LE, its highly accessible D-Series coach that features a low-entry vestibule that comes equipped with ramp and an adjoining seating area for mobility devices. The coach also features forward-facing seats, power outlets, overhead racks and Wi-Fi options.

Clever Devices
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Clever Devices announced it had completed its acquisition of Italian transportation scheduling software company M.A.I.O.R.
The addition of the M.A.I.O.R. scheduling portfolio will enable Clever Devices to provide customers in North America and around the world with scheduling, planning, rostering and reporting solutions that complement our existing portfolio of market leading transportation solutions.
Based in Lucca and Florence, M.A.I.O.R is a leading provider of public transportation scheduling solutions in Italy. M.A.I.O.R has a portfolio of scheduling and optimization solutions that strongly align with Clever Devices’ ITS offerings.
The focus of the new scheduling platform will allow Clever Devices to improve transit operations through improving efficiency.
The M.A.I.O.R. scheduling software is currently only available for bus, but Clever Devices is working on the development for rail.

BAE Systems
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BAE Systems also introduced the low-emission REAL (Reduced Engine Accessory Load) electric system for use with diesel and CNG-powered drivetrains. Converting from a mechanical to the REAL electric system for powering accessories provides a number of benefits: more efficient operation, less maintenance, and it removes the burden of additional accessory loads on the engine to help reduce emissions. This ultimately assists with providing better fuel economy.

Alexander Dennis
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Alexander Dennis has announced that it has expanded its product range, including a $20 million investment aimed at showcasing the company’s commitment to the bus and double-decker industry.
On display was the high passenger capacity Enviro500, the Enviro500 SuperLo and the Enviro200. The SuperLo comes in at a height of less than 13 feet, while maintaining a spacious interior for maximum passenger comfort.
The Enviro200, pictured, is Alexander Dennis’ single-deck bus, delivering fuel-efficient feeder bus transportation.

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SABIC showcased its capabilities in additive manufacturing, glazing and carriage interiors that are aimed to assist rail engineers, designers and suppliers work to reduce both weight and maintenance. Among the featured products, SABIC had a bracket created using ULTEM AM9085F filament, designed for use with Stratasys Fortus printers.
The bracket, which is regularly made from sheet metal, is used in rail carriage hidden spaces to mount ceiling components. ULTEM AM9085F filament is made from SABIC’s ULTEM resin, offering the same composition as the company’s injection molding grades. This polyetherimide (PEI) material is desirable for applications that require high heat resistance, high strength and low flame, smoke and toxicity.

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Peerless-AV provided a spotlight on its outdoor, sunlight and waterproof displays: Peerless-AV Xtreme. The displays have the ability to be viewed in direct sunlight, making it easy for passengers to view signage and route information in a variety of weather conditions. The Xtreme Displays come in 42-, 47- and 55-inch sizes.

March Networks
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March Networks demonstrated its Incident Search software, which is now a feature in March Networks’ Command for Transit video management software. Incident Search integrates surveillance video with CAD/AVL vehicle metadata, making it easier for agencies to search and investigate reported incidents and provide evidence and information relating to the claims. The software capability provides agencies with an overview of what’s happening on all of its routes, and provides details on recorded events such as speed, hard brakes, door malfunctions or impacts.

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Avail Technologies Inc. and Fleet-Net Corporation — which was recently acquired by Avail — both showcased their management software, aimed to make running a system less of a hassle by utilizing multiple software systems for each position. The software is customizable for each agency’s needs, which means that features can be added or turned off. On the maintenance side the software also works to be more ‘premeditative’.

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ABB featured its latest charging systems for bus terminals and highlighted it is now offering its rail traction products as Buy America-compliant.
ABB’s new traction converter generation, pictured, is designed to be efficient and versatile. The unit is compatible with diesel-electric multiple units and has recently been utilized by Stradler’s new FLIRT DMU for TEXRail.

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Railquip Inc. spotlighted its B-MAXI L, battery-powered railcar mover. The B-MAXI offers a greener and versatile choice to the standard railcar movers, which are typically powered by diesel. It is lighter than most railcar movers and it is also operated by remote.

Stadler and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (FWTA) introduced the first FLIRT (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) for the TEXRail commuter rail line.
The wide front doors and spacious lower floor area make it easy for passengers to board and disembark. Each train comes equipped with 224 seats and side tables and USB ports, as well as an ADA toilet. The train's ergonomic driver's cabin features an intuitive design, providing onboard personnel with a modern, comfortable workplace.

Gillig and Cummins announced a new electrified power partnership. The technical collaboration work focuses on integrating and optimizing new battery electric technology offered by Cummins that will soon power GILLIG zero-emissions transit buses.
Cummins displayed a new powertrain, configurable for either a full-battery-electric vehicle or a range-extended electric vehicle incorporating a compact engine-generator. Cummins electrified power systems are ideally suited for integration into transit, shuttle and commuter buses enabling direct drive-by-wire continuous acceleration.

Alstom featured models of its latest rolling stock offerings, including the next-generation, high-speed trainset, Avelia Liberty, which will run on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, pictured, and also spoke to how the company is transforming into a mobility company.
The world is changing, so instead of focusing on only its products and technology, Alstom is focusing on passengers and their comfort, and introduced Aptis to attendees, an electric bus designed more like a train.

REV Group’s ElDorado National 40-foot AXESS bus featured BAE Systems’ Series-H propulsion system. The hydrogen fuel cell bus is a zero-emissions bus designed to achieve the same level of performance, reliability and durability that transit operators require, while also being Buy America compliant. The bus model is completing testing at the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center and is in product with 16 built and delivered.
The bus features all-electric accessories, including electric air conditioning, power steering, air compressor and cooling systems. It’s lightweight, nano-phosphate lithium-ion battery technology provides the full benefit of hybrid-electric operation.

The transit business is changing at a rapid rate but the technology in other industries already exist and Genfare President Darren Dickson said they have leveraged that for transit.
“We’ve created a platform to leverage technology with the least infrastructure cost,” said Dickson. Genfare Linnk is a comprehensive, digital fare management platform that is a suite of fully integrated hardware and software-based solutions that can manage multi-media fare collection across multiple modes.
Dashboards and reporting tools provide real-time actionable data. “Everything, even mobile payment,” Dickson stressed, “is integrated into the reporting.”
He said for them, it’s about making the transit industry more user friendly for the consumer while helping the operator make the best business decisions to offer the commuter the best options.
Leveraging a comprehensive digital solutions suite that delivers total control, Dickson said, “Transit operation is going to get smarter through data.”
Image: Genfare reporting
Genfare Link offers robust reporting tools to stay up-to-speed on fare collections as well as anticipate future scheduling and maintenance needs. With real-time data, you can customize reports on rider activities, system status and areas to optimize operations.
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Commuters can plan their trip, select a route, pay for a ticket and board with the mobile app.

The REV Group’s ElDorado National E-Z Rider II is a mid-size, heavy-duty low-floor bus that was designed and built in the United States. The bus rapid transit design features a swept windshield for enhanced visibility and aesthetics. It features wheelchair ramps at front, center or both doors for the ultimate paratransit flexibility.

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InnoTrans was on hand providing information about its trade fair, Septemeber 18-21 in Berlin, Germany, the world’s leading trade fair for transportation technology. It takes place every two years and the last event drew 2,955 exhibitors from 60 countries. The five segments of InnoTrans are Railway Technology, Railway Infrastructure, Public Transport, Interiors and Tunnel Construction and next year will again include the Bus Display in Public Transport – evolving to focus on the demand of innovative mobility solutions.

ZF exhibited its latest electromobility solutions, including CeTrax, its all-electric central drive. It’s ideal for vehicles with a driveline configuration similar to that currently used in conventional vehicles. It can be combined with single rear drive axles and conventional low-floor axles, means it can be installed in low-entry buses. The light weight and high performance offer excellent efficiency.

Protective fabric covering solutions for rail cars, locomotives and automobiles offer protection from corrosion, moisture, UV rays, dusts, road grime, rodents and scratching. The patented shrinkable or custom-fit fabric offers protection during transportation and storage.

Oran Safetyglass’s ScreeneX offers real-time communication directly to passengers through LCD panels directly embedded into glass screens. Transform windows and glass partitions into vivid, real-time passenger information displays for your passengers. It is durable, protected from vandalism and affords easy installation and replacement with plug-and-play compatibility with all hardware and software. Save internal space by using current windows or partitions – no external mounting.

Siemens Industry had half of a Calgary rail car on display, a Siemens S200. The new cars feature a wide, spacious interior with Freedman Seating Co. bench seating having longitudinal seating through the center of the car and transverse seating at the end. Passenger capacity is approximately 247 total passengers with 60 seats, 2 wheelchair spaces and 2 multi-purpose spaces. Large glass doors and windows offer better visibility and enhance the open feel of the interior. Siemens increased the cab size, allowing for larger cab side windows in provide operators a safe and comfortable work environment.

New Flyer
New Flyer exhibited its Xcelsior CHARGE, a zero emissions, battery-electric bus that is available in multiple lengths and battery configurations. It is available in 35-foot, 40-foot and 60-foot, pictured. All on-board sub-systems and accessories are electrically driven, including the air compressor and air conditioning compressors. The bus also has a converter to supply 24-volt DC power for power steering, interior fans, lights, optional electric doors and other accessories. It has a range of up to 284 miles on a single plug-in charge or with an on-route rapid charger, has an unlimited range to stay in service 24 hours a day.

Progress Rail
Progress Rail PowerView Event Recorder is an advanced event recorder with advanced solutions. It directly integrates into the EMD FIRE display, as well as other locomotive systems, and contains an integrated, internal, field replaceable crash-hardened memory module.
The recorder has a full industrial switch and multiple Ethernet ports for flexible network connectivity, as well as digital inputs with the capability to add additional inputs for various requirements. Network flexibility enables multiple cameras, as well as multiple camera types to be used, all in a single MCU 5 unit, saving critical space for other locomotive electronics.

Scheidt & Bachmann
Scheidt & Bachmann exhibited its suite of solutions, including for account-based ticketing. Ticketing processes are executed in real time and in the cloud. It stores customer, ticket and tariff data only in the background system so the various modules, such as fare calculation, always have access to every existing data set within the system. This allows for a dynamic and flexibly designed pricing, without the passenger’s active inv