With the presence of delegates from the most important government agencies related to passenger transport, bus manufacturers, operators and experts from various countries, the first edition of the Busworld Academy in North America ended in Omaha, Nebraska, in the United States.
Peter Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association ABA and Jan Deman, Director of the Busworld Foundation, were the moderators of the event, which took place on January 13 and 14, 2020 at CHI Health in the city of Omaha, within the framework of the ABA Marketplace 2020, an event that connects all sectors of tourist transport in the country and connects authorities, tour operators and bus manufacturers in an interesting business conference.
The agenda was varied, but the trending topics were electromobility, sustainable energy, mobilization, autonomous, cooperation between operators and telematics. The opening session was attended by Rep. Sam Graves, member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Jim Mullen, U.S. Administrator. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, James Owens, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and John Brennan, U.S. Chief Federal Transit Authority.
The academic agenda opening session was carried out by Kaul Veerender, a Frost and Sullivan consultant for North America, who, through figures and statistics, showed the composition of the global bus fleet and made a 2025 forecast on market behavior and trends as for typologies of vehicles it refers. Although the United States has established its economy, development and demographic location based onself mobility, cultural conditions and the advanced ecological awareness will increase the volume of buses in North America almost 4 percent in the next five years.
An interesting panel of bus builders showed the future of bus and coach development in the region. The scenario, shared between local manufacturers and importers, addressed topics such as electromobility, the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, the proximity to autonomous driving and the migration to new energy other than fossil fuels. Roman Cornell of ABC Companies (Van Hool) spoke about the electrification experience in Europe, Ian Smart of Motor Coach Industries (New Flyer) presented to the audience the planning of the brand to deliver medium-distance buses operated to batteries and electric urban buses more and more affordable, while François Tremblay of the Canadian manufacturer Prevost (Volvo) talked about how current active safety systems are increasingly approaching autonomous mobilization avoiding human driving errors. For his part, Deniz Cetin from Temsa talked about clean energy and what his company lived in Turkey, while Ryan Popple of Proterra emphasized the progress of urban electromobility.
The afternoon gave way to the panel of new energies. With the moderation of the Academy Director, Jan Deman, Daniel Gage, of NGVAmerica (Natural Gas Vehicles for America), Erik Bigelow, representative of the CTE Center for Transportation and the Environment; Becky Knox, of the Edison Electric Institute, JP Pelletier of New Flyer & MCI, Gary Horvat of Navistar, Jeff Madura of Van Hool and Jean Pierre Geelen, Yellow Window, spoke respectively about the implementation of charging stations for natural gas buses in the various urban operators, the present and future environmental impact of migration from fossil fuels to new energies, hydrogen as an alternative for the generation of electric energy through fuel cells and their reduction in future cost and importance of industrial design in the generation of new formal and aesthetic archetypes for zero emission buses in the future.
At the end of the afternoon, we go from drawing and design tables to reality. The operators that have begun their process of migration to new energies had the floor, in a panel of experts moderated by Scott Bogren, representative of the Community Transportation Association of America.
There bus operators from various parts of the world, as well as local transporters shared their experiences by migrating their operation schemes to new low and zero emission technologies. From Holland, Mr. Marc Vanhoutte of Transdev presented his experience of multimodal implementation in the Amsterdam region. For his part, Mr. Joachim Reinhard Danchell of Movia talked about the electrification of Copenhagen and the surrounding municipalities, while Malin Lindberg, bus driver and fleet maintenance expert, spoke about what happened in Stockholm with buses and electric trams.
The local quota was in charge of Darryl Spencer, director of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit who talked about its CNG bus fleet and the impact of charging systems on electric buses; Amy Cummings of the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission and William “Bill” Deville of the New Orleans Capital Area Transit System also participated in the forum.
We are looking back at a great first edition of our Busworld Academy in the North American region with top level speakers bringing content for discussion relevant to the market today.
The next Busworld Academy North America will take place from 28-30 JAN 2021, together with a first Busworld North America exhibition in Baltimore during the ABA Marketplace.