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Watch for ‘Actionable Intelligence’ at IBTTA Annual Meeting

By: 
Bill Cramer

Rosa Rountree, CEO and General Manager of Egis Projects Canada Inc., and Stephen Mayer, Vice President, Strategy and Development at Parsons Transportation Group, are Chief Meeting Organizers of IBTTA’s 81st Annual Meeting and Exhibition, September 22-25, 2013 in Vancouver. In this interview with our blogger Mitchell Beer, they look ahead to the highlights of this year’s event.

What will participants learn about by attending this year’s Annual Meeting?

RR: Our industry is right in the midst of all the progress and challenges of regional and North American interoperability. The scene is shifting weekly, sometimes daily, and IBTTA is where we get the best information on emerging ideas and solutions.

SM: The other big news is the continuing push toward congestion management, importing or embedding technology into the transportation system, and looking at new and creative ways of financing, operating, and maintaining road infrastructure. Everyone is looking for new, creative ways to deliver infrastructure, and that will make the discussion in Vancouver very timely and relevant. Oftentimes, you look outside your industry for solutions, and technology companies like Google are finding unique ways to transform business. Technology will continue to play that role in tolling, and that’s the focus of our keynote session, What Would Google Do?

What program highlights should participants look out for during the conference?

SM: I’m especially looking forward to the tracks on technology and innovative delivery models. It’s important to look at new ways of meeting customer expectations and measuring performance.

RR: Social networking is becoming increasingly important as a tool for marketing our services to customers, building our profile in the community, and delivering essential information in an emergency. Resilience has been a major IBTTA theme all year, and tolling agencies around the world will share what they’ve learned about protecting their assets and customers when severe weather strikes. Award winning senior hurricane specialist, Bryan Norcross, with The Weather Channel, who has extensive experience covering tropical storms and hurricanes will speak to us.

Networking is an important feature of any IBTTA conference, but never more so than when members are joining together for the Moving America Forward campaign. How will the informal conversations during the Annual Meeting help advance the industry as a whole?

SM: Actionable intelligence is the most valuable thing you take away from an IBTTA conference. We’re a big, diverse community, and the Annual Conference is where we learn about the measurable, specific steps our colleagues are taking to do a better job. Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada have all been leading the way on public-private partnerships, and I expect to spend a lot of time in the hallways, talking to our hosts about what that success looks like and how they did it.

You can’t be a successful international organization or a strong industry by closing the doors on new people and new ideas, and we really like to engage our first-time attendees and single them out in a very positive way.

Vancouver is widely recognized as a center of innovation for transportation infrastructure and policy. What ideas and knowledge can participants expect to take away after attending an IBTTA conference in this community?

RR: A picture is worth a thousand words, and if you’ve never visited Vancouver, be prepared to be mesmerized. Mobility is defined by roads, but also by travellers’ choices, and conference participants will get to see what nearly two million Vancouverites experience as reliable bus and rail transit, bicycle and pedestrian networks, tolling, and managed lanes. You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Vancouver is a place where you want to come early and stay late. We’re looking forward to welcoming the tolling world to our world-class city!

SM: Vancouver is a world leader in seamless, multimodal transportation. Travellers don’t care whether they’re using a car, a bus, or a ferry—they just want to plan their trip, know what their transportation will cost, and get where they’re going on time. Vancouver is a great place to learn more about delivering that experience. Vancouver has the bluest skies I’ve ever seen, and it’s also one of the best places in the world to learn about our business. The ideas and insights you bring home from the Annual Meeting will be well worth the investment, and your boss will realize that sending you to Vancouver was the best thing your organization ever did.

There’s still time to register for IBTTA’s 81st Annual Meeting and Exhibition, September 22-25, 2013 in Vancouver.