2014 MPTA Annual Education and Training Forum Highlights

The 2014 Annual Education and Training Forum in St. Louis from August 3-5, was a tremendous success! Conference attendees had beautiful weather for the event. MPTA offered a host of excellent programs and tours. Following are just a few of the highlights from the Forum!

A small cadre of attendees participated in tour of the St. Louis MetroLink operations. We heard from Ray Friem, Metro’s Operations Manager about the history of the MetroLink, resources for maintenance and how Metro had been able to increase mileage and service from its service vehicles.  Participants were provided an opportunity first hand to see how the communications center operated, viewing live footage from the safety and security cameras, MetroLink stations and the bus routes. It was a great tour followed by a return ride to the hotel with enthusiastic Cardinals fans after a win at the ball park!




In photo: Ray Friem, Operations Manager, Metro St. Louis and Robert Frazier,, HDR Engineering

Attendees then gathered for the welcome reception on Sunday evening, where members were able to network and plan which sessions to attend during the coming days. John Nations, CEO/President of Bi-State Development Agency/Metro St. Louis welcomed attendees to St. Louis, inviting Jim Pettit from the Convention and Visitors Commission to make remarks.  The event set the stage for an inviting and productive conference.


In photo: John Nations, CEO/President, Metro St. Louis


In Photo: Jim Pettit, St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission

The Missouri Public Transit Association especially would like to provide recognition and acknowledgement to Pam Buschjost, MPTA Finance Director, and Mary Gordon, MPTA Program Director, who coordinated the conference with the wonderful assistance of Metro St. Louis staff, Dianne Williams, Vice President of Marketing and Communication and Patti Beck, Director of Communications, Bi-State Development Agency/Metro St. Louis.


In photo: Pam Buschjost and Mary Gordon, enjoying visits with members at the MPTA Welcome Reception.

Monday morning’s welcoming remarks were provided by Mr. Nations, who also welcomed St. Louis County Executive Charles Dooley to make remarks. Mr. Dooley was followed by Eddie Roth from St. Louis Mayor Slay’s office.


In photo: John Nations, CEO/President Metro St. Louis, welcoming attending and making introductions.


In photo: St. Louis County Executive Charles Dooley making remarks to MPTA attendees, commending the audience for the work they do in public transportation.


In photo: Eddie Roth, Department Chief of Staffmaking attendees welcome to St. Louis and commending the transit industry for all they do and commenting on the excellence of the transit service in St. Louis.

Following the morning welcome, MPTA President, Tom Mogelnicki, Executive Director of the Cape County Transit Authority, introduced keynote speaker Kathleen Passanisi. Formerly from the St. Louis area, Kathleen was delighted to be back to present at MPTA’s conference. Kathleen had the room roaring with laughter as she helped all of us in attendance understand life balance, both from the scientific perspective, but also from an individual perspective.  Having personally participated in the session, I had many take-aways and will certainly be increasing my “smile” to engender the same spirit in others around me! Thank you for a superb keynote, Ms. Passanisi!


In photo: Tom Mogelnicki, MPTA President


In photo: Kathleen Passanisi effectively engaging the MPTA audience.

As the conference progressed, we moved to more transit specific topics. We were thrilled to have an opportunity to hear from Mr. Richard Steinmann, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC, discuss GROW AMERICA and to answer questions about federal policy and Congressional activities presently underway relative to public transportation.


In photo: Mr. Richard Steinmann, Federal Transit Administration Headquarters

Following the general session, MPTA members had time to visit the Vendor and Bus Expo.  MPTA vendors had four busses on display on St. Charles Street, just outside the hotel side entrance. Thank you our bus vendors for providing MPTA participants the opportunity to examine busses first hand. At this time we also want to thank our three conference sponsors: 

Silver Sponsor


Bronze Sponsors

First Transit Logo 2 Color

USSC International Logo

Sponsors are wonderful supports of public transportation and MPTA. The conference would not be what it is without sponsorships and vendor participation.  To all our vendors who exhibited at conference, we extend a warm Thank You and ask that you hold August 9-10 for the MPTA 2015 conference that will be held at the Lake of the Ozarks, with the facility yet to be determined. Also be looking for information about the Transit Midwest (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska) conference that will be held in Kansas City in 2016!

Please come back to this site for new postings about conference in the days to come.  This is just a snapshot of some of the early events.  More to come….