Educational Series (2)












The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) hosts a variety of different educational events for members and interested stakeholders. These online webinars are packed with information on a wide range of topics featuring expert speakers from various disciplines in the public transit sector.

Register for upcoming events and review content from previous events below.

Upcoming MPTA Education Series Events – Register Now:


MPTA Education Series Presents: Virtual Round Table – Transit on the Move in Missouri

Don’t miss the upcoming MPTA Virtual Peer Round Table Discussion on May 21 at 12 noon on agencies on the move in Missouri. From rural transit to the urban areas, there is a lot happening around transit, and the goal of this discussion will be to host a hands-on conversation among transit personnel and industry experts to share ideas, policies and opportunities for improvement for agencies of all sizes.  This event will include updates on leadership changes at SMTS; expansion underway at the KC Streetcar; and the recent transit study results in Springfield and next steps.

Updates will be provided by:

  • Denny WardExecutive Director of SMTS
  • Tom GerendExecutive Director of the KC Streetcar
  • Matt CrawfordDirector of Transit at City Utilities of Springfield.

Following their updates, the event will open up for questions and opportunities for other agencies to potentially discuss projects in their areas.  Our goal is a good exchange of ideas and questions for Missouri transit agencies of all sizes.

Register here.


Previous MPTA Education Series Events:


MPTA and Citizens for Modern Transit Presents: Economic Impact of Public Transit in Missouri Study Results

On Feb. 7, 2024 the results of a six-month study commissioned to quantify the economic impact of public transit services in the state of Missouri were released during a panel discussion hosted by the Missouri Public Transit Association and Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT).  View the discussion in its entirety below and download the report here.

Robert M. Lewis, FAICP, CEcD, an independent consultant and assistant professor of Urban Planning & Development at Saint Louis University, discussed the results of an Economic Impact of Public Transit Services in the State of Missouri study. The study builds off a similar study in 2019 to define the current public transportation landscape, rider demographics and spending by transit agencies across the state, while also measuring the economic impact triggered and reinforced by public transit across Missouri.


MPTA and Citizens for Modern Transit Presents: State of Transit in Missouri

On Oct. 24, 2023, the state of transit in Missouri was highlighted following a second historic win at the Missouri State Legislature this year that increased state funding for the second year in a row to $11.7 million. On the heels of securing $11.7 million in transit funding from the state that is being split amongst the 32 transit providers operating in Missouri, those in attendance learned about the latest plans for the two largest urban and the largest rural transit provider. The panel discussion featured Taulby Roach, President and CEO of Bi-State Development, which operates Metro Transit for the St. Louis region; Frank White, III, President and CEO of KCATA in Kansas City; and Dorothy Yeager, Executive Director of OATS, the largest rural transit provider in the country. It was moderated by Kimberly Cella, Executive Director of Citizens for Modern Transit and the Missouri Public Transit Association.  View the webinar below or check out the recap of the event HERE.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Succession Planning – Frontline Worker Perspective

On Sept. 26, 2023, Representatives from the Transit Workforce Center (TWC), including Patricia Greenfield, Senior Director of Workforce Education and Karitsa Holdzkom, Senior Policy Analyst,  provided MPTA members with information on the importance of succession planning for frontline workers, including how best to transfer knowledge & expertise, engage workers through mentoring programs, and enable successful succession planning.  View the webinar in full below and check out a recap of the event, including information resources shared during the presentation HERE.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Virtual Round Table on Recruitment & Retention

The August 30th, 2023 event focused on the KCATA recruitment story with June Berry, Senior Director of Human Resources at KCATA. Berry outlined the successful recruitment and retention efforts amid a challenging labor market.  View the recording of the round table below and check out the event recap HERE.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Succession Planning – Organizational Perspective

On June 21, 20223, the MPTA’s Education Series event highlighted the importance of succession planning for organizations in the transit sector to effectively navigate transitions over time.  Caryn Souza, Deputy Executive Director and Human Resources and Training & Certification Director at CTAA provided attendees with the aspects of an effective succession planning process. View the webinar recording below and check out the recap blog HERE.



MPTA Education Series Presents: Impacts of Marijuana Legalization on Drug & Alcohol Testing

This event explored the impacts of the legalization of marijuana in Missouri on drug and alcohol testing in the transit sector. Hear from Iyon RosarioSr. Drug and Alcohol Program Manager at the Federal Transit Administration, and Jonathan Flint, Transit Manager at Steamboat Springs Transit in Colorado, as they discuss the enforcement and provider perspectives and answer questions on this issue.  View the webinar recording below and check out the recap blog and associated informational resources HERE.



MPTA Education Series Presents: KC Streetcar Expansion Update

This event highlighted the Kansas City Streetcar including expansion work underway as well as future funding options. The panel included Tom Gerend, Executive Director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority and David Johnson, Project Leader at TransPro and Chair of the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance. They discussed the status of the expansion projects, as well as the regional funding opportunities that might fund future expansions. View the event recording below and check out the recap blog HERE.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Virtual Round Table Discussion on Vehicle Maintenance Challenges

MPTA hosted a virtual round table discussion focused on vehicle maintenance challenges.  Representatives from various Transit agencies participated in the virtual discussion.  The round table discussion topics included: High-level overview of the status of transit agency fleets and vehicle maintenance challenges, the impact of retirements and labor shortages on maintenance staffing, procuring parts in the face of supply chain disruptions, and more. View the recording of the discussion below and check out the recap blog HERE.


State of Missouri Transit: Change, Challenge, Opportunity, and Optimism

Learn about the latest plans for the two largest urban and the largest rural transit provider. The panel discussion will feature Taulby Roach, President and CEO of Bi-State Development, which operates Metro Transit for the St. Louis region; Frank White, III, CEO of KCATA in Kansas City; and Dorothy Yeager, Executive Director of OATS, the largest rural transit provider in the country.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Results of MO Statewide Transit Needs Assessment

MPTA selected St. Louis-based Lochmueller Group – a full-service survey, planning, engineering and environmental firm – to lead a Statewide Transit Needs Assessment Study. Lochmueller Group presented the results of those findings as well as policy recommendations moving forward.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Training

Review the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Training (OEND) which covered several areas concerning addiction and overdoses. Topics covered included; What is Addiction, The Changing Landscape of Drug Use, Saving Lives and Using Harm Reduction, and Opioid Overdoses.


MPTA Education Series Presents: In the Weeds – Challenges, Conditions, and Considerations of Transportation Service Coordination

The Federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) provides the impetus for transit agencies to share riders, vehicles, and funding to create a seamless continuum of accessible transportation services for individuals with disabilities. However, in practice, there are obstacles and challenges to “easily” coordinate.  This session addressed these challenges and offered viable and “doable” strategies and tools, including mobility management, to enhance coordination.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Addressing Behavioral Health on Transit Systems 

This education series event looked at Addressing Behavioral Health on Transit Systems with Stacy Nonn, Associate Director of Comprehensive Integration with Chestnut Health, Emily Schwaegel, Behavioral Health Outreach Coordinator with Chestnut Health. The impetus behind the initial program launch through the St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) in St. Clair County, IL was behavioral issues on the St. Louis system that were not police issues i.e.  sleepers on system, substance abuse on system, homelessness, and other mental health incidents.


MPTA Education Series Presents: In Introduction to the Transit Workforce Center 

This MPTA Education Series event highlighted and explored the new Transit Workforce Center (TWC), the FTA’s first ever national technical assistance center to help transit agencies recruit, hire, train, and retain a diverse workforce. The TWC will support public transit agencies’ workforce development needs for all methods of public transit across urban and rural providers. The TWC will also work to address the national transit worker shortage.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Human Trafficking and Transit in Missouri 

The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) hosted a panel discussion with The Covering House discussing how the transit industry can play a key role in the prevention of human trafficking. Panelists included Executive Director Sherrita Allen, MA, LPC, and Jessica Wilkins, LMSW, Administrator of Community Based Services with The Covering House. The Covering House is a non-profit organization that provides refuge and restoration services for sexually exploited children and teenagers using the least restrictive environment.


MPTA Education Series Presents: How COVID-19 Response Shapes the Future of Transit

MPTA Education Series highlighted the recent CTAA report, How the COVID-19 Response Shapes the Future of Transit. Panelists included CTAA Senior Communications, Events and Legislative Specialist Taylor Klocke and report author Stewart Mader who founded and leads VaxTransit.


MPTA Education Series Presents: MPTA and TSA Round Table Discussion on Collaboration

The Missouri Public Transit Association hosted a round table discussion with topics including High-level overview of the TSA – role in surface transportation security, review TSA security directive – mask requirements in public transportation, TSA no-cost, industry support programs and how to contact local TSA Surface Security Representatives


MPTA Education Series Presents: COVID-19 Resources for Transit Providers 

The Missouri Public Transit Association hosted an Education Series event on Resources for Transit Providers to Combat COVID-19 on January 21, 2021.  This month’s event featured MPTA vendor members offering a variety of COVID-19 solutions as transit providers and stakeholders continue to work to mitigate the spread of the virus and improve the future of health and safety on their systems for passengers and drivers.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Wellness in the Workplace 

Wellness at the Worksite During COVID-19 presented by Bi-State Wellness Manager Tiffany Hilmes and Cigna On-site Benefits Coverage & Wellness Manager Lindsay Loftus.


MPTA Education Series Presents: Communicating Effectively with Employees During COVID-19

This MPTA Education Series highlighted how it is imperative to keep communication channels always open with employees. KCATA Chief External Affairs Officer Cindy Baker and Vice President of People Development Susan Miller discussed communication strategies being employed at their agency to ensure success inside and outside their organization.


MPTA Education Series Presents: ADA Toolkit Overview NEXT

MPTA, in partnership with National RTAP presented an overview of The National RTAP ADA Toolkit, which was updated in June 2020 with new content, resources, explanations, templates, questions and answers, glossary, and more. The Toolkit is meant to give rural and tribal transit managers an overview of their responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to provide equal service to all passengers.


MPTA Education Series Presents: De-escalation and Drivers NEXT 

While driver safety is top of mind for Missouri transit providers, the De-Escalation and Drivers webinarfacilitated by Bi-State General Manager of System Safety & Security, Stephen Berry, included de-escalation techniques, driver safety improvements, and an opportunity to connect and share ideas with transit providers from across the state.



MPTA Vendor Spotlight Events:

MPTA Vendor Spotlight: Products for Passenger Safety with Luminator

Rich Medina, and Roger Baxter of Luminator Technology Group discussed Geotab Surfsight (Surfsight automatically detects and alerts distracted driver behavior and harsh driving incidents in real-time), video mirror Solutions, and passenger information solutions addressing some of the leading causes of preventable accidents.

MPTA Vendor Spotlight: Solutions to Prevent and Prepare for Accidents

MPTA Vendor Members are providing the solutions to transit providers that need to help reduce preventable accidents and navigate the outcomes of accidents that do happen. Christopher Baumann of Integrated Transportation Resources, Inc. discussed insurance policies and programs to cover rural transit and non-emergency medical transportation providers when accidents do inevitably occur.


MPTA Vendor Spotlight: Innovative Transit Solutions to Improve Your Fleet

Chris Ishmael, president of CWI Digital Systems, discussed the benefits to the entire transit organization of installing mobile digital video recording with live tracking and streaming capabilities. Eric Lawson, a fuel consultant with MEG Corp, talked about biodiesel as a low-carbon, renewable alternative to diesel fuel that can be used in existing diesel vehicles and equipment and stored and dispensed through existing infrastructure. Both solutions are available to be installed in existing fleets to improve performance and outcomes.


MPTA Vendor Spotlight: Electric Transit Vehicle Showcase

MPTA hosted the Vendor Spotlight Event: Electric Transit Vehicle Showcase on February 24, 2021.


MPTA Virtual Conference Sessions

MPTA 2020 Virtual Conference


Electrifying the Fleet

Pioneering fleet managers around the world are exploring alternatives to internal-combustion engines. The benefits to bus riders and their communities of an electrified fleet are undeniable. Electric buses are much quieter than their diesel predecessors, cheaper to maintain, and they don’t leave behind the black clouds that are standard on many of today’s public transit routes. Challenges such as funding, infrastructure, and scheduling charging times will still need to be overcome to achieve a greener fleet. This panel of transit providers discussed opportunities and challenges of going electric.


VOLPE: Substance Abuse Training

This three-hour training provided an overview of FTA Drug and Alcohol regulations, program requirements, and current issues, with regard to Part 655 and Part 40.


CARES ACT and Long-term Recovery from COVID-19

Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included $25 billion in transit funding for rural and urban areas across the country. Funding included in the Act is allocated to transit operators to protect public health and safety, while ensuring transportation access to jobs, medical treatment, food, and other essential services remain available during the COVID-19 response. FTA Region VII Staff discussed protocols and next steps for long term recovery.


A Community Addresses Safety and Security

In response to growing concerns regarding crime, and the perception of it, on the MetroLink system, and transit systems across the country, St. Louis’ regional elected officials, business leaders, transit advocacy groups, and transit users called for a change. East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG), the metropolitan planning organization, took on the challenge of conducting a third-party assessment of security policies and practices on the transit system. This two-phase effort began in early 2018 and wrapped up in early 2020. This discussion highlighted key learnings and areas of opportunity for the region.


Can We Share a Ride to Fill Service Gaps?

Closing the first and last-mile gap for transit providers continues to be a challenge for many communities. For many reasons — organizational lines, budgets, and politics — transit providers have traditionally focused on running single-mode public transportation services. But now, transit agencies are being challenged to think outside the box to become multimodal mobility managers. This panel looked at several different services and solutions underway in Kansas City and East St. Louis to fill that gap.

Partnerships for Placemaking

In 2020, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) and AARP in St. Louis unveiled a new MetroBus Stop in partnership with the City of Maplewood, Citizens National Bank and KABOOM!, a national non-profit that partners with communities to expand play opportunities for kids in the St. Louis region. The project, known as the “Transit Stop Transformation Project,” is now complete and open to the public. Residents can take advantage of the newly renovated space – located adjacent to the Citizens National Bank parklet – and see firsthand how it encourages active play, cultivates community and increases transit use.


Transit’s on Track to Impact Climate Change (and Health)

Mobility is essential to the growth of our communities but moving people from place to place can exact a steep price. Transit is on track to make an impact on climate change with the move to electric vehicles. While these changes take time, the panel will discuss the public health benefit of making that transition. This panel discussion provided the opportunity to learn more about how the future deployment of an electric fleet in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, and Springfield will impact the respective communities and the state as a whole for decades to come.


Transit and Leadership Building: De-Stressing the Workplace

Mindfulness is an invaluable tool to manage our responses to situations and avoid becoming overwhelmed. This workshop was designed to help professionals understand what mindfulness is all about in today’s world, introduce mindfulness as a tool for reducing stress, and, to build skills for guiding others through the many daily stress challenges. The workshop included a lecture, as well as experiential practices.


Dealing with a Pandemic: Transit’s Response

Transit agencies across the country have been stepping up to ensure vital service, while taking safety precautions for operators and riders alike during the COVID-19 outbreak. This panel discussion provided the opportunity to hear from both the urban and rural provider perspectives on protocols and measures instituted to deal with the pandemic, including new opportunities and challenges moving forward.


To Charge or Not to Charge

There is no black or white answer to this question, just many shades of grey depending on the agency. From one side of Missouri to the other, this panel discussion provided an opportunity to hear from the three largest providers in the state on their fare policies and the factors playing into their decisions.


General Session 1

Welcome Remarks by Mark Mehmert, MPTA President, and Mokhtee Ahmad, FTA Region VII Regional Administrator Address by Patrick McKenna, MoDOT Director – “State of the State on Missouri Transit Funding” Address by Scott Bogren, Executive Director of CTAA – “Where are We Today on Capitol Hill”


General Session 2

Welcome Remarks by Mark Mehmert, MPTA President, and Kimberly Cella, MPTA Executive Director also included; MPTA Award Presentation and MPTA Board Member Elections

Upcoming Events

  1. Webinar: Transit Oriented Development – Keys to Success

    June 26 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am
  2. 2024 Missouri Public Transit Conference & Expo

    September 3 @ 8:00 am - September 5 @ 12:00 pm


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