May 10 to May 11, 2021

All times are in Eastern Time



Alain Mercier

CUTA Chair and CEO of Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC)

Marco D'Angelo

President & CEO, CUTA

Allan Hubley

Ottawa Transit Commission Chair

Jim Watson

Mayor of the City of Ottawa


A conversation with John Manconi

Ottawa has built a transit system that puts the needs of customers—both present and future—at the fore-front. From launching its new light rail system in 2019, to moving forward with purchasing electric buses, OC Transpo has put innovation and technology at the heart of its service planning. Join CUTA president Marco D’Angelo and John Manconi, GM of Transportation Services at OC Transpo, for the latest transit updates from our nation’s capital.

Marco D'Angelo

President & CEO, CUTA

John Manconi

General Manager Transportation Services Department - City of Ottawa

11:30am-12:30pm Concurrent 1

Getting to Net-Zero: building a greener and resilient future

In this session we will hear from these three presentations:

Planning to adopt Zero Emission Vehicles in small to mid-sized transit fleets: the case study of Barrie Transit – Anaïssia Franca & Taylor Green
This presentation will address how smaller transit systems can harness the opportunities of fleet electrification. The findings will be based on a study completed for the City of Barrie that assessed applicable alternative fuel technologies for the city’s existing transit fleet.

Transitioning to zero-emissions: Lessons learned from an early ZEB adopter – Björn Rådström & Erin Cooke
Learn what went right and what went wrong during Winnipeg’s previous ground-breaking zero-emission bus demonstration. Presenters will also discuss what Winnipeg Transit is doing to move forward with plans to transition to a fully zero-emissions fleet, meeting the goals of the city’s Climate Action Plan.

Shifting to 100% electric vehicles by 2025: the STM will be ready – Renée Amilcar
From the outset, the STM has been a pioneer in its quest for electrification and is positioned to purchase electric buses exclusively by 2025. It has begun work to update its infrastructure and has started designing two new garages for electric buses only. Learn more in this session. 

Anaïssia Franca


Taylor Green

Barrie Transit

Björn Rådström

Winnipeg Transit

Erin Cooke

Winnipeg Transit

Renée Amilcar


11:30am-12:30pm Concurrent 2

Technology and transit: using artificial intelligence to bring riders back

In this session we will hear the following three presentations:

Crowding data: a predictive model using AI – Jonathan Cliche
The STM has been using machine learning to disclose real-time occupancy levels to Métro passengers. Learn more on how the STM is innovating in this field by attending this session.

Measuring compliance health measures to regain user confidence – Vincent Chabin & Thomas Brunel-Ouellet
Since user safety is its top priority, exo innovated to meet the new challenges that public transit agencies face. That is why exo developed a computer vision-based tool that measures compliance with health protocols. Learn more in this session.

Modelling APC data for Service Adjustments – Vibert Hart & Graham Procter
Meeting the demands of a pandemic has resulted in a technique that will stay with MiWay forever. Transit planning can be more agile. Check this session out to learn more.

Jonathan Cliche


Vincent Chabin


Thomas Brunel-Ouellet


Vibert Hart

City of Mississauga - MiWay

Graham Procter

City of Mississauga - MiWay


Swiftly Service Adjustments and Rider Alerts

Swiftly Service Adjustments and Rider Alerts allows transit agencies to make ad hoc transit service changes in real time from any web browser and to instantly notify transit riders. Ad hoc service changes include stop closures, service cancellation, adding trip, modifying vehicle departure times, and detours.

Lauren Grabowski

Principal Planning Strategist

12:45pm-1:45pm Concurrent 1

Cyber security: strategies to protect your transit network

Drawing on real-life case studies and insights, EY Canada’s Cyber Threat Management Leader will update CUTA members on the latest cyber threats facing transit agencies globally. This presentation will also assess the steps that need to be taken now to minimize risk exposure—and maximize resiliency.

Eric Schmidt

Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

Chandra Majumdar

Ernst and Young

12:45pm-1:25pm Concurrent 2a

A toolkit for change: The technologies you need to speed up your recovery program

Paul Comfort will be joined by Metrolinx’s Phil Verster, Saskatoon Transit’s Jim McDonald, and Hamilton Street Railway’s Debbie Dalle Vedove; who will share tips on how their systems are using technology to adapt to Covid-19—and beyond.

Paul Comfort

Trapeze Group

Phil Verster


Debbie Dalle Vedove

Transit (HSR) City of Hamilton

James McDonald

Saskatoon Transit

1:25pm-1:45pm Concurrent 2b

Technology and transit: Innovation through big thinking

From vision to results: Community & operational outcomes of mobility on-demand services

Pepper Harward

Uber | Routematch by Uber

Paul Hamilton

Senior Manager of Paratransit Services


Putting the New Proterra ZX5 Electric Bus to the Test in Edmonton

A leader in Canada’s transition to clean transportation, Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) has made significant strides to help the City of Edmonton reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. ETS is the first transit agency in North America to operate Proterra’s new, 5th generation ZX5 electric bus and has installed first-of-its-kind, in-depot overhead charging infrastructure.

With introductory remarks from John Walsh, Proterra’s Senior Vice President, join this conversation between Eddie Robar, Branch Manager of Fleet and Facility Services for the City of Edmonton, and Mike Bismeyer, Proterra Regional Sales Director for Canada, to hear about ETS’ innovative approach to deploying its fleet of electric buses and how the agency is driving the switch to zero-emission transportation in Edmonton.

Mike Bismeyer

Regional Sales Director, Proterra

John Walsh

Senior Vice President of Sales at Proterra

Eddie Robar

Branch Manager, Fleet and Facility Services, City Operations


A conversation with Cynthia Garneau

Covid-19 has opened our eyes to the need for nation-wide rail innovation that moves Canadians faster, more sustainably, and in more affordable ways. Join CUTA president Marco D’Angelo and Cynthia Garneau, president & CEO of VIA Rail Canada, to discuss the future of passenger rail. Topics will include electrification, VIA’s proposed high frequency service on the Toronto—Quebec City corridor, autonomous and connected rail systems, and rail mobility expansion.

Cynthia Garneau

President & CEO, VIA Rail Canada

Marco D'Angelo

President & CEO, CUTA

2:45pm-3:45pm Concurrent 1

Funding and financing your transit system: fare collection

In this session we will hear the following three presentations:

Friend or foe: Free fares in public transport – Hilia Boris Iglesia
This presentation will address the implementation of free fares as a potential path in the achieving various environmental, social, and economic objectives. The motivations behind such schemes are diverse and in most cases driven by political considerations. Therefore, serious assessment is required prior to implementation. Attend this session to learn more.

Moving towards principled-based fare policy decisions – Carrie Hotton-MacDonald & Marc Lachance
This presentation will review the process behind the city’s fare policy redesign, and how it has helped ETS navigate Covid-19. The presentation will also review key decision points as well as lessons learned that can help other transit systems going through a similar redesign.

Payment solutions: pay with a credit card right on the bus – Jonathan Prevost
The STL implemented an innovative pilot project offering users in Laval a new way to pay for their fare. The STL is now taking the next step with a new partner, moving towards a solution that includes debit and smartphone payment.

Hilia Boris Iglesia


Carrie Hotton-MacDonald

Edmonton Transit Service

Marc Lachance

Edmonton Transit Service

Jonathan Prévost


2:45pm-3:45pm Concurrent 2

Innovation in rail infrastructure

In this session we will hear the following three presentations:

O-Train Line 1 Confederation Line Video & O-Train Line 1 operational readiness and customer experience – Pat Scrimgeour & Troy Charter
The presentation will focus on the experience of customers as they move through OC Transpo’s multi-modal network. Highlights will include how facilities, vehicles, and the city has changed because of the opening of the O-Train Line 1.

Forecasting public transit ridership in Quebec City: the modal choice model – Nomessi Kukutse & Antoine Grapperon
To forecast the ridership of Quebec City’s future streetcar network, a modal choice model based on population segments was developed and calibrated. Check this presentation out to learn more.

Light rail and public-private partnership: a history guaranteed to last – Arthur Nicolet
P3s guarantee the longevity of large light rail projects. They enable private companies to commit to major public service projects in the long-term, while offering effective risk sharing with public authorities.

Pat Scrimgeour

OC Transpo

Troy Charter

OC Transpo

Nomessi Kokutse


Antoine Grapperon


Arthur Nicolet

Transdev Canada

2:45pm-3:45pm Concurrent 3

Accessibility Roundtable

Public transit continues to move forward in developing new mobility options with accessibility and accessible transit as a key consideration. Transit agencies have adopted a myriad of approaches to offer mobility in an accessible manner such as adopting a family-of-services model, offering on-demand service, deploying low-floor vehicles, and electrifying fleets. Join us in this roundtable as we discuss the state of accessibility in public transit across Canada and consider:

  • How are transit models evolving to be more accessible?
  • How are vehicles and fleets changing?
  • How is technology affecting accessibility on public transit?

Sharon Doyle

Manager Mobility On-Request, York Region Transit


Daily wrap up

Marco D’Angelo

President & CEO, CUTA

Alain Mercier

CUTA Chair and CEO of Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC)

3:50pm-4:30pm Concurrent 1

Cyber security roundtable

Cyber threats are: “Activities that compromise the security of an information system by altering the availability, integrity or confidentiality of a system or the information it contains”.  An example of one is ransomware—and since the pandemic began, ransomware attacks have increased. Recently, two transit systems fell victim to one. The purpose of this roundtable is to:

  • Proactively learn how to protect your systems from cyber threats.
  • Should you be on the receiving end of a cyber-attack, what are some best practices for developing a communication plan for staff and the public?

3:50pm-4:30pm Concurrent 2

Sustaining and recovering public transit roundtable - British Columbia

Pandemic lockdowns have led to a significant loss in transit ridership, which has resulted in deep revenue shortfalls. But transit is an essential mobility service in our communities. Particularly, for those hardest hits by the pandemic—seniors and low-income workers. Millions of Canadians still rely on transit every single day.

Federal and provincial governments came together like never before to ensure transit has remained a safe and viable option for people. But we are not in the clear, as Covid is not gone, and ridership will take time to recover.

This panel will bring together British Columbia officials to discuss how governments can continue to work together to support public transit on the road to recovery.

3:50pm-4:30pm Concurrent 3

Zero-emissions roundtable

Hosted by:

Recently, the federal government committed to investing $2.75 billion over the next 5 years in zero-emission bus (ZEB) related projects. The future of the ZEB industry looks bright. This roundtable will discuss the road ahead for zero-emission buses, with key insights from a leading market participant: Proterra Inc.


Transit Family Feud

Join us for CUTA’s first-ever Transit Family Feud! Like the famous game show, teams will compete to answer a series of transit trivia questions.

Twelve teams of six players will play to win. Pre-registration is required to join a team and will be made available to summit attendees shortly. Limited space is available, so keep an eye out for that registration link.

If you don’t want to join a team, sit back and enjoy the show!

10:20am-11:00am Concurrent 1

Small and Large Systems roundtable

Do we want a future with more congestion, transport for those who can afford it, and higher emissions? Or do we want a future with better connected communities, more equitable cities, and real action on climate change? No issue affects mobility, equity, and climate change more than public transit. It is integral to a greener and socially inclusive economic recovery post-Covid and long into the future.

How do we build that recovery? What are the lessons learned from the pandemic—and how do we rebuild ridership and confidence? How can policymakers help us get back on our feet?

This session will be split into two groups, one for small systems and one for large systems.

Alain Mercier

Wade Coombs

10:20am-11:00am Concurrent 2

Speed networking

This event is a chance to network within the industry, meet and learn from new people. All those registered for this event will have two-to-three minutes to interact with others who have registered.


Opening remarks

Marco D’Angelo

President & CEO, CUTA

Alain Mercier

CUTA Chair and CEO of Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC)


A conversation with Chantal Hébert

With a possible federal election in the air, join us for a conversation with one of Canada’s most prominent and astute political observers. A columnist for the Toronto Star and Le Devoir, panellist on The National’s At Issue Panel, and best-selling author Chantal Hébert knows politics like no other.

Alain Mercier

CUTA Chair and CEO of Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC)

Chantal Hébert

Political Raconteur | Columnist

11:30am-12:30pm Concurrent 1

Technology and transit: mobile fare payment systems

In this session we will hear the following four presentations:

Integration of YRT mobile fare payment app (YRT Pay) with Transit App – Igor Zaslavsky

The integration of YRT Pay with Transit App will allow customers to plan trips and purchase tickets all in one app.  It will also provide customers with real-time crowding and service information to improve the customer travel experience. Check out this session for more details.

PRESTO’s adaptability to the current Covid environment and getting customers back to transit safely – Taya Leybman

To recover ridership, Metrolinx is working to help customers feel safe on transit now—and post-pandemic. This includes introducing new touchless fare payment options as well as crowding control information.

Understanding current and former riders through contactless mobile surveying – David Block-Schachter

What will it take to get riders back? During the pandemic, Transit was the source of information for people still riding, and as they come back, it will be the first tool they turn to for alerts, crowding information, service changes. Learn about how Transit has been used by agencies as a platform for ticketing, for integrating on-demand and micro transit services, and for surveying riders across Canada during the pandemic.

Calgary’s fair entry Low-Income Transit Pass program – Chris Jordan and Jordan Zukowski

Calgary Transit introduced a new ‘sliding-scale’ Low Income Transit Pass in 2017. The program’s success is a testament to the value of equitable transit service delivery. However, as new challenges arise (Covid-19, an economic downturn, and shifting technology), Calgary Transit must explore further opportunities to ensure success is sustained.

Igor Zaslavsky

York Region Transit

Taya Leybman


David Block-Schachter

Transit App

Chris Jordan

Calgary Transit

Jordan Zukowski

Calgary Transit

11:30am-12:30pm Concurrent 2

Lessons learned from Ontario’s first automated shuttle trial

In 2020, the first on-road, low-speed automated shuttle trial was launched in Ottawa. This presentation will introduce attendees to the shuttle trial project, and the lessons from testing in a municipal context.

Omar Choudhry

City of Ottawa

Kelly Daize

Area X.O, by Invest Ottawa


A conversation with the Honourable Caroline Mulroney

Join CUTA president Marco D’Angelo and Minister Caroline Mulroney for a discussion on all things transit in Ontario. Topics will include her government’s response to Covid-19, the Ontario Line, fleet electrification, and more.

Hon. Caroline Mulroney

Minister of Transportation, Government of Ontario

Marco D’Angelo

President & CEO, CUTA

1:00pm-1:30pm Concurrent 1

Railway Association of Canada: Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver (OL) works from coast-to-coast to raise awareness about rail safety, because rail safety is a shared responsibility. Sarah Mayes will discuss the initiatives OL is working on.

Sarah Mayes

National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada

1:00pm-2:00pm Concurrent 2

Greening our fleets: alternatives for a sustainable future

In this session we will hear the following three presentations:

Getting to ZEB: the current state of ZEB technologies and what it costs to get to zero – Aditya Ramesh & Parvathy Pillai
A review of the latest ZEB technologies available on the market, the pathway to transitioning, and the outcomes of feasibility studies at three transit systems.

Hydrogen: the less discussed electric bus – Pietro Di Zanno
Hydrogen is often the less discussed electric bus. In this session, learn about the fundamentals of hydrogen and the hydrogen supply chain.

The carbon footprint of vehicles in rural regions: The missing station! – Luc Côté
During this session, presenters will discuss the conditions for contracting regional transit services. Attend this session and learn some key strategies that municipalities and transit systems in rural regions can utilize to electrify their fleets.

Sponsored by:

Aditya Ramesh


Parvathy Pillai


Luc Côté


Pietro Di Zanno

Stantec Consulting Ltd

1:20pm-2:00pm Concurrent 3

Sustaining and recovering public transit roundtable - Alberta

Pandemic lockdowns have led to a significant loss in transit ridership, which has resulted in deep fare revenue shortfalls. But transit is an essential mobility service in our communities. Particularly, for those hardest hits by the pandemic—seniors and low-income workers. Millions of Canadians still rely on transit every single day.

Federal and provincial governments came together like never before to ensure transit has remained a safe and viable option for people. But we are not in the clear, as Covid is not gone, and ridership will take time to recover.

This panel will bring together Alberta officials to discuss how governments can continue to work together to support public transit on the road to recovery.


The economics of public transit: a presentation by Benjamin Tal

Presented by CUTA’s Business Members

Expanding public transit is critical to reducing congestion in cities, reducing urban sprawl, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But how can public transit also help drive economic growth? Both now, and in our post-pandemic future? Join Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC, for a conversation on the economics of public transit investment.

Benjamin Tal

Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC

2:20pm-3:20pm Concurrent 1

From fixed-route to on-demand: revolutionizing your transit network

In this session we will hear the following three presentations:

Fixed-route to on-demand: Attract riders and reduce costs – Dustin Heimler & Stephen Kuban
While transit systems look to reclaim their lost ridership, many have cut service along certain routes. This presentation will explore how on-demand transit can reduce operating costs in a way that results in a superior passenger experience.

Expanding coverage and growing ridership during the pandemic? It’s possible. An overview of Niagara Region’s experience with microtransit – Robert Salewytsch
Learn more about why Niagara Region chose Via’s turnkey Transit-as-a-Service (TaaS) solution, and how this model—with no upfront capital investment, and no long-term commitment—has resulted in ridership growth despite the pandemic.

Best practices for implementing on-demand microtransit – Josh Tzventarny & Abbas N. Ali
This presentation will explore the key considerations during the on-demand service design process, using the Guidebook, and learnings from ongoing on-demand pilots with Durham Region Transit and Grand River Transit.

Dustin Heimler


Stephen Kuban


Robert Salewytsch

Niagara Region

Josh Tzventarny


Abbas N. Ali


2:20pm-3:20pm Concurrent 2

Innovation in rail: a new renaissance for Light Rail Transit

In this session we will hear the following three presentations:

Strategies for understanding the LRT user experience – Vincent Gratton & Teodor Herman
Drawing on experience developing wayfinding and placemaking programs for OC Transpo and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Entro will explore how different research methods and technologies can help create a safe and engaging environment.

17 Avenue Stampede Crossing (17SX) project – Alana Somers & Sander Quartero
This presentation will examine the process of rebuilding Calgary’s aging Victoria Park and Stampede CTrain stations, while building critical vehicle and pedestrian connections to the new Culture & Entertainment District.

Canada is ripe for LRT – Yves Desjardins-Siciliano
As populations grow, Canadian cities need to take a new look at mass transit. This presentation will examine how different cities have revamped their transit systems while re-launching their economies.

Sponsored by:

Vincent Gratton


Teodor Herman


Alana Somers

ISL Engineering

Sander Quartero


Yves Desjardins-Siciliano

Siemens Mobility Canada


Closing remarks

Marco D'Angelo

President & CEO, CUTA

Alain Mercier

CUTA Chair and CEO of Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC)


Annual General Meeting

Register here

Program is subject to change