While it’s true all great things must come to an end, it doesn’t mean we will ever forget the greatest things about Mobilize 2019! That’s why we’ve rounded up the top seven iconic moments of The Transportation Alliance’s (TTA) annual convention and trade show. So now you know the “what’s what” of the transportation industry’s largest gathering of for-hire fleet owners—and you can also get set for our next big gathering at our Spring Conference & Expo in Boston on March 18-20!
Wheel of Ca$h
In a city where the house always wins, TTA’s 2018-2019 President Terry O’Toole wanted to make sure at Mobilize 2019 everyonefelt like a winner! O’Toole created “Wheel of Ca$h” where anyone who attended the Kick-Off Party could win big bucks. That night, there was a line of attendees waiting to play literally snaked across the room. By the end of the night, O’Toole gave out nearly $2,500 in cold, hard cash!
President Arrighi Takes the (Metaphorical) Gavel
One chapter closed and a new one began as President Tom Arrighi was sworn into office. Arrighi dazzled the audience with his plans for the future of the association including the diversification and expansion of transportation industry membership, and an increased presence in legislative advocacy in Washington, DC. To close out his speech, Arrighi thanked everyone and reminded them it was time to “take care of business” while, appropriately, the rocking tune of “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive filled the General Session room. As Arrighi raised his fists in the air triumphantly and played air guitar, the crowd was on its feet and cheering for more.
FREE Driver Recruiting and Retention Videos
The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Foundation worked with TTA’s Driver Workforce Development Committee to create two free, brand new videos to help member fleets recruit and retain drivers: “A New Era of Transportation” and “Tools For Success.” The first video was created as a five-minute, general driver recruiting and onboarding video for prospective drivers at recruiting sessions, when they are onboarded or even in driver lounges. The second video helps fleet managers prepare their independent contractor drivers to operate small, independent businesses. Along with this video comes a Business Toolkit that is a downloadable PowerPoint presentation in which members can find things like spreadsheets for drivers, information on taxes, guides on how to budget, and much, much more. All members have access to these videos in the online Resource Center. Having these types of videos would cost members thousands of dollars to produce for their own fleets, but these are FREE! Can you say, winner, winner, chicken dinner!?
Earlier this fall, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Foundation partnered with the International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) to host the 2019 Microtransit Hackathon from September 13 to 18. The Hackathon challenged university teams from across the United States to examine the business opportunities and profitability of microtransit operations in two test cities: Toronto and St. Louis. The winning team from New York University joined The Transportation Alliance at Mobilize 2019. The team was represented at Mobilize 2019 by Ziyi Ma—an NYU graduate student in transportation and engineering studies. Ma accepted the $5,000 award on the team’s behalf as well as presented the team’s findings. Now that’s a winning day in Vegas!
The Future of Transportation Predicted
Industry titan Mark Joseph, former CEO of Transdev North America, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and influence on transportation throughout his career. After thanking the association for his award, Joseph delivered a keynote address to the convention, focusing on the trends to watch for in the transportation industry and offering attendees some guidance on how to prepare. Joseph predicted the future of the industry means (1) car ownership will decline, while fleet ownership will increase; (2) ride-hailing companies will stop fighting against legislation and start working with regulators; (3) micromobility is here to stay and will play a greater role in the transportation ecosystem; (4) the transit industry will improve user experience; (5) Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will become the new norm; (6) automotive manufacturers will enter the market as transportation operators. So remember, even if you didn’t have your palm read in Vegas, you still know what the future could bring.
America’s Biggest Taxi Company Explains How it Grew
Executives from WHC Worldwide, the nation’s largest taxicab company, held an impressive panel discussion about their business operations and gave insights into how they became the company they are today. The panel included CEO Bill George, Vice Chairman Jamie Campolongo, Regional Vice Presidents Dwight Kines and Terry O’Toole, and Director of Marketing & Recruiting Natalie Parra. Moderating the panel was TTA President Tom Arrighi. The panel covered topics ranging from business management, driver and customer retention, call centers and vehicles and much, much more.
Exciting Learning Labs
Back by popular demand, The Transportation Alliance held nine Learning Labs sessions where attendees could hear from leading industry experts in three core areas: Innovation & Technology; Diversification & Market Trends; and Operational Excellence. Topics covered included everything from technologies that reduce fleet downtime and how to grow your business through Medicare-funded NEMT service, to reputation management and driver recruitment tactics(I don’t have the agenda at home, but I do know that reputation management got cancelled. Let’s replace it.). The hit of the Learning Labs came from the Innovations & Technology section where the room was filled to the brim with attendees wanting to learning about how to reduce fleet downtime.
With so many great moments it’s hard to choose just seven. But we’ll do it all again in just a few short months in Boston at our Spring Conference & Expo! So mark your calendars NOW for March 18-20 and keep an eye out for upcoming hotel and conference registration forms. We can’t wait to see you there!
By Rachel Wells, Melwood Global