Public transportation experts from around the globe are visiting Tampa Bay next month and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will be in the driver’s seat.

HART and PTSA are serving as the host organizations for the American Public Transportation Association Bus & Paratransit Conference, taking place at the Tampa Marriott Waterside May 6 through May 9.

The conference will cover all things transportation, from operations and maintenance, workforce development and accessibility to some of transformative technologies affecting first-and-last mile transportation and sustainability.

The conference will also include a vehicle demonstration showcasing new environmentally friendly buses and paratransit vehicles.

Also slated for the APTA event are a series of HART facilities tours.

On May 6, attendees will get a look at HART’s streetcar barn, compressed natural gas facility and HyperLINK service at University Area Transit Center, while on May 9 the Port Authority of Tampa will lead a tour of the Bay Spirit II Harbor.

Coinciding with the APTA conference are a pair of competitions for transportation workers.

The 2018 International Bus Roadeo, set for May 4 through May 9 at PTSA, will see the best of the best bus operators and maintenance teams from across the country compete in challenges testing their driving and mechanical skills. The finals for the Customer Service Challenge will be held May 7 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside.

The winners of both competitions will be announced at an awards dinner on May 8.

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