California Transit Association

What to Know Before You Go

The big event is almost here! The California Transit Association and Agency Host Monterey-Salinas Transit are excited to welcome more than 600 participants to the Monterey Conference Center and the Portola Hotel & Spa for our 54th Annual Fall Conference & Expo, presented by BYD. We wanted to provide some important information for your travels and conference planning.

Conference Check-In

To finalize our registration process, you'll receive an email with the subject line, "California Transit Association’s 54th Annual Fall Conference & Expo Check-In.” Please follow the instructions contained in the email to add or verify your mobile phone number. Your information will not be shared with any other entity.

Upon your arrival at the conference, there will be two self-serve kiosks near the registration desk, located in the De Anza Foyer. Please check-in and receive your badge by dialing the phone number displayed on either kiosk. The kiosk will recognize your phone number (which you will have previously provided) and will print your conference badge.

Additional conference materials will be available at the registration desk, which will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Friday.


The Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is located 60 minutes from downtown Monterey. The San Francisco International Airport is located 2 hours from downtown Monterey, From either airport, you can take the Monterey Airbus and Main Event Transportation, which offer regularly scheduled shuttles and convenient door-to-door services to and from SFO and SJC.

Amtrak's Coast Starlight train cruises through Salinas each day on its route between Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, providing a leisurely and scenic way to travel. There are packages to fit every budget. It's a great way to see the grandeur of the Central Coast at eye level. Free bus service is provided from Salinas to downtown Monterey, a 30-minute ride. There is also a Greyhound station in Salinas with connecting service to Monterey.

The City of Monterey operates 31 parking facilities with approximately 3,500 off-street parking spaces. The facilities range from 10-space parking lots to the 1003-space Cannery Row Parking Garage. For your convenience, parking lots and garages are located throughout the city. In addition to off-street parking spaces, there are over 3,000 on-street spaces in the Downtown, Cannery Row and Lighthouse areas. Find out more about directions and parking.

Conference Program

This year's conference program features insightful keynotes, in-depth educational tracks, and opportunities to learn from thought leaders as we cover today’s most pressing transit issues and happenings, including funding, emerging technology, successful agency programs, lessons-learned, best practices, new products and more. Take a minute to review the conference brochure and select the sessions you would like to attend.

Don’t miss our compelling keynote presentations and special events:

  • Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – Keynote Speaker Tony Brigmon, former "Ambassador of Fun" at Southwest Airlines.
  • Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.  – Innovation Theater, sponsored by Tripshot.
  • Thursday, 7:45 a.m.Small Operators Program and Awards Breakfast, separate registration required.
  • Thursday, 9:15 a.m. – Keynote Speakers Paul Skoutelas, President and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association, and Terry White, King County Metro Transit Deputy General Manager.
  • Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – Evening Reception at the Barns at Cooper Molera.
  • Friday, 8:30 a.m. – Keynote Speaker Christopher Gardner, entrepreneur and author of The Pursuit of Happyness.

Free Wi-Fi

The conference includes free wi-fi. You can connect via the network Portola Hotel & Spa with access code Jacks.

Expo Hours and Prize Drawings

Be sure to take advantage of the opportunities to learn about the latest products and services while expressing your appreciation to our more than 100 exhibitors for their support of public transit in California. 

The Expo Hall will be open all day Wednesday, November 13 with dedicated expo hours as listed from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and again from 3:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. 

Look for your Expo Bingo game card in your bag. Be sure to bring it with you to all the Expo activities and earn stamps from the exhibitors that you visit. To be eligible for the prize drawings, ALL spaces on the bingo card must be stamped, and you must return the card to the registration desk by 1:30 p.m. Thursday, November 14.

Expo Bingo Prize Drawings will take place on Thursday at 2:15 p.m. in the Bus Expo located in the Custom House Plaza. Among the prizes available will be a $500 Southwest Airlines gift card, an iRobot Roomba 960, and an Apple Watch Series 4. The Grand Prize Drawing will take place at the end of Friday’s Closing General Session, during which some lucky winner will be awarded a $1,000 American Express gift card. For all prize drawings, you must be present to win!

Hospitality Suite

Beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, be sure to visit the Portola Hotel & Spa Suite 217 for some light refreshments and additional networking time. The Hospitality Suite is sponsored by Complete Coach Works.

Insider’s Guide to Monterey

Whether it's your first or 10th time visiting the area, the stunning scenery along the 17-Mile Drive never disappoints. The beaches and coastal terrain — best found in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve — are also worth exploring.


There are so many unique Monterey attractions that it can be hard to pick just one! Follow this link to view the top attractions and things to do, from the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium, to Pebble Beach, and more.


After an afternoon of networking and learning, enjoy the opportunity to explore the world class entertainment and dining options in Monterey. Check out these recommendations for food, drink and local nightlife.

What to Pack

The forecast in Monterey during the conference calls for highs in the mid to upper 60s with lows in the mid 50s. The conference attire is business casual. Attendees are encouraged to wear their boots and jeans to the Evening Reception taking place at the Barns at Cooper Molera on Thursday, November 14, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Share Your Experience

While you're enjoying three days of education, insight and networking, be sure to share the experience via the Association’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram channels using the hashtag #CalTransit54. We look forward to seeing you in Monterey!