Watching the wheels roll at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC)

First in a series that describes ETA’s role at the DNC and tips for transportation event projects

ETA is in the business of transporting people on time and safely when they attend events. (That’s very important to us.) We specialize in large venue events, which are defined as events that more than 20,000 are expected to attend. Because of our level of expertise and commitment to quality, the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) tapped ETA to provide transportation for delegates, media, Congress members, and VIP guests. That “tapping” occurred in February 2016 and by March, ETA’s CEO, Janie Hollingsworth, P.E., had moved to Philadelphia to form the leadership team responsible for DNC transportation. By April, Janie had her core management team in place, and they began the planning phase.

Skip forward to July 22, the first day of implementing that plan. This is always an exciting day, because you see the plan unfold in real concrete ways.

To give you an idea of the size of our staff at this event, Janie will manage about 250 employees and temporary staff, including hotel and venue managers, bus drivers, load zone supervisors, dispatchers, and communications technology specialists. She’ll do this while she interfaces with the City of Philadelphia’s traffic engineering folks and the city’s police and fire personnel. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, on this day, the first buses rolled into the lot at the Wells Fargo Center, site of the convention. Click this link to see a short video of these lumbering giants rolling along. It really is quite a sight.

Below you’ll see a few photos and here’s another video that should give you an idea of a large venue experience at the DNC, which is pretty impressive!

Remember, event transportation, whether small or large, relies on a detailed, thorough plan, staff that is sized appropriately for expected attendance, and a diligent attitude. After that, the wheels will roll.

Picture captions

  1. Meet Malcolm Butler. He is the first ETA bus driver on site at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
  2. ETA is partnering with multiple bus and transit agencies to cover more than 120 routes that will crisscross the city of Philadelphia. AP XPress Bus Company is one of those partners. Shown (l to r) is: Malcolm Butler, Edna Giancoli, Arthur Peterson, AP XPress owner, and Thomas Hill.
  3. Dan Warr gave me a 50-ft. vertical ride to get the “real” picture. (Thanks! Dan.) This is just a fraction of the bus fleet in ETA’s transit system for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.   
  4. Communications between bus drivers and dispatchers is a key component to being on schedule. Here the install team from Syncromatics is ready to install GPS devices in all buses of ETA’s transit system. Yes! That’s a big job, and yes! we’re pleased to partner with this really innovative tech company based in Los Angeles. And yes, they’re also super nice guys to work with.