www.advancedtransit.org         Produced on behalf of ATRA by:  PRT Consulting, Inc.
                   FEBRUARY 2015 
From the President....
Peter Muller



Welcome to the first ATRA Pulse - a monthly email summary of news relevant to advanced transit! As you may be aware, this newsletter has come about through the merging of three previous newsletters: ATRA's Transit Pulse and PRT Consulting's Monthly News Updates and quarterly PRT News & Views. You are receiving this newsletter because you subscribed to one of its predecessors or because you attended an ATRA-promoted function and/or expressed interest. If you do not wish to receive it, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe below. Also, please understand that this first edition may have some repetition of news you have already received.


ATRA is starting a number of new initiatives this year (including this newsletter). One of these is to send informative letters about automated transit networks to all 384 metropolitan planning organizations, 155 transportation management associations, 730 transit agencies and 52 state departments of transportation. This is a labor-intensive exercise and we could use some help. If you would like to donate a few hours of your time transcribing names and addresses into an Excel Spreadsheet, please contact Kate Engel:  [email protected].


Enjoy reading!


Peter Muller, ATRA President


2014 Florida Automated Vehicles Summit by Stan Young

On Dec 15 and 16, 2014 I attended the 2014 Florida Automated Vehicle Summit workshop located in Orlando.  This was the second such workshop sponsored by the Florida DOT.  Although there were several highlights I will touch on, the one that stole the show was the keynote address by State Senator Jeff Brandes (Chair of the Transportation Committee) who spoke on the Vision of Automated Vehicle Technologies in Florida...Read More...  

The First Annual Martin Lowson Award

In honor of the inventor of the first commercial PRT system $500.00 paper award ATRA fosters the development of automation and networking to advance the quality and sustainability of transportation, particularly for our urban areas. Read more...  


The New ATRA

The ATRA board meeting on January 10 was filled with new enthusiasm. Shannon MacDonald announced yet another new Academic Council member (the University of Utah), and Alain Kornhauser encouraged us to budget substantially more than we received in 2014 on the basis that our 2015 income should be substantially more too. He generously offered to underwrite any shortfall. Read More...

ATRA Welcomes    ModuTram

ATRA is proud to welcome ModuTram as a member of ATRA: "MODUTRAM develops, integrates and markets automated transport systems offering innovative, effective and sustainable mobility.  Read more... 


Korean ATN Development 

An unmanned "mini-tram" has been developed by the Korea Railroad Research Institute. They unveiled a full scale prototype at their offices in Euiwang, on the southern outskirts of Seoul, in November.  According to a report by Arirang News the mini-tram will be ready for commercial launch in 2016 for applications such as linking passenger parking with Incheon International Airport. Read more...



As a preview to 2getthere's 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit vehicle, the updated design for the vehicle is released today.

The design of the 3rd generation is realized in close cooperation with Zagato Milano, the renowned Italian automotive design company. This is a logical extension to the cooperation for the design of the Personal Rapid Transit vehicle operational at Masdar City (Abu Dhabi).  Read More...


Operations into Year 5

As of November 28, 2014 the operations of the PRT at Masdar City heads into its 5th year. The system continues to proof itself, achieving the highest system availability to date over the past 3 months of operation. At 99.96%, 99.97% and 99.97% the system has been unavailable to passengers. Read more..  


Congratulations Peter Muller!  New President of ATRA!
January 2015:  Peter Muller, President of PRT Consulting, Inc. was voted in as President of ATRA, Advanced Transit Association.  He brings many years of experience to this new role, and hopes to help grow the organization and future of advanced transit.   Watch for his 'Letter to the Members' in the first issue of the ATRA PULSE.  Read his first letter here (scroll down to view).

GCEDC for the Construction of ATN - Connectivity Solutions to Greenville's Transportation Challenges, Greenville County, S.C.
Greenville County Economic Development Corporation has issued a request for proposals for the construction of automated transit network (ATN) connectivity solutions.  Read More...

Hsinchu GRT Signing
2getthere and Hsin-Chu Seamless Joint Co., Ltd. (Hsin-Jie) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on January 30th in regard to the realization of the Hsinchu GRT connection. The MOU is a next step towards the realization of the connection between the local rail stations, Tsing Hha University and Hsinchu Science Park.  Read More...

Office of Inspector General  Audit Report:  FTA's Transit Research Program is Outdated 
OIG finds "FTA is not testing or deploying new transit technology. FTA's Office of Research has neither updated its multi-year transit research program plan nor undertaken other efforts to plan technology research programs."  Read Audit...

PRT - A Future Solution or Relic of the Past?

The term "personal rapid transit" (PRT) has been around for decades - probably originating in the 1950s or 60s. What was meant by the term may have been unclear, however, since the Morgantown group rapid transit (GRT) system, which debuted in 1975, was called PRT. Read More...

Morgan Designs Large Single-Piece Composite Structure for Innovative Rapid Transit Vehicle

The drive to manufacture large, homogeneous products that exhibit uniform characteristics, continues to challenge designers and manufacturers working across a vast spectrum of industry sectors and with a broad range of materials. Read More...


Automated Vehicles: The Coming of the Next Disruptive Technology 

The arrival of automated vehicles (AVs)-also known as autonomous, self-driving, or driverless vehicles-is imminent. Canada is beginning to lag in recognizing and preparing for the large impact this disruptive digital technology will have on our society.  Read More..

Cuomo: Upgrades to LGA and JFK Ahead 

NEW YORK CITY-Calling improvements to the city's transportation and infrastructure "long overdue," the Governor revealed his ambitious plans to make drastic changes this year during an Association for a Better New York meeting.  



How Transportation Network Size Affects Congestion 

Everyone knows that traffic congestion is a problem of big cities. But how big can a city be before traffic starts to slow down? To find out, we will study a hypothetical city with uniform density, and a simple transportation network consisting of a square grid of nodes interconnected by equal-length, bi-directional links, ... Read More...

New Patterns in Urban Planning for Car-Free Development 

Cities everywhere face a number of transportation-related challenges including traffic jams, crashes, poor air quality, and inadequate parking. Automated Transit Networks (ATNs) have been developed as a means of addressing these and other problems. Read More..

Paving the Way to an Autonomous Future 

Apollo 11 is a distant memory in the rear view mirror of life for those old enough to remember the glory days of America's space program. It was a privilege then to meet someone who was involved with that historic program. Space, however, was not the final frontier for Dr. Alain Kornhauser, a Princeton Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, Director of the Transportation Program and Faculty Advisor to PAVE (Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering), as, in the decades since, he has been looking forward to how technology could help the transport challenges here on earth.   Read More..

Elon Musk Set on Texas for Hyperloop Project Test Site 

Tesla's and SpaceX's CEO, Elon Musk, has his eyes set on great deeds. One of his favorite pet-projects, the tube high-speed transport system is about to be made real.   

New GRT Design

As a preview to 2getthere's 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit vehicle, the updated design for the vehicle is released today.  The design of the 3rd generation is realized in close cooperation with Zagato Milano, the renowned Italian automotive design company. This is a logical extension to the cooperation for the design of the Personal Rapid Transit vehicle operational at Masdar City (Abu Dhabi).   Read More...


Kenneth Berwick: Boost Mass. and R.I. for Olympics 

To encourage the International Olympic Committee to choose Boston to host the 2024 Olympic Games, Rhode Island and Massachusetts should form a partnership and build a personal rapid transit (PRT) line from Quonset Point to Foxboro's Gillette Stadium along the Amtrak and the MBTA right of ways. Massachusetts could then build PRT lines that connect to nearby Olympic venues. Read More...

Elon Musk plans to build Hyperloop test track 

The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla wants to speed up the development of 800-mph tube transport. He's willing to pay for testing -- most likely in Texas -- to make it happen.  Read more..

How Self-Driving Cars Can (and Should) Improve Transit 

Comments on the proceedings of the Automated Vehicles Symposium (San Francisco, July 14-18, 2014), where participants addressed the many transportation and land use implications of an automated future.  Read Here...

Rivium GRT 2014 - Video 

2getthere's GRT system at Rivium business park is the only automated people mover system operational at grade, featuring crossings with other traffic. It has been in operation since February 1999, with the 2nd generation in service since December 2006.  Watch here...

Personal rapid transit: The future of public transportation, maybe

Since writing about Seattle's infrastructure fustercluck, I've been thinking a lot about transportation. It's really a b*tch of a problem.  The internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle had its disadvantages from the very beginning, not only relative to public transportation but relative to other types of car. But its advantages - power, personalization, and modularity - mattered more.   Read More...   


Reminder:  Renewals due for 2015

ATRA Membership is an opportunity for you and your organization to contribute to a better world by leveraging advanced transit to improve mobility and accessibility of all, while increasing safety and reducing energy use and pollution. 

ATRA membership works best for those that get involved and contribute.


February 2015 - In this Issue
Letter from the President
Other News
Website Updates
Upcoming Conferences


New Study Posted.

Calendar Updated.

Upcoming Conferences


10-12 March 2015
Paris, France

2-4 June 2015
Valencia, Spain

28June-1July 2015
COEX, South Korea

10-12 November 2015
Chiba, Japan

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