www.advancedtransit.org         Produced by: PRT Consulting, Inc.                
                 SEPTEMBER 2015 
From the President....

The U.S. Congress returned from their fall break yesterday and, hopefully, the House will now focus on a long-term transportation bill to match the Senate's. A number of us have been working to educate legislators about the need for supportive language for automated transit. Many thanks to those who have provided letters of support.

Next month I am speaking in a session titled "The Jetsons are Closer Than You Think: The Future of Transportation" at the ACEC/NC NCDOT Transportation Conference (see sidebar for information). Speaking of conferences, Podcar City 9 is coming up soon - I really hope to see you there.

Peter Muller
As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,

Peter Muller, ATRA President

Getting ATN Systems 
Developed and Built 
In America
By Richard Gronning
In order to figure out why new transportation systems haven't come into use since the 1970s, when PRT first came on the scene, I developed a list of what I have heard and seen, both in Minnesota and nationally. If we start off with specific reasons for not building the systems, then perhaps we can find solutions and put ATNs into operation here in America.  Read More...

The California Infrastructure Institute (CALII)
By Catherine G. Burke
The California Infrastructure Institute (CALII) is a non-profit corporation formed in the public interest to be a catalyst for collaboration between governments, businesses and academia. Our purpose is to begin a process that will lead to automated transportation networks (ATNs) that are tested, proven and sufficiently standardized such that local authorities can purchase a system with an acceptable level of risk using normal procurement processes.  Read More...

Hands off with Heathrow's autonomous pod cars
By Matthew Phenix
Since 2011, on a closed course between the terminal and the Business Car Park, 2.4 miles away, a fleet of 21 diminutive passenger pods have ferried as many as 1,000 passengers each day, quietly logging well more than 1m autonomous miles in the process.   Read More...

Can a network of levitating pods change how urban India travels?
By Megha Rao
SkyTran, a personalized rapid transit system (PRT), recently got the go-ahead from Google chairman Eric Schmidt. He invested an undisclosed amount in the NASA-partnered startup through his fund, Innovation Endeavors.  Read More...

Indian engineer Ankur Bhatnagar's startup skyTran gets investment from Google chairman Eric Schmidt
By Anumeha Chaturvedi, ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has placed his bets on skyTran, a pathbreaking transportation company which is cofounded by Indian engineer Ankur Bhatnagar.  Read More..

With Streetcar Plans Dead, Arlington Thinks Personal Rapid Transit
By Sandy Smith
Could the Pod People Be Coming to Arlington?  The Columbia Pike streetcar in Arlington, Virginia, is dead, but that doesn't mean that transit advocates have given up on getting some sort of rail service built in the corridor.  Read More...

PM Modi Rides Self-Driving Car in Masdar, World's First Zero-Carbon City
Reported by Ketki Angre
ABU DHABI:  Before he heads to Dubai for a mega meeting with 50,000 members of the Indian community this evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured Masdar in Abu Dhabi, a zero-carbon smart city.  Read More...

Enthusiastic INDIA PM Visit To MASDAR
On August 17th India PM (Prime Minister) Modi visited Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, kicking off the visit by riding the PRT system supplied by 2getthere. For purpose of the visit the service of the PRT system had been reserved exclusively for the large delegation travelling with the Prime Minister.  Read More...

We Need Smarter Infrastructure
As Congress stalls in dealing with funds for crumbling highway and transit infrastructure, a sense of despair comes over the USA. A consensus that transcends Red/White, economic and racial divisions -- that our Federal system has become dysfunctional -- is upon us. Bernie Sanders's plea for fundamental societal reform resonates in the heart of America. Is he the FDR of the 21st century?  Read More...

Columbia Pike Residents to Discuss Monorail-Like Transit System
By Heather Mongilio
Might a monorail-like system be the solution to Columbia Pike's transit woes?  The Columbia Heights Civic Association is holding a meeting on Sept. 28 to discuss JPods, a transit system that uses suspended railcars, as a possible solution for Columbia Pike in light of the cancelled streetcar.  Read More...

More roads not answer
Letter to the Editor, from Alec Italiano
Regarding the news story "Old Pennsylvania Turnpike plan gets new restart effort" (Aug. 20 and TribLIVE.com): I have some concerns. Being from Jeannette and knowing too well the difficulty in getting to Pittsburgh International Airport (Route 22 and Interstate 376 traffic, two tunnels), I sincerely believe more roads and bridges are not the answer when we do not have the resources to maintain those already constructed. Read More...

PRT restoration reaches next phase
By John Mark Shaver
West Virginia University's Personal Rapid Transit is no stranger to harsh criticism.  Now on its 40th anniversary, the PRT makes traveling between WVU campuses much more convenient, or at least it should theoretically.  Read More...

Beechurst PRT Station getting an artsy facelift
By Caitlin Worrell
The Beechurst PRT station is getting a little brighter with the help from a few creative West Virginia University students. With the masterpiece growing in size each day, it's hard to miss the spirited mural being constructed under the downtown station.  Read More...

Automatic podcars eye green signal to ply in city
JAIPUR: If all goes as per plan, the cramped Pink City may soon see cars running without drivers on its streets. 
After Bus Rapid Transit System and Metro, the city might witness a new mode of public transport in the form of Personal Rapid Transit System (PRTS). Under this system, automatic cars, popularly known as podcar, will ply between Mansarovar and Durgapura (3-Km) leading to hassle-free transportation. Read More... 

Richard Garriott Pushing 'Personal Rapid Transit' System At UT Campus
By Ben Wear - American-Statesman Staff
Richard Garriott has spent a lifetime doing the unexpected.  
Writing and selling video games while still a teenager. Building a Renaissance village and Globe Theatre replica on Lake Austin. Acting as cornerman in a championship boxing match. Conducting a marriage ceremony in zero gravity. Hitching a ride on a Russian spacecraft.  Read More...

Is Austin Ready for Personal Rapid Transit?

A Look at Personal Rapid Transit in Five Cities Around the World
By Ben Wear
Personal rapid transit: What other communities have
This pioneering, 8.7-mile system, built at a cost of $126 million in the 1970s, connects two West Virginia University campuses and has about 15,000 boardings a day during the school year.  Read More...

Poll: What do you think of a proposed 'personal rapid transit' system at UT?
By Eric Webb
University of Texas and Austin city leaders are meeting with entrepreneur Richard Garriott to discuss a $106 million "personal rapid transit" proposal that would serve the university area, the Statesman's Ben Wear reports.  Read More...

Entrepreneurs Want to Build Transit Pods to Ease Traffic
By TWC News Staff
A couple of entrepreneurs have a plan that they say can help Austin's traffic problem.  As our partners at the Austin Business Journal first reported, Richard Garriott and Ben Barnes want to adapt a personal rapid transit system to fit downtown Austin's needs.  Read More...

JPod transportation system possible for Boston?
By Zack Pearson
A new way of transportation could be an option in Boston's future. JPods are becoming a popular transportation option in cities as the above ground system looks like something from the future.  Read More....

UAE smart city Masdar inspires PM Modi to say 'science is life'
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Abu Dhabi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi toured Masdar in Abu Dhabi, a zero carbon smart city, on Monday, taking a ride in a self-driving car that runs on batteries powered by solar energy.  Read More...

Entrepreneur's Jetsons-style transit system turns heads in Austin, even at City Hall
Austin Business Journal, Staff Writer
It was by far the most popular story on the Austin Business Journal's website last week, and now a grand proposal to bring a "personal rapid transit" system to Austin is moving into the spotlight at City Hall.  Read More...

Personal Rapid Transit simulated by Lego Mindstorms EV3
by Wilburn Domenic, Daily Motion
LeMip-Lego Mindstorm Personal Rapid Transit, a project put together by Lego City Train+Lego Minstorms EV3 and lots of planning and work!  LeMiP is a fully automated system where pod cars move the shortest path between stations without crashing to simulate a real world Public Rapid Transit (PRT) System.  Watch here...

Welcome to SMT RAIL
From SMT RAIL Website
SMT Rail represents a revolution in 21st Century Green Transportation. SMT Rail is an automated, elevated eco-friendly Smart Mass Transportation (SMT) system. It is designed from inception to be the world's greenest high-speed mass transportation solution. New ultra-light weight nanomaterial alloys, generated from recycled materials, provide a structure with unprecedented strength and durability. Read More...

The above links are to articles that appear relevant to advanced transit but no guarantee is made as to their accuracy and no verification of the integrity of the associated websites has been made.


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.


August 2015 - In this Issue
Other News

Website Updates

News Articles by Catherine G. Burke and Richard Gronning...

View our Website for the latest  ATRA news updates.

Upcoming Conferences


20-21 October 2015
Raleigh, NC, USA

4-6 November 2015
Silicon Valley, CA, USA 

10-12 November 2015
Chiba, Japan

11-13 November 2015
Cambridge, MA, USA


Have a question? Want to voice an opinion?

Join our Forum!

This is a FREE newsletter. If it has been forwarded to you, you may want to:
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links

Connect with ATRA:


ATRA Facebook


ATRA Pinterest