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                 February 2016 
From the President....
Peter Muller
Here is an excerpt from the letter I sent to ATRA members that you may be interested in reading:

Now that driverless cars are gaining much more attention than driverless transit, we need to reinforce our message: driverless transit has better potential to provide sustainable transportation solutions and to relieve congestion. We need your help to do this.

Our 2015 efforts are already paying off. One ATN project is budgeted, and the procurement process is beginning. More communities are seriously (paid studies & grant requests) considering advanced transit than ever.

ATRA has an aggressive 2016 budget focused on getting the word out and making advanced transit projects happen, that includes:
  • Collaborating with/informing other organizations and industry groups
  • Academic activities
  • Proof of economics
  • Promotional Materials
  • Regulatory issues
We aim to make significant advances in all these areas. However, we have two problems:
  1. Our budget is not fully funded (we are over $5,000 short)
  2. Even our aggressive budget only represents a fraction of what we would like to be doing
We are asking you to help by:
  1. Paying your 2016 dues (thanks so much if you have already done so)


       2. Making a tax-free donation to ATRA by sending a                check to:

Advanced Transit Association
c/o Christopher Juniper
6860 Zenobia Circle #2
Westminster, CO  80030

3.  Volunteering your time and expertise

Please do this NOW. We have lots to do in 2016 and must get started!  ATRA's primary purpose is to leverage advanced transit to improve the quality of urban life. This is important work that you can be a part of.

As always, enjoy reading!    

Best regards,

Peter Muller, P.E., ATRA President
Notice to Potential Proposers: Proposed Automated Transit Network
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport District, Greer, South Carolina, USA, hereby informs potential proposers that it intends to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to qualified automated transit network (ATN) suppliers to participate in an ATN project connecting the existing economy lot to the terminal at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP). The RFP will be issued in the March/April 2016 timeframe. Proposers will have approximately six weeks to respond.  Read More...

Synergies Between Driverless Transit and Driverless Cars
Ingmar Andreasson, LogistikCentrum AB
Developments of driverless transit on guideways (Automated Transit Networks - ATN) and driverless cars (DLC) can benefit from each other in several ways.  Car developments are enabled by massive investments, bringing new sensors, advanced image processing and economies of scale. Car industries, by virtue of their size, gain political support, which helps in negotiating new legislation. So far DLCs are still experimental, being tested on public roads by local permissions only. Read More... 
Sustainable Mobility and Autonomous Vehicles: a Q&A with Stanley Young of NREL 
By Burney Simpson
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of Q&As with leaders in the automated, connected and driverless vehicle industry.
Stan Young is a research scientist with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) who has been active in automated transport systems for more than 20 years. He was critical to the growth of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA), serving as president for six years, and conducted research on intelligent transportation systems as an engineer at the University of Maryland. At NREL Stan is helping to initiate research into the sustainability implications of emerging automated vehicles and the services they enable. Read More...

With New Growth, Personal Rapid Transit Could Solve Austin's Growing Pains
McMinn Law Firm
In a recent article, Forbes declared Austin America's next Boomtown. According to Forbes, Austin experienced a 13.2 percent population increase from 2010 to 2014 and the local job count has grown by 19.1 percent since 2010. The good news is, Austin is growing, which means more money fueling the economy. The bad news? Austin is growing, which means Austin's traffic pains are only getting worse. People have been offering solutions to the traffic problem for years, but Richard Garriott's personal rapid transit (PRT) proposal is gaining a lot of attention.  Read More...

Govt to include PRTS in reworked smart city plan

By Neena Sharma
The Uttarakhand government intends to include the personal rapid transit system (PRTS) in the reworked draft of the smart city project planned for Dehradun city to improve traffic conditions. It had earlier ignored the needs of people living within the limits of the Municipal Corporation.  Read More...

London's first driverless cars based on Heathrow 'pods'
By Jane Wakefield
The first driverless cars to be tested on the streets of London will resemble the electric passenger shuttles currently in use at Heathrow Airport.  The group behind the project is currently adapting the pods for use on the roads.  It has yet to unveil the exact design but confirmed that the adapted vehicles will not run on dedicated tracks.  Read More...

Secretary of Transportation challenges pod competitors to find innovative solutions
By Chris Martin
One of America's leaders in transportation policy spoke at this past weekend's Hyperloop Pod Design Competition, promoting the use of technology to improve the nation's infrastructure. Read More...

Robotaxis: nowhere to dominant in 6 years?
What's the likelihood that Robotaxis (converged, driverless Uber/Zipcar) will go from zero to dominance rapidly when they become available? Transportation history has a precedent for rate of adoption: the electric trolley.
The first electric trolley line began operating in Richmond in 1888; within 12 months, the electric trolley was adopted by two dozen other major cities. By the early 1890s, the electric trolley was the dominant mode of intraurban transit. Zero to dominant in 6 years.  Read More...

In 2020, Robocars Increase Traffic Congestion

There's a lot of speculation going on about the impact of self-driving cars, or robocars, on different aspects of life. Toyota is the first automaker to admit to their negative effects in the short-term. States Ken Laberteaux, Toyota Senior Principal Scientist, "U.S. history shows that anytime you make driving easier, there seems to be this inexhaustible desire to live further from things," (Business Week, July 21). This means private self-driving cars on freeways will induce sprawl - building new homes with long commutes far from jobs.  Read More...

Back And Forth With skyTran
This Week in Precipitation, Blog Post
One of the things we miss about the old days of covering personal rapid transit is the way everything used to be out in the open.  Perhaps an outgrowth of the federally-initiated PRT effort of the Sixties, the leading PRT efforts of the 1990s-Early 2000s welcomed publicity, and actively disseminated the results of their work. That Raytheon was playing with millions in public funds obligated some openness, but that doesn't explain why the private Taxi 2000, and later university spinoff Ultra, was open with the public to varying degrees.  Read More...

Envisioning Advanced Transit

Some twenty professionals and enthusiasts at the Technix workshop organized by ATRA at the University of Maryland on January 9 engaged in a charrette for several hours divided into three teams, each assigned to think out to 2040 and modern mobility in three different settings.  Read More...

Much needed services, better in the long run
By Shelby Bradford
Transportation is a high priority among ever-moving crowds like the students at West Virginia University. We are a school comprised of about 30,000 students and have three separate campuses. In other words, Morgantown is a busy place with many people coming and going at almost all hours of the day. Read More...

Jaipur Metro riders may glide to railway station in podcar
Jaipur: If all goes as planned, the passengers of Jaipur Metro could glide from the Metro station to railway station platform in a podcar.  On Friday, Actis Infrastructure Pvt Ltd gave an initial presentation on the personal rapid transport system (PRTS) before the Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC) chief managing director N C Goel, district collector Krishna Kunal and other senior officials.   Read More...

PRT continues modernization process
MORGANTOWN - West Virginia University's Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) continues the modernization project into the spring semester.  Clement Solomon, director of the Department of Transportation and Parking for WVU, said they're at the point of working on software development and testing of the project that began April 2015.  Read More...

Automated People Movers and Automated Transit Systems - Innovation in a Rapidly Urbanizing World

Check out the preliminary program for detailed information!
See schedule Here...  

These numbers terrify GM, Ford and the other automakers
By Rick Newman

Elon Musk's Hyperloop transportation system? It will be tested this year.

By Lonnie Shekhtman
Two private companies, plus SpaceX, are each building a test track this year to pilot early Hyperloop designs. The idea of packing passengers into pods and shooting them at 800 miles per hour through tubes between Los Angeles and San Francisco is starting to look less like science fiction and a bit more like a reality, albeit a distant one.  

Booting Up:  Monorail would be a good idea for quickly expanding Boston
By Jessica Van Sack
Rose F. Kennedy Greenway needs green travel tech. Alternative transportation models - including a solar-powered monorail along the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway - deserve consideration now that the Government Center Garage redevelopment is set to give rise to six new buildings as part of a $1.5 billion redevelopment project.  Read More...

Masdar City Operations Extension 

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. 

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February 2016 - In this Issue
Letter from the President
Other News
Website Updates
Upcoming Conferences

Website Updates

2016 Membership Renewals Due Now!

PodcarCity9 Session Papers and Videos available.

-Advanced Transit Systems
-Innovating Automated Transit Technology

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