www.advancedtransit.org         Produced by: PRT Consulting, Inc.                
                 June 2016 
From the President....
Greetings!  the new US Federal transportation bill, the FAST Act, provides a number of initiatives that could be tapped for funding of ATN research, development and deployment. The Smart City competition drew applications from 78 cities for a $50 M grant to the winner. Unfortunately very few included ATN 
Peter Muller

A Funding Opportunity called "Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Initiative" will make 5 to 10 awards of up to $12 M annually for the next five years. ATN solutions seem ideally positioned for this opportunity. 50% matching funds are required. Anyone looking to deploy an ATN system in the near future could possibly get it done for half price! Governmental agencies or consortia of academic agencies are eligible to apply.

Section 5312 of the Act authorizes $28 M a year for five years for Research, Development, Demonstration, Deployment and Evaluation; Low and No Emission Vehicle Component Testing; and Transit Cooperative Research Program. Again, matching funds and political support will be needed to win.

If your project has political support and matching funds, and is prepared to deal with any strings that come with the money, the FAST Act may be good news for you.

Check out the ATRA Video to learn more about what we stand for.

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,

Peter Muller, P.E., ATRA President

BY Jenna Moran, National Association of Counties
Located about halfway between Atlanta and 
Charlotte on Interstate-85 in northwestern South Carolina, Greenville County is served by the Greenville-Pickens Area Transportation Study (GPATS)-the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization. This region stretches from Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) International Airport, 15 miles east of the City of Greenville, to Clemson University, 30 miles to the west.7 The 2007 GPATS long-range plan envisioned two major multimodal transit corridors: one running north south from Travelers Rest through Greenville to Fountain Inn; and the other running east-west, from GSP to Clemson. More recently, motivated by the Envision America Smart City Challenge and the 2016 USDOT Smart City Challenge, this vision has been expanded to promote the incorporation of smart, connected, autonomous vehicles into area transportation planning, including the development of a personal rapid transit (PRT) system. Read More...


By Safe Car News
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. 
Greenwich is one of four places in the UK where driverless pods and public reaction to them are being tested. 
Trials will also take place in Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes. The 8m project is jointly funded by government agency Innovate UK and industry. 

The great gondola gallop in Pinellas
By Daniel Ruth
There's an old story. Many years ago, then-Tampa Mayor Nick Nuccio, upon returning from a trip to Italy, appeared before the City Council to extol the beauty of the gondolas he had experienced in Venice. Wouldn't it be great, he mused, if the council would approve funding for a gondola to reside at Lowry Park Zoo. Well, a council member asked, if these here gondolas were so wonderful why doesn't the city get two of them so they could mate? Read More...

5 make-or-break questions for sustainable transportation
By Lauren Hepler
The way Lauren Isaac sees it, the world is looking at two possible transportation futures. In the "driverless nightmare" scenario, personal self-driving cars governed by a central Big Brother-like information system will not only cram roadways with owners lounging in the backseat, but also add to congestion with owners using the cars as oversized robotic assistants to run errands unattended. Alternatively, a "driverless utopia" might entail a world of mostly shared self-driving car fleets, leading to fewer overall cars and better meshing with transportation options like high-speed rail while also offering wider access. Read More...

Futuristic transportation system on track to becoming reality at N.C. State University
By Lauren K. Ohnesorge
It still sounds like exposition from a SciFi novel, colorful cars whizzing along a skyline track, but the pair of N.C. State University innovators who have been trying to make "personal rapid transit vehicles" (PRT) a reality since 2013 say they've made a design breakthrough that could have the system hitting Centennial Campus in 2017. At issue? Feasibility. Getting the world to see the project not just as a novelty but as a real-world solution to traffic congestion. Read More...

GSP plans pod cars to take travelers from lots to terminal
BY Bob Montgomery
If a half-mile walk from the parking lot to the airport terminal with a load of luggage is too much for you, help is on the way. Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is planning to spend $20 million for a fleet of driverless, computer-controlled pod cars.  The personal rapid transit system would be one of the first of its kind at a U.S. airport. A similar system, designed by Arup of London, is used at London's Heathrow International Airport, the first place to offer pod cars. GSP president Dave Edwards said airport commission members looked into buying a shuttle bus/rubber tire system similar to that at airports such as Atlanta, but the estimated price tag was $25 million to $30 million. Read More...

Clearwater greenlights study on aerial transit
CLEARWATER - Clearwater city leaders moved forward with a plan to evaluate possible downtown terminal locations for an aerial transit system that would connect to Clearwater Beach. Council members authorized an expanded scope of work and budget projection from HR&A, an urban development consulting firm, to study the redevelopment implications of the addition of an aerial transit system to address traffic concerns from the city to its beach. City planning and development director Michael Delk brought the issue before the council on May 16 during a workshop at city hall. Read More...

  This Company Wants City Dwellers to Travel in Flying Pods. First, It Must Face the Huge Hurdle of Regulations.
By Nina Zipkin
For many people, their commute to work is a daily exercise in unpredictability and stress. Americans spend a nerve-fraying 42 hoursout of the year stuck in traffic, and that congestion also harms the environment. 
But Gerald Sanders, CEO of seven-year-old transportation startup skyTran, has a mission to change how people commute around the world. 
Based at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., skyTran developed a high-speed elevated Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie -- futuristic and streamlined aluminum pods that are attached to steel poles and powered by patented magnetic levitation technology. Able to hit speeds of up to 150 mph, the silent vehicles are designed to be an environmentally sound alternative to that soul-crushing traffic. Read More...

Scientology's Fort Harrison hotel hosts mass transit pitch
By Tracey McManus
CLEARWATER - A pitch by a local advocate trying to interest City Hall in a fledgling transit technology took an atypical turn this month when one City Council member received what appeared to be a special briefing at the Church of Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel. 
Four of the council members met individually on May 5 with SkyTran promoter Tom Nocera at City Hall, the standard venue for information meetings.  
However, newly elected council member Bob Cundiff sat in on a private meeting May 4 held by Nocera at the Fort Harrison, along with representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, congressional candidate Mark Bircher, and others. Read More...

Podcar:Local Engineer Develops New Transit System
By Seth Daniel
It's one part roller coaster, one part Star Trek, and another part innovative, and it could be the answer to Everett's transportation woes.  Mike Stanley of Allston has proposed to Everett that it look into the idea of his new Transit X pod system public transportation system that he claims is two to 10 times faster than buses, cars and trains - a system that is elevated above the streets and safe from snow. 
"Technically, it's like a roller coaster with a circular pod hanging from it," said Mike Stanley of Transit X. 
Stanley said the system is easy to set up and is affordable and lightweight and not dependent upon carbons. The ultra-light podcars quietly glide above traffic under a thin rail. Each podcar carries a single rider or up to a family of five, and destinations are entered via smart phone or kiosk. Riders get into a waiting podcar at stops that are as convenient as bus stops. A podcar accelerates up a ramp to merge onto the podcar highway, traveling non-stop until reaching the exit ramp at the destination stop. Travel times are guaranteed, he said. Read More...

Clearwater Council gets glimpse of futuristic transit alternative
By Logan Mosby
CLEARWATER - City leaders were given a glimpse of one possible future when a Clearwater resident made a pitch for what he likened to Jetsons-like technology.  Tom Nocera appeared before the Clearwater City Council on May 5 to present his plan to alleviate traffic congestion to and from Clearwater Beach.  His plan, dubbed BeachTran, is a version of skytran, a personal rapid transit system utilizing magnetic levitation technology developed by NASA. Read More... 

Talking Tech: Can Hyperloop be a reality?
Video by Robert Hanashiro
Is Hyperloop travel really the next big thing in tech, or just hot air talk? Jefferson Graham weighs in with members of the #TalkingTech roundtable podcast, for this new concept in super high-speed travel.  See Video...

Driverless cars and our transit future
Those among us "of a certain age" may remember the Jetsons cartoon depiction of flying cars. While this era of personal rapid transit is not upon us, that of driverless cars soon will be. Driverless cars represent a revolution in transit. However, they are not the sole solution to congestion, and we should not expect automated low-capacity vehicles to replace the need for high-capacity fixed guideway systems such as bus rapid transit and light rail. The Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) has extensively modeled driverless car deployment. With all cars driverless, its models showed a nearly two-thirds decrease in the number of cars needed for transit. However, the actual number of miles driven by automobiles increased, as did use of secondary and residential streets. Read More...

0 to 400 mph in mere seconds: Welcome to the age of hyperloop
By Marco della Cava
LAS VEGAS - The co-founders of a start-up aiming to upend earthbound transportation say they've had their Kitty Hawk moment. 
Hyperloop One successfully demonstrated Wednesday one key part of how it plans to send people and cargo racing through cushioned tubes at nearly the speed of sound. This transportation alternative, its backers claim, could reduce the journey between Los Angeles and San Francisco to just 30 minutes.  
"We are standing on hallowed ground for us," said Shervin Pishevar, cofounder of Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One, which is among a few companies focused on the hyperloop technology. Read More...

Futuristic SkyTran Is Being Built to Cut 2-Hour Commutes Down to 10 Minutes
By Kelly Tatera
The self-driving monorail would fly 20 feet above roads at speeds up to 155mph. As if an eight hour work day isn't enough, many people have to deal with grueling commutes that take even more hours out of their day. However, a futuristic transportation system hopes to take away the hours wasted in traffic and trade it in for a few minutes soaring through the sky above it. Meet SkyTran - a self-driving monorail that could turn a two-hour car commute into a 10-minute trip up in the sky, according to SkyTran CEO Jerry Sanders. The transportation system would hover 20 feet above the roads and travel at speeds up to 155 miles per hour.
"Everyone hates commuting, but there are no solutions," Sanders said in an interview withTech Insider's Leanna Garfield. "The only way to get around traffic is to literally go above it." And while the technology seems extremely sci-fi, it's actually not that far off. In fact, the company just announced that its first-ever track will be launched in Lagos, Nigeria by 2020. Read More...

SMRT and 2getthere partner to bring automated vehicles to Singapore

SMRT confident of potential of Dutch firm
BY The Straits Times
Thursday's report ("Dutch firm in SMRT deal may have money woes") said that 2getthere and its driverless freight-moving unit, Frog, applied for insolvency in April 2007.  We wish to clarify that 2getthere is not in financial difficulty. It was founded as an independent company in 2008 and has no connection to the restructuring of Frog in 2007.  2getthere's financial record has demonstrated that the company has been profitable.  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.


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June 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.

Greenville County, SC - Regional Personal Rapid Transit

The Second Martin Lowson Paper Award
Now accepting your thesis or paper, due August 16, 2016
Winner will receive $500 and present her/his work at the Podcar City Conference 2016  Read More...

View our Website for the latest  ATRA news updates.

Upcoming Conferences

19-21 July, 2016
San Francisco, CA,USA

October 14th-15th 
Southern Illinois University

2016 Podcar City Conference
Sept 18-20

SmartTransit congress 2016. October 25 - 26, 2016, Elizabeth, New Jersey.

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