February 2018
From the President
Greetings! at its board meeting this morning ATRA restructured and consolidated itself into a more task-oriented organization. Previously, most activities were undertaken by the executive committees of ATRA and ATRA Industry Group. Now the Industry Group is folded into ATRA and no longer a separate organization. A number of its members are now ATRA Board Members. The ATRA Executive Committee has been disbanded. ATRA will now run itself through its new committee structure with the committee tasks, schedules and budgets overseen by the Board.
The new committees and their assignments are as follows:

Project Intelligence Committee
  • Demonstration/Pilot/Full-Service Systems
  • Find prospects
  • Educate stakeholders
  • Inform Industry Group Members
  • Compile and provide an annual ATN market size data report

Research and Education Committee
  • Commission white papers on ATN-related topics
  • Document results from ATN systems in public service 
  • Proof of Economics
  • Be a thought leader
  • Technical & design guidelines
  • Legislator education
  • Academic networking
  • Research roadmap

Outreach Committee
  • ATRA Pulse free monthly newsletter
  • Website search engine optimization
  • Promotional Materials
  • Letters/emails to transportation consultants, agency leaders, etc.
  • SEO

Regulatory Committee

APM Standards Sub-Committee
  • ASCE APM Standards – adjust to better apply to ATN

Membership Committee
  • Increase membership
  • Obtain outside financial support
  • Track dues, invoices and membership

Conference Committee
  • ATRA-sponsored conferences
  • ATRA contributions to conferences by others
  • Collaborate with other organizations and industry groups

Committees have been encouraged to meet at least monthly. They will report to the Board, and the Board will meet and review their work, on a quarterly basis. All board members have been encouraged to serve on at least one committee. Some committees could still use a few extra members so, if you are an ATRA member, please feel free to volunteer. Committee activities are a good way to contribute, get involved, learn more and meet new people.

If you are interested, you can read my address to the board reporting on 2017 activities here. I am very pleased with the new structure and the renewed enthusiasm shown by ATRA members.

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,
Peter Muller, ATRA President
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A Eulogy to Dr. Jarold A. Fieffer (May5, 1923 - March ss, 2017)
I met Jerry in September 1969 in Minneapolis at the first meeting of a year-long Citizens League study that had been formed to investigate transit alternatives. The local Transit Commission staff had proposed a subway between Minneapolis and St. Paul – the most expensive of the alternatives analyzed by their consultant.  

The History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA)
Year Eleven - 1986

By Dr. J. Edward Anderson

Other News
Helping Build City: Embassy
Reacting to Bangalore Mirror’s front page story on January 31 (Indeed, it’s a pod of gold) on the proposed pod taxi network, the chairman of Embassy Group, Jitu Virwani, said it was a pilot project that will do Bengaluru proud. “If successful, this could transform our city and ease the traffic congestion to a large extent. Additionally, this is a zero-emission project, as the pod taxis are battery operated,” he said...

There is something clearly rotten in the pod taxi project. A company that's worth Rs 5 lakh is bidding for a project that is expected to cost Rs 2,000 crore, and doesn't mind paying the BBMP Rs 5 crore every year.

While this article seems full of misinformation and uneducated opinions, it implies the Bangalore PRT project will soon be awarded. 
High-speed Hyperloop could be the future of travel
Can you imagine being able to travel from Toledo to Chicago in less than 30 minutes? 

Some local advocates believe this could be possible with Hyperloop Transportation technology. 

Musk seems not to realize that highway vertical and horizontal alignments are designed for 80 mph and thus not suitable for Hyperloop. 
Tender For Development Of Personal Rapid Transit (Prt) System
Tender For Development Of Personal Rapid Transit (Prt) System Delhi-Gurgaon Pilot Project Corridor (Length 12.30 Km) From Km 24.00 At Nh-8 (Delhi Haryana Border) - Km 33.50 (Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon) - Nh-248A Sohna Road On Design, Build, Finace. Operate And Transfer (Dbfot) Basis.

Masdar, Department of Transport sign MoU
ABU DHABI: The Department of Transport – Abu Dhabi, DoT, and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to cooperate in the study, testing and evaluation of sustainable, electrical and autonomous transport technologies.

Here’s the carrot that might bring public transit to Arlington
For years, Arlington has simply said no to real public transportation.

The city has tried several pilot projects offering limited bus service to help residents get around town, commute to Fort Worth or make a connection to DFW Airport and Dallas. In the past year Arlington started two innovative but limited transit programs, one of them using a futuristic autonomous vehicle.

After Whirlwind 2017, May Mobility Plans to Expand Driverless Fleet
May Mobility, the autonomous vehicle startup based in Ann Arbor, MI, had an action-packed 2017.

The company launched in January, completed a stint in the Y Combinator accelerator over the summer, put driverless shuttles on downtown Detroit streets through a small pilot program in October, and raised more than $11 million over the course of the year from investors.

Mountain View considers driverless transit system to fight traffic congestion
In about 10 years, employees in Mountain View’s North Bayshore area might zoom to work on driverless buses, running as frequently as once or twice per minute, or in small pods that hang from an elevated track and move with an average speed of 60 miles per hour.

Pod-taxi route in conflict with Metro alignment
The grand 30.5-km pod-taxi network proposed by the Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) could run into conflict with a critical Namma Metro Phase 3 line.

The potential for the pod taxi to alleviate the need for a metro line extension should be investigated before being too concerned about a conflict. The demand at the end of a line naturally gets smaller. What is the planned capacity of the pod taxi system?
Driverless vehicles to run on roads in Masdar City
Abu Dhabi: Driverless electric vehicles will transport residents in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, in the world’s first large-scale outdoor sustainable transportation system.

It will be interesting to see how autonomous shuttle service and personal rapid transit service compare in Masdar City.
Pod taxis: Govt to call for fresh expressions of interest this month
New Delhi: The government will seek fresh expressions of interest (EoIs) in December for launching India’s first driverless pod taxi system on a 70km stretch from Dhaula Kuan in Delhi to Manesar in Haryana.

It is notable that the ASCE APM Standards are going to apply to this ATN project in New Delhi.

Test Ride: Self-Driving Cabs Still Need Training Wheels
LAS VEGAS — Riding in a self-driving cab is a completely uneventful experience — but that’s by design.

For all the headlines about self-driving cars that have dominated the news for the last few years, not many people have actually ridden in one. So Navya and Aptiv, two companies that have been working on autonomous cars for a long time, brought their vehicles to CES to show the public what the future of transportation could actually feel like. 

Bengaluru development minister KJ George has said that he did not know that Embassy Property Developments Pvt. Ltd. – with which he is in a partnership only for the Embassy Golf Links project – was participating in the bid for building the pod taxi network.

More tenders to be floated for pod taxis: BBMP chief
BENGALURU: The BBMP on Friday opened the technical bid from the sole bidder for its proposed pod taxi project. While scrutiny is still on, commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said, in future, more tenders will be floated for other routes.

Is Hyperloop overhyped and underlooped?
London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes. Global mass transport that’s as fast as planes without chewing up fossil fuels and spewing out emissions. And all backed by the billionaire enthusiast who pushed electric cars to the forefront and wants to take humans to Mars.

PRT gets improvements over winter break
Phase II modernization of the PRT is not a typical repair job, it’s a replacement and renovation of the technology that already exists.

FROM A LAS Vegas stage today, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda asked an audience to imagine how the future of mobility could transform Burning Man. Then he put forward his own vision: the e-Palette.

Embassy: Ties with George a liability; minister agrees
BENGALURU : The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's ambitious pod taxi project to ease traffic congestion has received only one bid. That the Embassy Group is one of the three partners in the consortium that has made the sole bid has raised serious questions of conflict of interest, given that the realestate firm has a long-standing business partnership with Bengaluru development minister KJ George.

This article implies Bangalore pod taxi project may have to be rebid due to only one bid being received and a possible conflict of interest.
Delhi-based firm that runs the pod system in Heathrow has partnered with Embassy group; will take network to Manyata Tech Park

Ultra Fairwood only bidder on Bangalore project (it is rumored the others were not qualified to bid based on having no system in public service). 
Tender for Dhaula Kuan-Manesar driverless pod taxi in February: Nitin Gadkari
The project, known as Metrino, was stuck due to safety issues. Union road transport minister Gadkari said that pollution was one of the biggest problems and the Metrino project would help decongest the busy the stretch.

Traffic solution in the sky, or just pie-in-the-sky? 
CLEARWATER — By the end of this year, a never-before-been-built, Jetsons-like pod car system will be ready to transport visitors through the sky between downtown and Clearwater Beach.

ATN suppliers risk giving the industry (and themselves) a bad name when they over-promise and under-deliver. It remains to be seen if that is being done in this case as this article seems to be implying. 
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.

Editorial comments are in italics.
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