April 2019
From the President
Greetings! China certainly seems to be waking up to the potential of personal rapid transit (PRT). Since I presented to an enthusiastic crowd of over a thousand in December last year in Hangzhou, we have been invited to submit three proposals to provide PRT consulting services in China. The first one has already been accepted and two of us will shortly be spending a week over there. What I am divulging here is only the tip of the iceberg I am aware of.

My hope is that China, and some other countries that are in the hunt, will soon successfully deploy large PRT systems and that the rest of the world will start to wake up to PRT’s potential. I feel strongly that most transportation professionals have considered PRT to be only a niche, last-mile, mode and seriously underestimated its ability to provide cost-effective, efficient urban transportation over a wide area. 
Many have long considered the missing link to be a large proof-of-concept demonstration system. The required government funding has never materialized. What is now happening is that communities are realizing congestion is only going to get worse and driverless cars probably will not relieve it for many decades to come. At the same time a few PRT developers are gaining traction convincing communities and, significantly, investors that PRT is the one solution that can be easily retrofitted and can pay for itself without needing government subsidies. 

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,
Peter Muller, ATRA President
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Owning a Car Will Soon be as Quaint as Owning a Horse
ATRA Board Member, Christopher Juniper wrote the following response to the New York Times Article with the above title

About a decade ago, as a contractor doing sustainable transportation planning for a US Army garrison with about 25,000 Soldiers, my task was to design a system that would reduce auto use by 40% by 2027 and move towards 100% sustainable energy as well. The only feasible answer for most of the trips was a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, also called advanced transit, in combination with car sharing, bike and electric bike sharing, stronger traditional mass transit for commuters, and a separate right-of-way system for "low-power" vehicles like electric bikes and scooters that wouldn't travel at more than about 20 MPH (basically a bike path - these vehicles aren't really compatible with cars/trucks, nor pedestrians).
PRT systems can be largely powered by solar/wind along its infrastructure. PRT and electric bikes are way ahead of cars in a key sustainability (and climate change) indicator: passenger or freight miles per unit of energy used (PRT 600-800 passenger miles per gallon equivalent; electric bikes as much as 2000).

The point is: these technologies are available now, were foreseeable a decade ago if planners have the right instructions and incentives. Only such a whole system approach will allow people to cease the financially-inefficient process of individual car ownership to the extent feasible in the US economy. Such whole sustainable transportation systems should be high priority. Let's get going!

History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (25)
by J. Edward Anderson, first ATRA President.

2000 – The Twenty-Fifth Year.

Other News
Glasgow City Region – City Deal

Report by Senior Project Manager, Airport Access Project
The purpose of this report is to update Cabinet on progress made on closing out the audit of the Airport Access Project Outline Business Case which was commissioned by Scottish Ministers and carried out by Jacobs consultancy. It does not seek to give a detailed discussion on what are highly technical transport planning/ project delivery issues, rather it seeks to give the Cabinet a summary of the key focus of this, whether there are any major outstanding issues and the way forward for the project.

Congestion on M8 causes Glasgow Airport bus to take twice as long as it should
A report on the plans to scrap the Tram/Train rail link proposal for a Personal Rapid Transit system between the airport and Paisley Gilmour Street analysed the various options for road and rail.

After a number of articles on this topic, this one finally has some data on the options.
Eilat inks deal with skyTran, taking step toward futuristic pod transport system
US startup awaits ministry approval but hopes to start project this year; ‘maglev’ network could provide much-need reduction in traffic congestion

This looks like good news but the guideway looks even more industrial than Heathrow. Please get a good architect involved skyTran! 
Half a century after its heyday, the Alden StaRRcar clearly wasn’t made for its world. It looks like a white flatiron with wheels or a sleek, plastic bullet, dwarfed by the regal sedans of 1960s Detroit. It belongs in one of Buckminster Fuller’s domed cities, a vehicle for traveling under the geodesics of a bubble-topped Manhattan. Its future wasn’t one of highways, but of narrow cement tracks looping gracefully between city and suburb, connecting increasingly alienated parts of the American landscape.

Futuristic Transit Loop in Milpitas’ Future?
This past Tuesday, March 19, 2019, Milpitas resident and activist Rob Means brought a preliminary plan for a high-tech “loop” before the Milpitas City Council.

The loop is to entail a form of transportation called Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Mr. Means has furnished this poster art ...

Hampleton Partners, the international mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance advisory firm for technology companies, has advised 2getthere Holding, a manufacturer of driverless electric shuttles for future urban mobility, on its majority acquisition by ZF Friedrichshafen, the global automotive supplier.

This is the second autonomous vehicle technology transaction closed by Hampleton within the space of nine months.

ZF acquires 60% of 2getthere
ZF has acquired a 60% of automated transport systems company, 2getthere, located in Utrecht, Netherlands, with offices in San Francisco, Dubai and Singapore.

Applications range from driverless electric transport systems at airports, business and theme parks to dedicated urban transport infrastructures.

Christine Lagarde rides 2getthere’s PRT
Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited Masdar to witness the progress of Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community, MasdarCity, and learn how investment in youth is helping the UAE to deliver on the UN SDGs.

Mukesh Ambani is Set to Revolutionize Urban Mobility With Personal Rapid Transit Pods
The CEO of SkyTran, John Cole shares his plans of launching the revolutionary transportation pods first in India in association with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and how this will change the face of urban mobility in India.
By: Aashika Jain

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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