January 2019
From the President
Greetings! Christmas in Hangzhou (near Shanghai) and New Year in Hong Kong were new experiences for Laura and me. From a transportation point of view, it was fascinating to tour the Tubenet Transit facilities and give a speech to about one thousand people interested in the future of transportation (see below), ride high-speed rail – smooth as silk at 180 mph, ride metro rail – also smooth with service at three-minute headways, ride a cable-drawn trolley up a mountain at 45°, ride buses, taxis and ferries. In my limited experience, public transportation in China runs like clockwork and is clean and easy to use (even with no language skills). In Hong Kong you can buy an Octopus card for all the transportation systems and even use it in stores and restaurants. The Chinese see the potential for PRT and, in my opinion, the US will soon no longer hold the record for the largest PRT (OK, GRT) system in the world.
As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,
Peter Muller, ATRA President
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Zhejiang International Intelligent Transportation Industry Expo 2018 – Keynote Speech
ATRA President Muller gives keynote at Zhejiang International Intelligent Transportation Industry Expo 2018, Future Transport Conference in Hangzhou, China.

CES 2019 in review: the future of autonomous vehicles ain’t what it used to be
And that is a good thing. In fact, that is a really good thing. It might just mean that we – as passengers – won’t be perpetually gridlocked in future cities, but actually still able to move and get somewhere. It might also mean that we – as residents – are able to actually enjoy living in a city, being able to allow our kids to play outside without having to worry about high intensity traffic on every single street. It might ultimately mean that we – as species – make it into the next century without having to colonize Mars. Ok, sorry. I exaggerated; we aren’t going to be able to colonize Mars and need to make it work here.

Pilot Plan for GreenVillages TOD: A Laurens Road Corridor Multi-modal Transit Project
On 07/23/2018, Greenville County, South Carolina, USA, successfully submitted a proposal for a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Transit Oriented Development (TOD) planning grant to FTA with assistance from Carolinas Alliance 4 Innovation (CA4I). The project was entitled “Pilot Plan for GreenVillages TOD: A Laurens Road Corridor Multi-modal Transit Project.” The grant award was announced in December 2018.

An RFP is being written and should be issued in the coming weeks.

History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (22)
by J. Edward Anderson, first ATRA President.

1997 – The Twenty-Second Year.

Other News
Ultra PRT Ltd.
Ultra PRT Ltd is a UK-based company that is marketing the Ultra PRT system all around the globe. They have an extensive pipeline of large PRT projects including ones in India and the UAE that have been mentioned here.

TransitX Wants To Bring Futuristic Transit Pods to St. Louis
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — This is probably what the future looked like when you thought about it as a kid -- lightweight pods zipping people around the city on elevated ribbons called podways.

It's called Transit X -- founder and CEO Mike Stanley says six towns in the Atlanta area say they want the privately funded service, and it ground could break this year. Stanley says they'll start small.

Transit X offers a viable solution to transit problems
The high costs of MetroLink are not affordable for St. Louis given the fact that other transit technologies can be built privately instead. Let’s get straight to the part everyone is waiting for: the numbers. The price tag on MetroLink’s scaled-back North-South line is $667 million, and can’t be built until about 2030. The cost of the full line is $1.3 billion, and who knows when that could be built?

TMC to fast track pod car project, study feasibility report 
THANE: The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) is likely to fast track implementation of the Personal Rapid Transit System (PRTS) or pod cars project in city and is likely to study the economic viability of the same soon. 

Transit X: Game-changing transit system could soon come to metro Atlanta
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Six Georgia cities and counties are hoping to launch a game-changing transit system.

“It’s kind of like something from the 'Jetsons,'” Lake City Mayor Ronald Dodson said, referring to the futuristic cartoon series that first hit TV screens in the early 1960s.

Dodson and the City Council want Transit X to whiz through their neighborhoods.

My sources indicate this story is incorrect.
Flying taxis, solar pods and air-tight tubes. How will you get around Cincinnati in the future?
You've tried the heliport on the riverfront, right? You know, the one right by the baseball stadium?

And isn’t it nice to have high-speed monorail cruising through Northern Kentucky?

Oh, never mind.

None of that exists.

Pod taxis as metro feeders? Karnataka govt revives controversial project
The pod taxi proposal was shelved by the Karnataka government earlier this year after facing severe opposition from activists and experts, who called it a meaningless extravaganza.

In 2017, the Karnataka government came up with the idea of a personal rapid transit system (PRTS), popularly known as pod taxis as a solution to decongest Bengaluru’s bottlenecks. The city’s residents had breathed a sigh of relief when the government had announced that the controversial pod taxi project was shelved ahead of the Assembly elections in May. However, the scheme is back.

Pod taxi plan returns, to be feeder to Metro 
BENGALURU: Once envisioned as an alternative to Namma Metro and commissioned by the previous Congress government, pod taxis are now being perceived as a feeder service to the Metro.

This article confirms the information we received that the Bangalore PRT project is still on.
Trip to Tubenet Transit in Hangzhou, China
Pictures from Peter Muller's tour of Tubenet Transit in December 2019.

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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