March 2019
From the President
Greetings! ATRA has long debated whether it should promote personal rapid transit (PRT) as a niche technology best suited for campuses and serving other modes of transit or as a mode capable on its own of providing significant transportation services in support of, or supported by, other modes. In other words, should we take on the established transit industries or be satisfied with the crumbs? Scrabbling for the crumbs has allowed us to gain a tenuous foothold with a few small systems demonstrating the viability of the technology. It certainly has not allowed significant success. I say we should be promoting PRT as the transportation work horse it really can be. 
Last year I presented a paper comparing PRT, group rapid transit (GRT) and light rail transit (LRT) (it is now posted here on the ATRA website). Maybe it fell on deaf ears since otherwise every transit agency implementing LRT would now be investigating PRT! On the other hand maybe they are - these studies take years and we must be patient.

Last month I was asked by a government official to explain why, if PRT is so great, it has not yet happened in a large way. After my explanation he proceeded to place some considerable hurdles in the way of the project I was representing. It was all I could do not to say “PRT has been slow happening because of bureaucrats like you”. Fortunately, in this case, officials in more senior positions do see the big picture.

By the way, some stories, such as the Glasgow one, may seem repetitive. Please note that we try to only publish when a story contains something new that could be of interest to our readers.

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,
Peter Muller, ATRA President
Upcoming Events
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. Membership works best for those that get involved and contribute.
This is a FREE news summary. If it has been forwarded to you, you may want to
Engaging Students and Embracing Change
by Shannon Sanders McDonald, AIA

The Southern Illinois University Architecture Students participated in the Urban International Design Competition (UIDC) at PodCar City, 2018 in Gavle Sweden. Three students were thrilled to visit Sweden and present the studio ideas for Ithaca, NY.  The City of Ithaca, NY sponsored their participation in the competition and provided a great exploratory visit to Ithaca, NY....

History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (24)
by J. Edward Anderson, first ATRA President.

1999 – The Twenty-Fourth Year.

Other News
Saturday Interview: Glasgow will fight on for rail link, boss declares
BOSSES at Glasgow Airport could be forgiven for thinking that its long-running campaign to establish a direct rail link with the city centre is never going to take flight.

Micromobility companies eager to join pilot; councillor wants Volpe Center as partner too
The local micromobility industry is climbing aboard a proposal to get Kendall Square’s federal transportation agency involved in figuring out the future of bikes, scooters and other, so-far undreamed-of ways of getting from one place to another within the city.

Duke should lead rather than derail
When I was a kid, I was always excited by the chance to visit Duke’s campus. The reason? The prospect of riding the PRT.

For those who may not be familiar, the PRT—an acronym for Personal Rapid Transit—was a tram system that ran about a quarter mile between Duke South, Duke North and a parking garage across the street from the hospitals. The vehicles floated on a bed of compressed air and moved via linear induction system that propelled them along guideways. 

County considers pod transit system
During a county operations committee meeting, county officials discussed implementing a high capacity, solar powered transit system in DeKalb 
DeKalb County commissioners and attorneys met with the founder of Transit X— a privately-funded transit system startup company— on Feb. 12.

Former Palo Alto transportation head Joseph Kott dies at 71
No matter how daunting a task, Joseph Kott believed that Palo Alto and the greater Silicon Valley region could become a national model for how to cope with a deluge of motor vehicles.

The Palo Alto chief transportation official from 1998 to 2005 dedicated most of his life to pursuing ways to get drivers out of their cars, becoming a prominent thought-leader in the push to create a regional transportation system aimed at reducing traffic congestion.

Shared Driverless Vehicles Market - Overview on Product Performance 2028
Share-centric landscape is emerging as a popular, modern trend, which is poised to impact the vehicle ownership economics worldwide in the upcoming years. Shared driverless vehicles are used commonly as autonomous vehicles are becoming more prevalent and consumers are becoming environment-conscious. Recent advancements in technologies are enabling a mounting number of individual owners and new businesses to participate in the shared driverless vehicles market.

Glasgow Airport rail link a 'vanity project'
A COMMUNITY leader has backed podcars as a potential transport link to Glasgow Airport, claiming a tram system would be a “vanity project”.

It was revealed recently the small automated vehicles – known as the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) scheme – were now considered a preferred option as part of as part of the Glasgow City Region Deal. 

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.
| Advanced Transit Association| 303-800-1529 |