www.advancedtransit.org          Produced by:   PRT Consulting, Inc.                 
                 December  2016  
From the President....
  hidden in one of this month's articles are these statements "...although for now, a person is stationed on board ready to hit a red "stop" button in an emergency....Helsinki is one of the first cities to run so-called autonomous buses on public roads in traffic..." basically the article (A Slow Ride Toward the Future of Public Transportation) is about so-called "new" driverless buses. Group rapid transit is driverless buses on exclusive guideways. It has been around since 1975 in Morgantown and 1999 in Rivium. The 2getthere Rivium guideway is not even fully exclusive - cars can cross it and pedestrians can get access to it. In addition, the operator demonstrated operations in mixed traffic many years ago.

The following statement comes from an article (Plans to expand driverless Parkshuttle in the Netherlands revealed) about the Rivium system "As such the ParkShuttle is likely to be the first autonomous system operating in mixed traffic without actually featuring a safety driver or steward on-board." The ParkShuttle GRT system has far more operational experience and seems to be a leading technology but also seems to get less press.

I submit that driverless buses are getting more press than GRT and driverless cars than PRT. Hyperloop is also getting more press.Yet GRT and PRT have far more potential to immediately relieve congestion and to greatly improve quality of life than driverless cars or buses or even Hyperloop. How do we get the press excited about PRT and GRT? How do we divert all that road widening money to projects that will relieve congestion while also improving accessibility and sustainability?

Best wishes to you and yours for the Holiday Season.

Peter Muller
As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,
Peter Muller, P.E., ATRA President
Proposed Changes to the ASCE Automated People Mover Standard

This standard addresses automated people movers (APM) which it defines as "a guided transit mode with fully automated operation, featuring vehicles that operate on guideways with exclusive right-of-way". Automated transit networks (ATN), also known as personal rapid transit (PRT) or group rapid transit (GRT) are a subset of APM featuring small vehicles, on-board switching and offline stations. The ATRA Industry Group has been concerned that some of the provisions of the APM Standards may not be applicable to ATN or may even not be attainable or appropriate for ATN systems. A subcommittee was formed and various changes to the APM Standards were prepared. Read more...

Letter to the Editor
I read this issue as I do all the "atra pulse" issues" with great interest. The article entitled "A Revolution That Didn't Happen": Personal Rapid Transit. I'd just like to make a few comments, and if possible get my response to a significant audience. 

The reason is that the article is a challenge to the basic idea of what ATRA is all about. Namely "ADVANCED transit". The revolution isn't about PRT as such. The revolution is about AUTOMATION, i.e. the veh icles are not human controlled. They are computer controlled. In that sense PRT is only one system that separates the future of mass transit from the current mass transit systems. 

PRT is quite a good use of automation as it enables buses to transport individual passengers in non-stop trips. However, it also enables "cars" to take non-stop trips. So the "REVOLUTION" isn't about the PRT configuration. It's only one of many possibilities. It's a good one, but only one of many. It's about automation enabling mass transit to take huge leaps in passenger service, public transportation being just one example. So to sum up: PRT is alive well. The reason is that PRT solves the problem that the automobile world has to wrestle with, namely how can you automatically move cars in mixed traffic conditions? With PRT there is no mixed traffic. That is technically an enormous problem. 

One must ask how long it will take before vehicles can be built that are truly automated as PRT already is. In other words with PRT the problem of how to travel without the requirement to have human overseeing the vehicle in case of a failure is already solved.

Dennis Manning
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has proposed a Mumbai to Pune loop

Bibop Gabriele Gresta is the Chairman of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and has told TOI in an interview that he has proposed a loop between Mumbai and Pune in a meeting with Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. HTT has proposed a feasibility study and is looking for a go ahead from the Transport Ministry. Read more...

Hyperloop proposes to link Mumbai, Pune with high-speed transport system

Hyperloop chairman Bibop Gresta. Hyperloop is working to develop transportation systems where pods zip across vacuum tubes at a top speed of about 1,300 km/h. According to Gresta, building a track would cost $40 million per km. Read more...

Automated Transit: Planning, Operation, and Applications

A comprehensive discussion of automated transit.
This book analyzes the successful implementations of automated transit in various international locations, such as Paris, Toronto, London, and Kuala Lumpur, and investigates the apparent lack of automated transit applications in the urban environment in the United States. Read more...

West Virginia University's Personal Rapid Transit returns to operation today.

The PRT was shut down Dec. 2 due to undisclosed and unforeseen operational issues, the university had said.   Read more...

 Masdar's driverless transport system achieves 99% efficiency

Muscat: The driverless Masdar Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system at the carbon neutral Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, UAE, has functioned at over 99 per cent efficiency since it began services six years ago. Read more...

Masdar City transit records 2m passengers 

The Masdar City Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system celebrated its sixth anniversary on November 28, just a week after carrying its 2 millionth passenger. Read more...

WVU investigates PRT collision between Walnut and Beechurst stations

WVU is currently investigating a PRT collision between the Beechurst Avenue and Walnut Street stations after one PRT car bumped into another on the westbound track Wednesday afternoon. Read more...

Minor injuries reported in WVU PRT crash

Two computer-powered cars in West Virginia University's Personal Rapid Transit system collided Wednesday afternoon. Read more...

Masdar City's driverless cars system celebrates milestone

For all the hoo-hah about the coming transport revolution that will see driverless vehicles populating the world's roads, in one corner of Abu Dhabi, the whole idea is, really, very last year. Read more...

A Waterloop is a Hyperloop from

Over a year ago Mike wrote SpaceX to sponsor Hyperloop pod competition at 1-mile test track in 2016. It turns out to be early 2017, and out of a thousand submissions, thirty were chosen to show up in California with their test pods. Read more...

Increase in passengers for Abu Dhabi autonomous vehicles project

As the driverless vehicle project in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi began its seventh year of operations, it also welcomed its two millionth passenger. The project has collected a wealth of data which is used for further development of autonomous vehicles, both in relation to the technology and in the interaction with the users. Read more...

MY TURN | The trick is moving above traffic on 305

Last week's public meetings in Poulsbo, Suquamish and Bainbridge were organized by local officials, and focused on identifying the problems of traffic on Highway 305 from the Bainbridge ferry to central Poulsbo. It's a good start. Funds are on hand to get some studies done for near-term and long-term improvements to fix what has become a regular nightmare for commuters, Kitsap Transit, parents shuttling kids, delivery vehicles, service trucks, ambulances, police, fire crews and pretty much everyone. Read more...

Study develops mixed-use transport hub for Amsterdam

Commissioned by the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA), a multidisciplinary team consisting has collaborated on a study that examines the future potential of the integration of infrastructure and city development around the area of Amsterdam's A10 ring road and the Lelylaan area. Read more...

Hyperloop One + Dubai Roads &
Transport Authority Sign
Agreement To Evaluate Potential

Hyperloop One has signed an agreement with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority that could see the firm's technology applied in the UAE in a new feasibility study. Read more...

SkySMART could be a pedal
powered game-changing personal
rapid transit system : TreeHugger

Shweeb SkySMART is poised to be the sustainable transit solution that puts an end to gridlock everywhere. So why PRT you ask? PRT is the on-demand transit missing link between personal transportation and mass transit. Read more...

Plans to expand driverless Parkshuttle in the Netherlands revealed

ParkShuttle, the world's first driverless vehicle system, is to continue operating for a further two years in the city of Capelle aan den Ijssel in the Netherlands. Read more...

Prince Charles visits Masdar to
talk to students about sustainability

ABU DHABI // Sustainability and the development of young people were at the heart of discussion between students at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the UK's Prince Charles on the second day of his state visit. Read more...

Hyperloop One just got one step closer to building its high-speed transport system in Dubai

Hyperloop One is making progress on creating its high-speed transportation system for passengers in Dubai. Read more...

Driverless ParkShuttle to continue  
operations for at least 2 years

The world's first driverless vehicle, the ParkShuttle at business park Rivium in the city of Capelle aan den IJssel (the Netherlands) will continue operations for at least 2 more years. Read more...

A Slow Ride Toward the Future of Public Transportation

HELSINKI, Finland - A small electric bus chugged along at a slow but steady seven miles per hour when a white van, entering the street from the side, cut in front of it. The bus slowed, as if its driver had hit the brakes, and got back up to speed after the van moved out of the way. 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.


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 of all, while increasing safety and reducing energy use and pollution. 

ATRA membership works best for those that get involved and contribute.

STUDENTS!  NEW, lower Membership fees!
Join now!!


December 2016 - In this Issue
Letter from the President
Atra News
Other News

Website Updates
Twitter news feed has been reinstated.

2016 Membership Renewals Due Now!

PodcarCity9 Session Papers and Videos available.

View our Website for the latest   ATRA news updates.

Upcoming Conferences

January 8-12, 2017
Washington, DC

This is a FREE newsletter. If it has been forwarded to you, you may want to:
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links

Connect with ATRA:


ATRA Facebook


ATRA Pinterest