November 2020
From the President
Greetings! conventional wisdom is that buses are more sustainable than cars. Christopher Juniper's article below links to DOE data showing cars get 55% more passenger miles per gallon than transit buses!

If you have wondered how PRT control systems work, Ed Anderson's paper will be of much interest.

As always, enjoy reading!

Best regards,

Peter Muller, ATRA President
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What should matter….doesn’t.
by Christopher Juniper
It’s not rocket science, or even advanced transit science, that a key metric for transportation planning must be energy consumption per passenger/freight mile/km. This metric was rightfully suggested by the American Public Transit Assn. (APTA) 2009 “Transit Sustainability Practice Compendium.”

If the community or nation is pursuing responsible climate chaos mitigation goals, this metric should have a twin that is also to be tightly managed: greenhouse gases per passenger/freight mile/km.

Intelligent Transportation
Network System
by J.E. Anderson
The problem of precise longitudinal control of vehicles to follow predetermined time-varying speeds and positions has been solved. To control vehicles to the required close headway of at least 0.5 sec, the control philosophy is different from but no less rigorous than that of railroad practice. A PRT system can be designed with as good a safety
record as any existing transit system and, because of the ease of adequate passenger protection, quite likely much better. The basis for the control of a fleet of PRT vehicles of arbitrary size is a complete set of maneuver equations. The author's conclusion is that the preferred control strategy is one that could be called an "asynchronous point
follower." Such a strategy requires no clock synchronization, is flexible in the face of all unusual conditions, permits the maximum possible throughput, requires a minimum of maneuvering and uses a minimum of software. Since each vehicle is controlled independently, there is no string instability. Since the wayside zone controllers have in their memory the same maneuver equations as the on-board computers, accurate safety monitoring is practical. To obtain sufficiently high reliability, careful failure modes and effects analysis must be a key part of the design process, and the control computers must be checked redundant.

ATRA letter to USDOT re NETT Council
We question the guiding principle of Technology Neutrality. While this may be a generally good principle, it runs the risk that the best transportation solutions may be counter-intuitive or extremely difficult for the private sector to develop. Personal rapid transit (PRT) is an example where city-wide systems are the most cost-efficient but very difficult to get started from scratch. The industry can survive on small, niche deployments but these hide the true potential of the technology. If the NETT Council would start by facilitating one or more credible city-wide PRT feasibility studies, the industry would step up and make large deployments happen.

Stop Calling Elon Musk’s Boring Tunnel Public Transit
For the 175,000 tech fans descending on Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show this week, one of the must-see attractions is located not among the acres of trade-show booths, but just outside the convention center.

South Fulton CIDs: An Interesting Year
Good and Busy

There’s been a lot of talk about the downturn in air travel, which might leave some thinking that the area around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – the world’s busiest airport last year – has slowed along with the air traffic. That would be wrong.

“Because we’re located in the airport area and with a number of e-commerce operations … we’ve seen an increase in truck traffic, which has caused some additional congestion on our roads,” says Gerald McDowell, executive director of the Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs (AACIDs).

West Virginia Goes Back to the Future With Transit Technology
The state has been chosen as the next testbed site for the latest in hyperloop transportation. More than 40 years ago, the state became home for the country’s only fully operational personal transit system.

Podaris September 2020 Newsletter
  • The Future of Town Hall Meetings
  • Podaris at the Centre for Urban Transport Technology Launch
  • Podaris on the GOV.UK Digital Marketplace
  • What We're Reading

The Broken Algorithm That Poisoned American Transportation
For the last 70 years, American transportation planners have been using the same model to decide what to build. There’s just one problem: it’s often wrong.

Since launching September 2019, the iconic white and blue patterned Move Nona autonomous shuttles have carried roughly 16,000 passengers nearly 9,000 miles around Lake Nona. From Boxi Park to Canvas Restaurant & Market, the all-electric shuttles have been used in place of more than 9,400 vehicle trips that would have emitted 8,100 pounds of CO2 into the air.

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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