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    Proposed Changes to the ASCE APM

    November 10th, 2016



    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.

    As a member of the APM Standards Committee and of ATRA IG, I had the honor of attending the October 6 & 7, 2016 APM Standards Committee meeting and presenting our proposed changes. Eighteen changes were presented and twelve were accepted by the meeting to move forward to the formal voting process prior to being adopted in the Standards. A summary of the discussion follows.

    Proposed changes to station audible announcements were not accepted.
    The Committee requested more research and, potentially, additional or changed language for proposed changes relating to separation assurance (the so-called “brick wall” standard), blue light station requirements and traction power grounding.
    A few proposed changes were retracted in the meeting when discussion clarified that they were not appropriate or needed.

    A brief description of the accepted changes follows.
    The definition of guideway was changed to indicate the guideway may physically guide transit vehicles.
    Parted consist protection was amended to indicate it shall detect the unintended uncoupling of vehicles in a consist.
    A new commentary was added relating to trains not physically guided by the guideway. Note that the term “trains” also applies to single vehicles.

    Some clarifications were added to distinguish self-powered vehicle requirements from those with wayside power supply.
    Video surveillance in all vehicles was added “if required by the authority having jurisdiction.”
    A section on destination selection devices for systems with selectable destinations was added.
    It was clarified that priority seating signs and interior circulation handrails and stanchions are only required in vehicles accommodating standees.

    Lower door opening heights (59”) were allowed in vehicles designed for seated passengers only.
    A redundancy requirement for the vehicle recharging system was added if applicable.
    Power regeneration requirements were changed to address “energy and power” in addition to “voltage”.
    Working on this change process has been highly rewarding with good support from ATRA IG members and a spirit of cooperation from the ASCE APM Standards Committee. Work will continue on the items the Committee deemed not quite ready for acceptance. Undoubtedly, new issues will arise and keeping the standards up to date will become an ongoing task requiring a continued collaborative


    Peter Muller, ATRA President