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The History of the Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Year by Year (2)

May 15th, 2017

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Edward Anderson, first ATRA President


1977 – The Second Year.

Significant Events

In the US DOT

Secretary Brock Adams endorsed giving communities broad latitude.

UMTA is calling for proposals to evaluate the socio-economic impacts of AGT.

UMTA released a publication entitled “People Movement for Downtown Improvement.”

In the Senate

Senator Lloyd Bentsen directed the Congressional Budget Office to prepare a report entitled “Urban Transportation and Energy: The Potential Savings of Different Modes.” Inter alia, the report says that the introduction of a new rapid rail system would cause energy consumption to increase.

In Deployment of AGT Systems

Downtown People Mover Sites Selected:

Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Paul

AIRTRANS Report out on operation and cost statistics.

Contracts for AGRT awarded to Boeing, Otis, and Rohr.

AGRT consists of 12-passenger vehicles with a seat for every passenger operating at headways down to 3 seconds and using off-line stations in a network configuration. A paper given at the 1975 PRT Conference showed from simulations of station operations that such a system is not practical.

Contract awarded to N. D. Lea & Associates to evaluate Morgantown AGT system.

The Seattle Monorail after 15 years lauded.

MBB + Demag deploys CabinLift at a Hessian hospital.

The Japanese New Town Tsukuba opens an AGT System

Boeing begins Phase II work of Morgantown Expansion.

Otis Elevator Installing Duke People Mover.

Atlanta Airport to get SLT.

A GRT System for Nanko Port Town in southwest Osaka, Japan, announced.

World’s Largest Mall (between Los Angeles and San Diego) plans People Mover.

“More on Monorails,” Jaime MacVeigh, Madrid, Spain.

“Morgantown – Two Years of Operation,” Dr. Samuel Elias, West Virginia University.

A People Mover ideal for Atlantic City.

The Mayor of Cleveland, Dennis Kucinich, is opposed to the Cleveland DPM project, which eventually killed it.

An automated baggage mover planned for the Braniff International passenger terminal at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.


Committees formed

Social and Economic Impacts

Consumer Preferences

Guideway Structures

Institutional Structures

Cost Effectiveness

System Operations Analysis and Simulation


First Conference.

ATRA’s first Conference will be held in Indianapolis on April 26-28, 1978.

Call for Papers released.

The Conference Chairman is Dr. E. Henry (Ned) Lamkin.

Chairmen appointed for Program Committee, Arrangements, Endorsements,

Exhibits, Printed Program, Publicity, Special Events,

Specialized Activity Sessions, Display, Press Relations.

The theme of the Conference: “Advanced Transit and Urban Revitalization – an

International Dialog.”

It is estimated that about 500 delegates will attend the conference.

Dr. Lamkin recruited eight sponsoring Indianapolis organizations.

German Conference

Dr. Herman Zemlin reported that the German Federal Ministry of Research and

Technology (the sponsor of the Cabintaxi PRT program) is preparing to co-sponsor a conference with ATRA in Germany in 1979 with no funding required from ATRA.


ATRA acquires the High-Speed Ground Transportation Journal that was published by the Institute for Transportation. It became the official journal of ATRA and was named the Journal of Advanced Transportation.


Al Kornhauser: “UMTA’s Move Toward Advanced Technologies”

“It is hoped that the preliminary engineering process will include and explore     various technological alternatives.”

Morse Wade: “Where Will DPM Take Advanced Transit?”

“. . . no basic technical reason why an area-wide PRT system cannot absorb all surface traffic in any large city.”



The Taxicab

“Vehicle Fleet Costs,” J. E. Anderson

Moving in Cities. A book by Brian Edwards

“Research and Development Needs in Ground Transportation,” J. E. Anderson

“Shopping Centers: A Potential Market for Advanced Transit,” Jerry Schneider.

“Automated Guideway Transit and the Revitalization of the Central Business District,”

  1. E. Anderson.

Morgantown Article Stirs Controversy — a Los Angeles systems analyst commented on the necessity for test-track testing before deploying a new system in an urban setting.


The first ATRA workshop was held on January 23, 1977 to identify those issues in

advanced transit that participants wish to see the Association concentrate its

beginning activity.


“Transportation Systems Management” at Princeton University.

Student Paper Contest

At Other Societies

ASCE To Form People-Mover Committee

APTA Conference to Discuss AGT


presents a


  1. Technical papers, dissertations and topical essays are invited (3,000 words or less).
  2. Prizes awarded to those papers which best conform to the following TRANSIT goals:
  • Improve quality of urban life through application of advance technology to transit.
  • Improve quality of transit system, analysis, planning design and implementation.
  1. Winners will be invited to present their papers at the 1978 ATRA  International Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana (Expenses Paid!!).




Michigan Department of State Highways & Transportation

425 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing, Michigan 48909

Phone: (517) 374-9189

Paper Summaries Are Welcome

Films, Videotapes, Narrated Slides Are Invited


Applications: 10/1/77

Papers: 2/1/78