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The New ATRA

January 27th, 2015

balloonsThe ATRA board meeting on January 10 was filled with new enthusiasm. Shannon Sanders McDonald announced yet another new Academic Council member (the University of Utah) and Alain Kornhauser encouraged us to budget substantially more than we received in 2014 on the basis that our 2015 income should be substantially more too. He generously offered to underwrite any shortfall. As incoming President, I was very pleased by the positive response my proposed new initiatives received. In 2015, I propose that we:

  • Update the Bylaws
  • Transform TransitPulse
    • From hardcopy to blog posts with monthly email summaries
    • From circulation of 90 to over 1,000
    • Free to whoever subscribes
    • Rename ATRA Pulse
  • Website
    • Unmatched repository of searchable ATN-related papers
    • Members only area
      • Forum
      • ATN papers
      • Member contact information
  • Mainstream the consideration of ATN for transit projects
    • Join American Public Transit Association (APTA) (affiliate membership – $559)
    • Actively participate in Podcar City, APTA, APA, TRB, AAAE, ACI, ACC  and ASCE conferences
    • Send informative letters to all 384 metropolitan planning organizations, 155 transportation management associations, 730 transit agencies and 51 state departments of transportation
    • Track transit alternatives analyses and environmental assessments and insist ATN be considered based on current information
  • Transform Technix to be less informative and more strategic planning in nature

ATRA membership is an opportunity for you to contribute to a better world by leveraging advanced transit to improve mobility and accessibility for all, while increasing safety and reducing energy use and pollution. Your active participation is going to be needed for us to accomplish our 2015 initiatives. More specifically:

  • We need volunteers to contribute articles/blogs for the newsletter. Each board member is asked to contribute at least one each year. Members are encouraged to contribute too. The topic must be relevant to advanced transit and the article will be subject to editorial review by Reuben Juster, ATRA Secretary. Send articles to
  • Volunteers are also needed to build a database of names and addresses for the letters to be sent to the transit organizations mentioned above. This work will involve transcribing names and addresses from the Internet into an Excel file. To volunteer, send your name to Kate Engel
  • You are asked to keep your eye on specific transit projects in your area. Where appropriate, ATRA should write letters encouraging that ATN be considered. We are more likely to be successful if we can do this before the locally-preferred alternative is selected. Contact me directly on this topic

New developments are already happening. In the week after the board meeting Ingmar Andreasson (ATRA VP) and I met with Mat Lesh of the FTA and agreed to work together on developing a research topic to advance the consideration of ATN by transit professionals and agencies. More recently I have been accepted as a speaker at the AAAE/ACC Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium which draws about 700 attendees. With any luck, my audience will be around 100 airport professionals.

This is our chance to make a new ATRA. What are you going to contribute?

Peter Muller, President