CATT Researcher Leads New Transit Study

Engineers are investigating the potential use of an Automated Small Vehicle Transport (ASVT) system in Wyandotte County, Kan. The system comprises a fleet of fully automated vehicles – each with a capacity to transport between two and 12 people.

Unlike conventional transit that runs on a schedule, stops every mile or so and groups people together in masses, the proposed system operates more like automobiles. These vehicles are available on demand and transport people directly to their destination without stopping for additional riders. Such a system is scheduled to open at England's Heathrow International Airport in 2009.

The team of researchers will consider how an ASVT system could enhance mobility and relieve parking and vehicle congestion in the commercial development area near the Kansas Speedway, the Legends at Village West, the Woodlands Race Track and the Providence Medical Center.

"Despite the number of attractions, the dominant use of developed land is parking lots and roads to serve these attractions," said Stanley Young, a researcher with the Clark School's Center for Advanced Transportation Technology and the lead researcher in the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and Kansas University study. "The principal complaint of patrons is movement in and about the attractions in the area."

The research project will focus on accessibility improvements to the existing and planned facilities, possible links to any existing and planned transit systems and reduction in land area dedicated to parking.

The estimated $115,000 cost of the study will be paid for by KDOT and Kansas University Transportation Research Institute. Also participating in the project are Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas State University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Federal Transit Administration, Mid-America Regional Council and Advanced Transit Association.

Published July 30, 2008