In Motion Vol 28 No 2 - Fall 2021
A Publication by Lea+Elliott
A PUBLICATION BY LEA+ELLIOTT TRANSPORTATION CONSULTANTS
Momentum builds for AirTrain Newark
The planned AirTrain at Newark Liberty International Airport would replace a monorail that’s a quarter of a century old. Image credit: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
NEWARK – The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority) is making huge strides towards a new, state-of-the-art mass transit system at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) that will replace the existing AirTrain Newark APM system. The Federal Aviation Administration recently issued a Final Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision. Construction of the $2.05-billion Newark Liberty project is scheduled to begin in mid-2022, with new service set to start in 2026. Once completed, the new AirTrain Newark will be a 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system. In a recent Port Authority press release, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, “The decision is a key step in replacing the long-outdated AirTrain. New Jerseyans and travelers deserve a world-class transit system at Newark Airport, and we are much closer to attaining that reality with the FAA’s latest action.” The replacement AirTrain will be designed to maximize customer convenience with seamless connections to other forms of transportation and provide modern wayfinding, digital tools, and amenities in AirTrain vehicles and stations. It will also connect a new $2.7-billion Terminal A and a new Consolidated- Rent-a-Car Center.
Lea+Elliott is the APM System Consultant for the Port Authority overseeing the design and implementation of the replacement AirTrain. Lea+Elliott provided planning, design, procurement, and implementation oversight services for the original AirTrain Newark system, which opened in 1996 and was extended in 2001, and has since provided support for operations and maintenance services, system expansion, overhaul, and long- term planning support for the replacement AirTrain to meet the future needs of Newark Liberty International Airport.
In this issue...
Momentum builds for AirTrain Newark In+Progress President’s Column Meet the staff
Vol. 28 No 2
Jacksonville’s U2C Program continues to move forward
and evaluated a series of transportation alternatives. The Skyway has been in operation since 1989, but was never fully built out. Recently, as a subconsultant to RS&H, Lea+Elliott reviewed the Skyway vehicle rehabilitation procurement alternatives that included procurement strategy sessions with the JTA, interviews with potential vehicle rehabilitation companies, and developing a comparative analysis of procurement strategies. Lea+Elliott is now developing the Request For Proposal (RFP) technical documents for the Skyway vehicle rehabilitation to extend the service life of the Skyway for another 8 to 10 years that includes input to the Instructions to Proposers , Special Provisions , Technical Provisions and associated reference data. It is anticipated that Lea+Elliott will also assist the JTA with the procurement process through bid and award and provide technical and project management oversight through design, manufacturing, implementation, testing and commissioning, and project closeout activities. Hitachi Rail gets the go ahead for BART CBTC SAN FRANCISCO –The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District issued Notice to Proceed to Hitachi Rail STS USA, Inc. for the Design-Build of a Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) System Nov. 2, 2020. The CBTC project is part of the Core Capacity Program that will increase capacity from 24 trains per hour to 30 trains per hour through the Transbay Tube. Lea+Elliott is a subconsultant on all Design Support During Construction consultant teams supporting BART in overseeing the CBTC Contract. Lea+Elliott currently has five full time engineers providing technical and commercial expertise and support. Lea+Elliott provided contract administration support and design review services for communications and vehicles during the Conceptual Design Review phase and continues this work for the ongoing Preliminary Design Review phase. APM upgrades continue at ATL ATLANTA - The City of Atlanta Aviation Department (the City) continues to expand and maintain its two APM systems–Plane Train (airside) and SkyTrain (landside)–at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). These APMs serve as the backbone of transportation to serve the passengers and airlines. Lea+Elliott recently oversaw the modular replacement of the Plane Train’s first switch which has been in operation for over 40 years. This switch replacement on a brownfield, operating APM system at one of the busiest airports in the world is a unique and challenging project. Lea+Elliott continues to oversee the replacement of the other original 12 switches. Lea+Elliott is also supporting the extension of the tunnel to add a switch beyond the Domestic Baggage Claim Station. This will improve the headways and system capacity to support ATL’s growing demand. Alongside the extension, the City is also completing the design phase of a newly built vehicle (INNOVIA
Rendering of Ultimate Urban Circulator (U 2 C) Image credit: JTA
JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is embarking on a transformative project to enhance mobility in Downtown Jacksonville through the Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) Program. The U2C envisions the use of autonomous vehicles (AVs) to provide greater connectivity within downtown Jacksonville through the conversion of the JTA’s existing Skyway, a 2.5-mile elevated Automated People Mover (APM) system in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, along with streel-level extensions that drive deeper into core neighborhoods. The mutiphase project is comprised of the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, a 3-mile loop along East Bay Street that will connect Downtown Jacksonville to the Sports & Entertainment Complex. Future phases will see the JTA converting the entire elevated Skyway superstructure and expanding the network to 10 miles through neighborhood extensions. Lea+Elliott, as a subconsultant to Reynolds Smith and Hills (RS&H), has been involved with the U2C Program since its inception. Lea+Elliott developed the AV section of the Transit Concept and Alternatives Review Report (TCAR) that evaluated alternatives for conversion of the existing 2.5-mile infrastructure to accommodate autonomous vehicles. Lea+Elliott’s scope consisted of reviewing vehicle design criteria, system capacity, wireless communications, cybersecurity, and safety certification requirements. Lea+Elliott also led a workshop with the JTA to identify and review the U2C Operations and Maintenance (O&M) requirements. Lea+Elliott developed an outline for O&M basic requirements for the U2C and wrote a report that outlined O&M procurement options. Since 2014, Lea+Elliott has provided engineering consulting services, including procurement, project structuring strategies, and system planning to the JTA. As the prime consultant, Lea+Elliott led the condition assessment of the existing Skyway
300R) to expand the fleet and eventually replace the existing fleet. The City has started discussions on upgrades to the SkyTrain’s communications and train control systems, which are approaching their design life. These capital projects have required a high level of coordination with the stakeholders, consultants (WSP/ Lea+Elliott) and system suppliers (Alstom/MHI).
Small technology autonomous shuttles coming to airports worldwide
Various large airports are studying short-stretch autonomous options to plan for customer expectations for the
future—expectations that continue to rise as autonomous vehicles become mainstream. Eventually, small technology vehicles may be integrated into airports of all sizes to move not only people, but also, food, luggage and other products and deliveries. Today, there are alternatives available for cost-effective systems for lower demand scenarios involving 500 to 1,500 passengers per hour/per direction, and these smaller vehicle technologies are quickly evolving. Personal rapid transit systems are in service in the UAE, UK, South Korea and China. Pilot projects for autonomous shuttles are in progress in Lake Nona, FL and National Harbor, MD. Group rapid transit shuttles are in service in the Netherlands and projects are in the development phase for use in Belgium and Germany. These smaller technologies show great promise, particularly for landside applications that don’t require high- capacity systems. They can definitely provide alternatives for airports and other venues worldwide where shuttling a few people at a time makes sense. Some can offer single car fleets to provide flexible service; all are cost effective for lower demand scenarios; and, for each option, it is easier to mitigate impacts to the built-up environment. Airport operators of facilities large and small continue to reach out to us for our opinions on people moving technologies that would be appropriate for their airports and I believe we’ll see this small technology sector grow substantially in the next 10 years. If you have questions about the available systems and upcoming automated people moving technologies, give us a call. We’ll be glad to tell you more.
Rendering of ATL INNOVIA 300R vehicle Image credit: Alstom
Jack Norton President/CEO
Vol. 28 No 2
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About Lea+Elliott Lea+Elliott is a transportation consulting firm offering a broad range of planning, engineering, program management, and construction management services for clients worldwide. These services are provided to public transit authorities, airports and private sector owners for new transit systems and the refurbishment of existing systems. We have expertise in all modes of transit, including high-speed and intercity rail, rapid transit, commuter rail, light rail, automated guideway transit, personal rapid transit, and conventional and advanced technology buses. The firm is especially well known for its creative structuring of procurements for a wide range of delivery options that include DBOM and P3.
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Meet Gregory Love
Gregory Love is an electrical engineer, a project manager and a Senior Associate with Lea+Elliott. In his 28 years with the firm, he has worn many other hats, as well. While a student at the University of Texas, Arlington, he began his career with the firm, working as an engineering intern. He proved to be an excellent employee and, upon graduation, he was soon given opportunities to expand his horizons and he became a key contributor to many major projects, such as, George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston Skyway, DFW Airport Skylink, Miami Airport North Terminal Skytrain, MIC-Earlington Heights Connector “AirportLink”, Hamad Airport APM in Qatar, and Orlando Airport APMs. Gregory currently resides in Orlando; however, he says it seems like he is only a phone call away from reconnecting with past projects as he often receives calls from family, friends and colleagues traveling through airports across the globe who say, “Hey, Gregory, I just rode on one of your trains!”
Engineering and design come naturally to Gregory. He recalls being 17 years old when his parents gave him his first computer. The night he received it, he dismantled the entire computer and put it back together. He says he had the same reaction to every new bike he was given through his childhood. He just had to take it apart and reassemble it. “Since the age of 11, I knew I wanted a career in electrical engineering,” he says. “My pastor was an electrical engineer and when he would tell me about what he did every day, I knew I wanted to do that too. Working at Lea+Elliott has been a dream come true, and the opportunity to travel the world has made it even more rewarding.” Gregory is passionate about his work and his work ethic, giving credit to the influence of two important men. “My father instilled in me my work ethic. Then, I was fortunate to work closely with [firm co-founder] Dennis Elliott for many years. I observed how he treated people and how he established the corporate culture that Lea+Elliott carries on today. The characteristics of these two men influence how I interact with my clients and how my work for each client is performed.” When Gregory is not working, life is consumed with his wife and kids. “Family is the most important thing,” he says with enthusiasm. “ On the weekends, we load up the RV and head out. We enjoy being outdoors and just being with each other. We’re a very close-knit family.” Gregory also expresses a deep love for helping others. For many years he has tutored students in his church to help them improve their math skills and he also mentors them, giving them inspiration and guidance. “ The mentoring,” he says, “is very fulfilling and has become one of my deep passions.”
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