Technical Development Program -- Brief 1, Spring 1993
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Technical Development Program -- Brief 1, Spring 1993

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      The FTA Technology Development Program is vital to sustaining the National policy goals of promoting innovation and technological advances to meet the transportation requirements of the 21st century. The Technology Development Program seeks to optimize the use of capital investments to improve the efficiency of high capacity travel options such as fixed guideways, bus systems, waterborne transit, Magnetic Levitation, or HOV lanes and to assist in the introduction of new technology into transit systems. Fixed guideway systems consist of rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, and various types of automated systems. Bus systems include conventional buses and advanced buses with low floor access, composite material bus bodies, an alternative fueled propulsion systems. Automated systems, such as MAGLEV, feature sophisticated propulsion and suspension methods. The Technology Program has been developed through a series of aggressive outreach efforts that ensure that industry needs and priorities remain an integral part of the overall FTA effort. A newly established Federal Technology Advisory Committee, comprised of transit suppliers, manufacturers, operators, consultants, and academic institutions, meets to recommend industry technology priorities, emphasis areas, and cost-sharing ideas. Planning and Research Priorities Workshops are regularly sponsored by the Office of Technology and Safety to determine transit industry needs. In the years ahead, the demand for new systems, line extensions and major infrastructure rebuilding projects will increase. This increased activity in transit construction and service will lead to an increased demand for improved technologies that reduce costs, improve environmental acceptability, and system reliability. State and local officials will need technical assistance and access to new construction technologies for rail and bus facilities, vehicle designs, signal systems, information systems, engine designs, propulsion systems, as well as information on the cost-effectiveness of various transit modes. Research and demonstrations of state-of-theart and state-of-the-practice innovations will provide the impetus to the transit industry to implement these innovative technological advances.
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