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Christopher MacKechnie

Technology In Transit

By February 17, 2013

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Like any other industry in this rapidly changing world of ours, transit is taking advantage of technological advances in a variety of areas to improve and in some ways reinvent itself. Read more about how technology is changing transit LA Metro Tap Card (for the better, in my opinion).


March 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm
(1) Mike Carrato says:

(I left this comment in the “forum” correcting a mis-statement in this article, but it hasn’t been corrected yet. So I am reposting it here)

Mr. MacKechnie:

You wrote: “Since the “P” in PRT would suggest we would need as many PRT vehicles as cars, what would be the advantage in switching besides enriching the builders of the PRT system?”

Well, since you asked, I’ll answer :-) .

First of all, allow me to correct your failed premise: “…we would need as many PRT vehicles as cars..”. This is incorrect. The “P” in personal stands for the personal level of service PRT would provide, not in personal ownership. PRT vehicles are as public as the train you ride to work every day.

Allow me re-frame the question: if 20,000 passengers ride the train every day and a rail vehicle holds 100 passengers per car, do you need 200 train cars? No, of course not, because the train makes multiple trips. Same with PRT: the vehicles make dozens of trips a day.

(continued in next comment)

March 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm
(2) Mike Carrato says:

(continued from previous comment)

So, your premise is flawed. But let me answer the second part anyway: what is the advantage of PRT:

- extremely energy efficient — more energy efficient than cars or other forms of transit
- much less expensive to operate, and likely to cover all costs with reasonable fares
- separated from other traffic — including pedestrians and bicycles.
- moderate construction costs
- low visual profile — most system guideways are smaller than a pedestrian walkway, and some are as small as a monorail
- complements other forms of transit — can be used in parallel with, or as connectors to, trains and buses, thereby expanding the reach and usability of existing transit
- 24×7 availability
- fully ADA accessible (*most systems) with roll-on stations
- wait times of less than a minute.
- are 100% electric, so no local emissions.
- transit studies show that it could attract 25% or more of private car drivers to transit (traditional forms of transit generally do not appeal to more than a few percent from their cars except in extremely dense urban areas)

I think it’s safe to say, this goes a bit beyond just “enriching the builders of a PRT system”.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I have no affiliation with PRT but I have studied PRT systems for nearly a decade. Incidentally, I started out as a skeptic, and only became sold on PRT after extensive research into both the claims and the criticisms.

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