Masdar eco-city in Abu Dhabi: expected to build the first city-wide PRT system in the world
Construction of an initial component of a city-wide PRT system for Masdar is underway, as of early 2009. It will consist of a 1,700 meters of guideway and 13 PRT vehicles. This demonstration and test facility will be used to learn about and prove the technology, but will eventually become part of the city-side PRT network. It is supposed to be operational in late 2009.
At build-out, in about 7 years, about 2,000 electric PRT vehicles will be in operation to serve the circulation needs of around 50,000 residents and several thousand additional non-resident employees, on a city-wide network. A recent article said that Masdar plans to host 70,000 jobs, which suggests that considerable amount of parking facilities outside of its walls will be required. Parkers would be able to use the PRT system to reach destinations inside the walls of Masdar. Some of the non-resident works will arrive/depart by rail, but others will have to use autos or buses. A diagram showing the network of guideways and 83 stops is included in Dr. Mooge's paper (Figure 10, p. 9), cited below. No motor vehicles will be allowed inside the walled city as the main goal is to operate the city as a zero-carbon environment.
The vehicle pictured below is believed to be the design that will be used. No official announcement of the vendor has yet been made (as of June, 2009). A link to some additional photos of this vehicle, which was on display at the World Energy Forum exhibition in Abu Dhabi in January, 2009, is provided below. Links to additional articles that were published in January, 2009 , are also provided. The most extensive article is by Dr. Mogge of CH2M/Hill.
For context, see the Abu Dhabi transport plan which includes show the location of Masdar and two other planned PRT applications.
Updates will be posted as they become available - stay tuned.
Link to NY Times article which is excellent and detailed, lots of illustrations, 9/26/2010
Link to a video that provides images and details about the PRT system now being constructed, 5/18/2010
Completion date of 2016 extended to 2020, 2/1/10
Walking tour video from Gulf News, 1/22/09
PRT vehicle testing underway, 1/19/10
CNN video that describe current status of the Masdar project, 12/14/09
Extensive website for the Masdar eco-city project - lots of videos and an image gallery, 11/20/09
Brief description of the Masdar PRT project, 11/6/09
World's first city-wide PRT network under construction in Masdar, Abu Dhabi, 9/5/09
Sculptures in the Sand, 9/5/09
Mott-MacDonald appointed lead designer for Masdar infrastructure, 6/30/09
LA Times: Megaprojects shape Abu Dhabi, 6/26/09
Introducing PRT to the Sustainable City, by Lohmann and Guala
Photos of Masdar PRT vehicle from the World Energy Forum exhibition in Abu Dhabi
Link to paper by Dr. Mogge of CH2M Hill about the Masdar PRT project
Article about Masdar, located in Abu Dhabi - site of the first areawide PRT application in the world
Car-free Masdar City will run on green cars
PRT gets another chance at life, article in Venture Beat
Personal Rapid Transit Startup, from an article in the MIT Technology Review
Oil rich, high living gulf nation creating first carbon-neutral city, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Last modified: September 26, 2010