The Dualmode Car Bus is the Best Answer
The Car Bus (aka
VMT and PMT ) should be the front-runner, amongst
dualmode candidates, primarily because of its smooth
evolution, transporting conventional types (including the
EV/hybrids) of cars. Among all new classes of urban transit
(in the modern distributed city) dualmode is the ONLY type of
system that can transport the commuter to/from one's home to
the workplace. The percentage of commuters who can walk
to/from a conventional bus/train station/stop, or a PRT
station, is less than 5%, in a typical American city.
The PMT type of VMT does not DEPEND on the EV. An 800
lb. microcar can be powered to 60 mph by either a 16 HP IC
engine or electric motor.
Frank's Car Bus hauls conventional IC cars.
PMT baselined the small EV. It is the systems engineers
job to look at the larger developing picture: Tying the
pollution issue to the congestion issue is common sense and
timely. A small car also makes VMT a lot more efficient. For
Nissan Hypermini (built in 1997) concept car--60 mph,
80 miles range, 8'x4' footprint- helps in many ways: 32 can
be hauled on a double-deck version of the 90' long German
O'Bahn bus or
HSST-200 . A single lane of the freeway--or an
arterial lane-- can accommodate TWO lanes of the Hypermini.
The capacity of sections of parking lots can be tripled.
Station spacing can be every 5-10 miles with VMT because
the commuter is not required to walk to the transit station.
In the 214 mile PMT that we devised in 1994 for the Puget
Sound region, 38 stations were planned, an average of 5.6
miles apart. Similarly, Frank's comprehensive solution to the
Southern California area requires 66 stations for
Car Bus (ten second unload/load cycle).
With regard to safety, we should assume that the
EV/hybrid microcar will eventually become the most popular
car in the industrialized world. When that happens, the
average amount of kinetic energy involved in most collisions
will be less than 20% of what it is today. With hi-tech
crushables being used in composite-bodied PNGV's, for
example; and most hi-speed commuting is being done aboard a
transporter on a dedicated guideway/busway, safety will be
far above the present situation.
Charging EV's in VMT is done mostly in one's home garage
or apartment parking space. In my conversion concept of the
O-Bahn bus, I also show a device that grasps hold-down
fittings on the underside of each EV (while in transport
mode) containing a transformer primary to top-off the EV
battery enroute. In summary, the small EV and VMT are natural
companions, each making the other more feasible.
Dave Petrie is a transit consultant working in
Seattle, Washington. Please contact him if you wish more
details regarding his work and those in other parts of the
U.S. he is in contact with.
Last modified: April 15, 1998