Fundamentals of Personal Rapid Transit

This is a description of the Table of Contents from the book entitled Fundamentals of Personal Rapid Transit, Jack Irving, Editor and Principal Author, Associate Editors: Harry Bernstein, C. L. Olson and Jon Buyan: Lexington Books: D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, MA, 1978. The book summarizes the work on Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) carried out at the Aerospace Corporation from 1968 to 1976. It was the intent of the authors that the book be useful to experts and students of transportation and engineering, but in addition be readable by interested laymen. The emphasis is the description of concepts rather than engineering details. The Aerospace Corporation was a non-profit company at the time that this book was written. The book has been out-of-print for some time now but can be borrowed by using the interlibrary loan capabilities of most library systems in the U.S. The ISBN is 0-669-02520-8 and the call number is TA1207.I782. Also, the entire book has recently been digitized and is now available for download. A eulogy for Jack is also available.

A video that shows a 1/10th scale PRT model being operated is also available. It is 7.5 minutes long, shows three vehicles doing numerous maneuvers, and an emergency stop. Produced in 1978, 18 mbytes, wmv format.

Table of Contents

1. Service Concepts (31 pp)

1.1 --The Need for Better Service

1.2 --Categories of Automated Guideway Transit (AGT)

1.2.1 ----Shuttle-Loop Transit (SLT)

1.2.2 ----Group Rapid Transit (GRT)

1.2.3 ----Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)

1.2.4---- Hybrid PRT/GRT Service

1.3-- PRT for Areawide Urban Transportation

1.4 --Line Capacity

1.5-- Problems with GRT for Areawide Urban Transportation

1.6 --Dual-Mode Transit (DMT)

1.7 --Security

1.7.1 ----Passenger Security

1.7.2---- System Security

1.8 --Freight Movement

2. Network Configurations (25 pp)

2.1-- Walking Access

2.2 --Emplacement and Alignment

2.2.1---- Underground Emplacement

2.2.2-----Ground-level Emplacement

2.2.3---- Elevated Guideways - Aesthetics

2.3 --One-Way versus Two-Way Networks

2.4 --Relationship Between Network Configuration and Service Dependability

3. Stations (25 pp)

3.1 --Station Types

3.1.1---- The Single-Platform Station on a Simple Siding

3.1.2---- Single-Platform Station on a Siding with Two Entrances

3.1.3---- Two-Platform Stations

3.1.4---- The Moving-Belt Station

3.1.5---- Docking Stations

3.2 --Performance of an Activity-Center Single-Platform Station

3.2.1----Some Preliminaries

3.2.2 ---Operational Strategies

3.2.3 ---Operation During the Morning Rush Hours

3.2.4 ---Operation During the Evening Rush Hours

3.2.5----Performance Summary

4.0 Control Alternatives (46 pp)

4.1 --Overview of PRT Operations and Control

4.2 --The Choice of Minimum Headway

4.3--Synchronous Control

4.4--Quasi-Synchronous Control

4.4.1----General Description of Quasi-Synchronous Control

4.4.2----Quasi-Synchronous Intersection Control

4.5--Asynchronous Control

4.6--The Spectrum of Control Options

4.6.1----Centralization versus Decentralization


4.6.3----Wait-to-Merge versus Wave-on

4.6.4----Sequencing of Vehicles at a Merge or Intersection

4.6.5----Car Follower versus Point Follower

4.6.6----Control of Switching

4.6.7----Measurement and Longitudinal Control

4.6.8----Discrete versus Continuous Positions - Synchronization

5. Routing and Empty Vehicle Management (27 pp)

5.1--Lack of Dependence on Type of Control

5.2--An Overview of the Design and Analysis Process

5.3--Network Description (Program NET)

5.4--Least-Time Routing (Program ROUTE)

5.5--Balancing the Traffic of Occupied Vehicles (Program BALO)

5.6--Empty-Vehicle Dispatching and Routing

5.6.1----Definition of the Dispatching Problem

5.6.2----The Basic Feasible Solution (Program FEAS)

5.6.3----Optimizing the Dispatching Orders and Balancing the Traffic (Program BALE)

5.7--Controlling the Supply of Empty Vehicles at Residential Stations

6. Safety and Emergency Operations (35 pp)

6.1-- Introduction

6.2 --Inadvertent Vehicle Deceleration - Failed Vehicle Pushable

6.2.1----Response Strategy

6.2.2----Response Kinematics

6.3--Inadvertent Vehicle Deceleration - Failed Vehicle Not Pushable

6.3.1----Response Strategy

6.3.2----Response Kinematics

6.4-- Inadvertent Vehicle Deceleration - Failed Vehicle Uncommunicative

6.4.1----Response Strategy

6.4.2----Response Kinematics

6.5--Vehicle in Motion - Command Links Fail or Command Not Properly Executed

6.5.1----Inability to Command Intersection or Merge Maneuvers for a Single Vehicle

6.5.2----Inability to Command Any Maneuvers at Intersection or Merge

6.5.3----Inability to Command a Vehicle to Decelerate

6.5.4----Inability to Command a Vehicle to Accelerate

6.6--Computer Failure and Switch Failures

6.6.1----Failure of Local Computers

6.6.2----Failure of Central Computer

6.6.3----Switch Failure

6.7 --Vehicle Collision

6.7.1----Crash Survivability Concepts and Criteria

6.7.2----In-Line Collisions

6.7.3----Merge Collisions

6.8--Foreign Obstacles on Guideways

6.8.1----Small Objects

6.8.2----Large Objects

6.9--Power Outage

6.10--Safety Summary

7. Design Considerations (37 pp)

7.1--General Requirements and Goals

7.2--Propulsion Subsystem

7.3--Braking Subsystem

7.4--Suspension Subsystem



7.6.1----Static and Dynamic Design Criteria

7.6.2----Guideway Surface Irregularities

7.6.3----Intersection Structures

7.6.4----Guideway Aesthetics

7.6.5----Protection from Snow and Ice

7.6.6----Protection from Snow and Lightning

7.6.7----Electrification Considerations

7.7--Ancillary Facilities

7.7.1----Vehicle Storage and Cleaning Facility

7.7.2----Vehicle Maintenance Facility

8. Reliability and Service Dependability (15 pp)

8.1--The Major Problems of Unreliability in Short-Headway PRT System Concepts

8.2--Status of Reliability Design Technology

8.3--Reliability Goals for PRT

8.4--Attainment of PRT Reliability/Dependability

8.5--Reliability Math Model

8.5.1----Reliability and Failure Rate


8.5.3----Application to the PRT Vehicle

8.6--Reliability Results and Conclusions

9. Capital and Operating Costs (18 pp)

9.1--Cost Estimating Approach and Baseline System Definition

9.2--Capital Cost Elements and Baseline System Unit Cost Summary

9.2.1----Guideway Costs

9.2.2----Vehicle Costs

9.2.3----Station Costs

9.2.4----Computers and Facilities Costs

9.2.5----Power Distribution System Costs

9.2.6----Baseline System Capital Cost Summary

9.2.7----Parametric Capital Cost Model

9.2.8----Comparison With Other System Costs

9.3--Operating Cost

9.3.1----Operating Cost Elements and Operating Cost Summary for Baseline System

9.3.2----Parametric Summary of Operating Cost

10. Patronage Estimation (22 pp)

10.1-- Patronage Estimation Techniques

10.1.1----Independent Mode Demand versus Modal-Split Analysis

10.1.2----The Regression Approach to Modal-Split Analysis

10.1.3----Simulation Approach to Modal-Split Analysis

10.1.4----Benefits of the Simulation Approach to Modal-Split Analysis

10.1.5----Data Requirements for the Simulation Approach

10.1.6----Calibration and Preference Factor Determination

10.1.7----Model Overview

10.2--Application of the Modal-Split Simulation to the City of Tucson

10.2.1----Motivation and Scope

10.2.2----Characteristics of the Modal-Split Model and Input Data

10.2.3----Initial PRT Configuration

10.2.4----Intermediate PRT Configuration

10.2.5----Final Network Configuration

10.3--Enhanced Patronage Estimation Package

10.3.1----Motivation and New Capabilities

10.3.2----Description of the Presimulation Model

10.3.3----Description of the Modal-Split Program Inputs

10.3.4----Description of the Modal-Split Program Operations

10.3.5----MDS Program Outputs

10.3.6----Iterating with the Demand-Estimation Package

11. PRT Economics and Benefits (14 pp)

11.1--Operating Economics

11.2--Capital Costs

11.3--PRT Network Implementation Through Modular Growth

11.4--PRT Benefits

Appendix A - Elementary Kinematics (7 pp)
Appendix B - The Aerospace One-Tenth Scale Model Project (7 pp)
Glossary (3 pp)
Index (4 pp)

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Last modified: December 23, 2008