This technology features small bottom-supported vehicles that use an elevated one-way guideway. It is of PRT scale as the vehicles provide seating for 2 persons. It is unusual in that the electric motors used to drive (propel) the vehicles are located in the guideway rather than on-board the vehicle. The vehicles are very light weight, designed for two people and are relatively uncomplicated. They are 12 feet (3.66 m) long, 4 feet (1.22 m) high, 3 feet (0.91 m) wide and weigh about 150 pounds (68 kg). There is no motor in the vehicle but electric motors (rotary) are mounted every 12 feet (3.66 m) in the guideway below the vehicle.
The developers claim line capacities of 2,500 people per hour (pph) at a speed of 15 mph (24 kph) and 5,000 pph at a speed of 30 mph (48 kph). Design speeds range from 15 to 100 mph with a theoretical maximum of 300 mph. Headways of 1.5 seconds and platooning are envisioned by the developers. Passengers would push buttons to start the vehicles and to stop at particular stations. Microcomputers would be used only to monitor, not control, the operation of the system.
The mainline guideway (one-way) is only three feet wide and so off-line stations would require a total guideway width of 7-8 feet (2.13-2.44 m). The developers claim that the guideway would weigh only 20 pounds per foot and would need a supporting column every 24 feet (7.32 m).
Research on this technology has been underway since 1967. Initially, a 1/10th scale model was constructed. Then, three half-scale prototypes were constructed and used for further testing. Funding is being sought to support a full-scale test program. Cost data are currently unavailable. More details can be found in an article that has appeared recently in the Progressive Engineer.
Further information on this technology can be obtained from Peter Mitchell at:
Mitchell Transit Systems, Inc., PO Box 1104 Brookings, Oregon 97415
541-469-5102 phone, 541-469-2278 fax
Last modified: July 27, 2003