Anderson , J. Edward, Essentials of Personal Rapid Transit
Advances in technology now make possible the realization of a dream many planners have had of a new form of urban transportation that can reverse the trend of ever increasing congestion and pollution that has led to the strangulation of cities all over the world. Achievement of this goal requires the rigorous application of a solid body of transit-system theory, analysis of dozens of trade-off issues, and the careful synthesis of the work of hundreds of inventors, engineers and planners. This paper provides an historical introduction, a statement of the design process required to achieve a genuine breakthrough, a summary of the economic derivation of the new system, discussions of operating and planning issues and some implications. A PRT Web site is available.
Anderson , J. Edward, PRT Control
Analysis, simulation and hardware experience has shown that the problem of precise longitudinal control of vehicles to follow predetermined time-varying speeds and positions has been solved. To control vehicles to the required close headway of at least 0.5 see, the control philosophy is different from but no less rigorous than that of railroad practice. A PRT system can be designed with as good a safety record as any existing transit system and, because of the ease of adequate passenger protection, quite likely better. The basis for the control of a fleet of PRT vehicles of arbitrary size is a complete set of maneuver equations. The author's conclusion is that the preferred control strategy is one that could be called an "asynchronous point follower." Such a strategy requires no clock synchronization, is flexible in the face of all unusual conditions, permits the maximum possible throughput, requires a minimum of maneuvering and uses a minimum of software. Since each vehicle is controlled independently, there is no string instability. Since the wayside zone controllers have in their memory exactly the same maneuver equations as the on-board computers, accurate safety monitoring is practical. To obtain sufficiently high reliability, careful failure modes and effects analysis must be a key part of the design process, and the control computers must be checked redundant.
Andreasson, Ingmar , Survey of Research and Development in PRT Systems
A survey of research and development in advanced transit has been made by Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg in cooperation with Trans21 in Boston. Summary findings are reported for 14 research programs and 9 development programs for PRT.
This paper is based on work done as part of the research program for Advanced Transit Systems at the School of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology. The research program is financed by the Swedish Board for Research in Transport and Communication (KFB) during a period of at least 3 years starting fall of 1994.
By the term "advanced" we mean driverless systems or demand-responsive systems with intelligent control. As part of the program we have conducted a survey of related research and development worldwide. This paper is based on the results of that survey as reported (Andreasson and Fabian, 1996).
Andress, Jay , Monomobile System
The monomobile is a new form of transportation . It is a small, lightweight electric car that connects to a simple suspended rail for long distance and mass transit trips, but can also travel independent of the rail to reach local individual destinations. It has significant advantages over all current forms of mass transportation and the automobile.
Compared to mass transit the monomobile has many benefits without the inconvenience. The monomobile simply drives onto the track at a point where the track dips to ground level. There is no wait for the train. There is no expensive station. Yet once attached to the rail the monomobile behaves like mass transit. The individual vehicles can be massed together, running with only a few feet of separation. Like mass transit the rider does not have to drive, since the track takes care of guidance. The monomobile is significantly faster than mass transit, because there are no intermittent stops and the speed of the monomobile can easily exceed 100 mph. The cost of the track is less expensive to build than rail track because train stations and costly massive bridges and overpasses are eliminated.
This paper describes the benefits of the Monomobile System, its design and characteristics.
Bliss , George and George Haikalis , People Powered PRT: Some Preliminary Concepts
Bicycles and other human-powered vehicles have been an important element in surface transportation for over 125 years. With the development of the bicycle, inventors began to devise human-powered vehicles for operation on railway tracks, monorails and other guideways. More recently several human powered, guideway based systems have been proposed. Human power transportation-- cycling and walking-has gained new attention, and increased funding, thanks to changes in Federal transport legislation. The shortcomings of existing auto and truck transportation, which dominate urban transport, are becoming increasingly apparent. In NYC an old concept is returning with renewed vigor. Pedicabs are once again appearing on NYC streets. Pedicabs, some with hybrid human and electric power, offer some interesting lessons for developing people powered PRT (PPPRT) systems. Pure PPPRT systems are possible, but a key factor is providing energy storage devices (probably flywheels) so that passengers can provide sufficient energy for their own trip, and for the PRT cars to be recycled for additional trips. One approach to PRT -Supracar -- is, in concept, a system that could ultimately replace most auto and truck travel in dense urban areas. Some of the attributes of a human-powered version of such a PRT system are described. Some practical initial development steps could include using PPPRT as a backyard toy, or for short crossings of freeways and rail lines. Human-powered PRT may be a useful instructional tool and reswch technique. Ultimately, some combination of human and mechanical power may be more practical for real world applications..
Buehrer , Mark S., Electric Energy Line System
In order to provide essential mobility for tomorrow's needs, entirely new concepts of transportation must be evolved. This includes Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) and Dual Mode Systems (DMS). In Dual Mode (DS) transportation, vehicles can run either on normal streets or on a guideway under automated control. While its vehicles are on a network of guideways, a DMS operates exactly like a PRT system, i.e. all stations are off-line and all trips on the network are non-stop. DM vehicles (DMV) can also enter or exit the automated guideway from the streets. Dual Mode Transit (DMT) is a special case of a DMS where passenger service is provided only by common-carrier vehicles and may be on a personalized or group transit basis.
The name Electric Energy Line System (EELS) was coined to help provide a simple method for communicating a new type of transportation that encompasses a broad range of applications with the potential for solving many of today's transportation problems. Fortunately, the CyberTran ultra-light rail/PRT system provides a compatible foundation for the EELS concept. The paper provides a diagram of a dual mode vehicle, typical guideway sections, a description of other essential components and route application examples. The EELS concept has been derived from "wholistic engineering" concepts and seeks to define a simple, cost-effective solution to today's growing transportation problems.
Dearien, John A ., Richard D. Struthers and Kent D. McCarthy, CyberTran: A Systems Analysis Solution to the High Cost and Low Passenger Appeal of Conventional Rail Transportation
The CyberTran (Cybernetic Transportation) is a system that was designed from the ground up to address two of the primary problems associated with public transit - high costs and low passenger appeal. The "high costs" part of the problem includes both capital and operating costs. The "low passenger appeal" aspect of the problem includes both environment and operating considerations. This paper will first describe the CyberTran system, and then describe the systems analysis process relative to capital costs that led to the particular vehicle size and system configuration. Following this will be a discussion on the particular aspects of this "small vehicle" system that should make it more appealing to the traveling public than conventional technologies. CyberTran was designed, built, and tested at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, a United States Department of Energy Research, Development, and Engineering laboratory in southeastern Idaho.
Elms, Charles P ., Defining and Measuring Service Availability for Complex Transportation Networks.
Service availability of a transportation system is a measure of a performance that has been generally defined according to the reliability and maintainability terms of mean-time-before-failure and meantime-to-restore, as borrowed from the aerospace/defense industry. While such definitions correctly describe the availability of a system and its equipment to function they do not directly measure the percent of designed and scheduled service available for passenger use. For the more complex transportation systems having multiple tracks and routes, fleets of vehicles, more than two stations and more than one mode of service there are needs for definitions that account for isolated failures that partially interrupt or delay service. Successful definitions of service availability have been based on data that is easily and directly entered in the operating log or automatically collected by Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) system and reports generated by software.
The paper first defines measures of service availability in current use and analyzes exact and approximation methods for data collection and computation. Second, the paper postulates and explores classical and new definitions of service availability applicable for complex networks such as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Insight is provided for choosing a suitable definition based on the type of transportation network.
Euston, Andrew , Community Sustainability: Our Sane Road to Infrastructure.
Humanity's on a global, technological information-based, trajectory into the future, and its central question is, "Will the modern future be sustainable, and will it be just?" A second question follows, namely, "Could both these concerns be mutually reinforcing ones that motivate and mobilize the human family to cure its world and cure itself?" My answer is, "Yes!"
The world's scientists have warned us of an urgent global crisis of ecology that must be addressed. Given the enormity of our impacts, science tells us we have no time to waste in the transition toward sustainability. We must reconcile our modern, global urban-industrial patterns with nature, or spoil it for those to come. Modern society, to be sustained, must design the supports it needs in profound agreement with nature - its assets and its limits.
Modern global society exhibits an undiminishing will to create urbanization. This is one generic force - and it's an industrialized one. Another generic is the threatening ecological consequence of how we currently produce. These two forces define our future as both an ethical and a pragmatic challenge for-the human family for the coming millennium.
In this paper, a generic cure is addressed. We have an astonishing wealth of sustainable infrastructure alternatives for supporting modern society - of which advanced transportation technologies are crucial part. These supports I call "Sustainable Infrastructures" - yes, plural. Conventional infrastructure encompasses networks - transportation, utility, and other public networks. Sustainable Infrastructure encompasses these and more - whatever supports us that must be integrated together into a sustainable whole. For modern urbanization, this includes: the conventional public works networks; their in-fill of buildings, parks and factories; electronic communications and cybernetic systems; and especially the natural ecological and resource systems we must depend upon, for these are infrastructure as well, of far greater potential than we presently grasp.
All of these systems influence each other. Asking how can they be integrated invokes a new frontier of invention, planning and design - the basis of the emerging "Community Sustainability Marketplace." The transition toward Sustainable Infrastructures requires "Sustainable Enterprise." Sustainable Enterprise is the key to a humane transition for modern society and a restorative transition for the planet - enterprise that works with nature, not against it. For the reshaping of urbanization itself we will need the organizing principle of "Sustainable Community Development" - a means, the goal for which is "Community Sustainability". These are some needed terms of art being identified here.
Glazebrook , Garry and Sam Subramaniam, Personal Public Transport: Developments and Prospects
The environmental, social and economic cost of current car dependence is well-known. But people tend to be unwilling to forgo the convenience of private transport. Personal Public Transport (PPT) is a new concept combining the environmental advantages of public transport with the flexibility of the car. The key elements of PPT are: new multihire modes provided by maxitaxis and taxibuses to supplement single hire taxis and scheduled services; integration of all modes into a single system; and provision of real-time information and booking systems enabling individual passengers to communicate with the transport system, whether they be at home, on street or in transit.
This paper describes how PPT will integrate various technologies, such as automatic vehicle location systems, multihire despatching systems, advanced passenger information systems, and smart card billing systems, together with some of the latest developments in Personal Public Transport.
Whilst the technical aspects of PPT are expected to be solvable relatively easily, establishing a complete PPT system will require institutional and regulatory change and a willingness to innovate by both transport operators and regulators. The paper describes changes occurring in Australia in the taxi and bus industries and in regulatory arrangements which will facilitate PPT, and sets out models for establishing PPT systems. It also assesses the potential for PPT from a marketing perspective and its relationship to new developments in urban planning. The paper concludes with a prognosis of how urban transport systems will evolve under the influence of environmental pressures, social values and technological developments, and of how our cities will emerge from the mass transit and private transport eras of the past to the new era of Personal Public Transport and Personal Rapid Transit. Full paper has been published in Vol 1:3 of Public Transportation
Frankel, James , Monorails - The Transportation Solution for the 21st Century
Any analysis of recent transportation problems requires a review of current basic operating procedures, the determination of options available to improve operations, and a final decision selecting the option deemed to be the best choice -- not necessarily the panacea for all ills, but a substantial improvement.
The relatively poor service, low productivity and high costs of most transit systems has led to an excessive dependence on automobiles in most urbanized areas. Automobile dependence is producing unmanageable road building and upkeep costs, as well as monumental environmental problems.
There is a significant gap between the serious unmet public need for an adequate mode oftransportation servicing a variety of conditions and the inadequate efforts to respond to this calamity.
This paper gives an overview of the conditions facing planners today, the opportunities for implementation of new systems, an analysis of the type of innovations currently possible, and the case for Overhead Monorail as the best solution.
Gluck , Steven J., PRT 2000: Design and Development of a Transit- Grade Personal Rapid Transit System
By intent, the development of the Raytheon PRT 2000 personal rapid transit system has resulted in a high performance, transit-grade PRT system ready for deployment. Building on the PRT concepts of the past 20 years, PRT 2000 retains the full functionality of PRT while incorporating the essential features of a deployable, highly reliable and safe automated transit system. Extensive requirements analysis, design trade-offs and system/subsystem testing have produced a cost-effective and robust product that addresses the functional, structural and performance requirements of a transit system with a useful life of 50 years.
Gore , Barry and Fahriye Sancar, Evaluating Potential Effects on Urban Form and Function of Personal Rapid Transit
The purpose of this study was to illustrate the potential of PRT for creating new urban forms and evaluate the credibility given to stated effects by decision-makers. Working from case studies of proposals for implementing PRT systems (in Madison, Wisconsin) and the limited amount of academic literature on PRT and land use, scenarios were created for a PRT network in order to display the possible relationship between the new technology and associated land uses. Presentations were made to local decision-makers in the planning fields that were focused on explaining the potential of the new technology to affect land-use patterns. Surveys for evaluating the credibility and desirability of the stated impacts were completed by participants. Analyses of the survey results compares attitudes amongst participants with the beliefs about PRT found in the published literature.
Jensen, Palle R ., The RUF System, a Dual-Mode Auto/Transit Electric Vehicle System
Transportation systems have to be adapted to the lifestyle of their potential customers. The car is very well adapted, but it creates too many problems in the modern cities. It occupies too much space, it uses too much energy and it causes too many accidents.
PRT systems is a step in the right direction, since it makes a train system more personal and flexible. The next step is a Dual-Mode system as the RUF system, because it adds door-to-door service to the PRT system.
The RUF concept is an attempt to come very close to having car convenience, without having the congestion and pollution problems of the car.
This paper introduces the RUF concept, its method of operation, provides pictures and diagrams, and identifies its potential users.
Johnson , Byron, Seeking Profit Prospects for PRT in Colorado
For a new technology to win wide acceptance, it must be shown to be profitable. At previous conferences, I have urged that for automated guideway transit to be profitable it ought to be used not only for passengers, but also for urban goods movement. It is now time to mention some other strategies for seeking profitable employment of emerging transportation systems. We see several in Colorado.
1. An area of high demand exists since the opening of the Denver International Airport (DIA) at a location 23 miles from downtown Denver.
2. A light-weight, high-speed system is needed to link Denver and other Front Range locations to the alpine ski and vacation resorts - for both passengers and freight.
To raise the necessary capital, we are asking State and local governments in the region to use sales tax increments, linked to the tourist trade, to provide a reasonable profit for investors.
Jones, Joseph and Alex Rada, Personal Rapid Transit: Can It Take Us from Here to There?
This paper describes the dilemma facing the implementation of PRT systems in North America. It argues that this mode faces two fundamental problems: 1) a "Catch-22": as a new, spatially dispersed mode, it requires a significant upfront capital investment, duplicating parts ofthe arterial road system, in order to offer a sufficiently attractive service to divert automobile travelers; 2) weaker links to its potential customers than existing modes. An approach is suggested to address these two problems. This requires the development of an anahytical tool to assess optimal PRT network size under a range of economic and market conditions. In addition, it is important to develop a framework for comparing the benefits, costs and risks of PRT with alternative transportation investments and policies in order 1) to evaluate the potential market and 2) to build a constituency for PRT.
The paper concludes by suggesting that promoters of PRT should adopt a global approach, as market conditions appear more favorable in certain other regions ofthe world than in North America. In the process, analysis is required ofthe tradeoffs for individuals, operators and society between 'personal", "rapid" and "transit" to ensure that PRT concepts contribute to sustainability without sacrificing the benefits associated with automobile transportation.
Kor, Jim , Solos Micro Metro
This paper relates to ultra-light and super-efficient passenger vehicles and transport systems integrated into a mass passenger transport. Called solos micro metro, this transportation system addresses the need to move people efficiently within any vibrant city, and the growing necessity to reduce the congestion and pollution now common in car-based urban centres around the world.
Solos is a system of personalized vehicles moving within weather-protected corridors. These corridors are permanent, glass-enclosed structures that are erected along high density traffic routes that warrant this investment. The complete solos network consists of corridors connecting off-line stations spaced approximately 1/4 mile apart. The vehicles provide personal space similar to the car, the inherent safety and non-attentive requirement of the train, and the direct non-stop trip of the freeway.
Solos is a public system where the vehicles can be accessed and used by any member of society. Solos has been designed to be wheel chair accessible, as well as accommodating all of the physically challenged as well as the traffic-vulnerable or fragile groups within society (estimated in the literature to be between 30% and 50% ofthe population).
Within solos, the size and weight of the vehicle has been dramatically reduced, in comparison to present mass transits (buses, trains, etc.). Also, the integrated vehicle/corridor design has been optimized regarding energy use, and has reached such a low requirement that the vehicles can be powered by a combination of electric and human power. When not utilizing any electricity, vehicles can maintain the line speed of 25 kph (15 mph) with an energy input from the rider similar to that of walking (0.1 horsepower). It is not essential that riders provide assistance, as the journey can be accomplished on electric power alone. However, the rider's incentive to do so is that the journey is accomplished slightly faster, and that the required leg movement provides a comfortable and healthy form of mild exercise. The over-all electrical demand of the entire solos system is low enough to make feasible the generation of on-site, non-fossil-fuel-based electricity.
Capacity and range of solos addresses city centre applications. Due to its holistic approach and potential over-all appeal, solos should be able to effectively compete for ridership with existing modes of transport. Being a small mass transit system, solos promotes a built environment more in line with the human scale, allowing for a more livable cityscape, where pedestrian and cycle traffic can predominate.
Solos would minimize damage, and contribute to the healing and greening of our modern urban landscape.
Larsen, Robert A , Feasibility of Advanced Vehicle Control Systems (AVCS) for Transit Buses.
In the course of developing automated vehicle-roadway systems, opportunities to deploy vehicle control systems at intermediate stages of development may emerge. Some of these systems may provide a significant efficiency or safety enhancement to existing operations with manually driven vehicles. Under certain circumstances, transit buses provide an ideal testbed for such systems. The work presented here represents a feasibility study for the application of Advanced Vehicle Control Systems (AVCS) to transit bus operations. The paper explores past and present research relevant to automatic control for buses and describes specific operations which could be better performed by AVCSassisted or controlled vehicles.
The study concludes with a series of recommendations for proceeding towards a deployment phase. For transit bus operations, the most suitable deployment opportunities for AVCS exist on exclusive busways (bus-only roads) or large bus servicing facilities used for daily maintenance operations. Busways would provide an excellent testing ground for a lateral controlAane keeping system. Such a system would provide immediate utility on the existing busway and would serve as a building block for more highly automated systems in the future. Maintenance operations in service garages require dedicated drivers to move vehicles through a routine servicing sequence. By fully automating the movement of buses within such facilities, labor costs could be dramatically reduced.
Lee, Jonathan Z , HUPE 2000: The Hope of Transportation for the Next Century
The HUPE 2000 system comprises a finely woven network of above-ground monorails, vehicles, stations, routing machines, scanners all orchestrated by a computer control center.
Automated, electric-powered vehicles, traveling at a speed of 30 to 50 miles per hour on the main guideways have a capacity of carrying up to three passengers each time. Special vehicles for four passengers and a wheelchair passenger plus attendant are available upon request. Cargo vehicles can be opporated during off-hour time.
Construction cost of stations is comparatively low and space occupation is limited. Stations can be built inside office buildings, large hotels, large appartment buildings, train and bus terminals, museums, schools, hospitals and etc. Squares, street corners, parks, the roof of two or three story buildings are also possible spaces.
Service is provided on demand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The system requires vehicles to wait for passengers rather than passengers waiting for vehicles.
Lowson , Martin V., A PRT System for European Cities
Analysis of the transport requirements of Bristol, a city typical of many in Europe, has shown that future needs could be met by an improved form of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), called ULTra. Compared to the current car-road system, this could offer:
The system being developed at the University of Bristol's Advanced Transport Group will be able to compete directly with the car and offers a model new transport infrastructure for the 21st century. Several ULTra papers are now available on-line
MacDonald , Raymond A. PRT Planning in Korea
In 1994 the Woo-Bo Engineering Company commenced planning for the introduction of PRT into Korea. The basic concept of PRT had been known to a few professional engineers in Korea as an academic topic, but nothing had been done to bring this to the attention of Government, Industry or the general public.
In the following two years, considerable progress has been made in the dissemination of knowledge about PRT, to both government and industry, but much more remains to be done and the general public still has to be informed about PRT before we can say that the concept is wholly familiar.
This paper gives an overall picture of the relevance of PRT for Korea and the opportunities inherent in all of the developing Asian countries for the marketing of PRT. The Koreans do not have the "luxury" of avoiding their problems by sprawling out into their surrounding agricultural land as is done in the USA. Solutions to transportation and urban mobility problems must be found if the people are to enjoy a high quality lifestyle in the future. A Web site that describes some of thework being done is Korea on the Skycar concept is provided
McLane, R.C ., Two Giant Steps Toward Earth's Sustainability
This paper presents a senior citizen's views, influenced by thirty-six years experience in control systems electrical engineering practice (Registered Professional Engineer, Minnesota 1972-1988), and ten years retirement activity in volunteer community service programs, including attendance at public meetings related to earth sustainability.
Humankind's ravenous consumption of fossil fuels for urban transit, inter-city road and air travel, together with goods movement, is an undisputed threat to our very survival on this planet. The two subject "steps" of this paper's title offer significant opportunities for reduction in this fuel usage. When the benefits of these two "steps" are realized through their early deployment, private and corporate investment sources as well as government backing will provide the means for expansion to ever wider areas, with resultant significant reduction in today's environmental pollution levels.
PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) for urban transit (and light freight movement in non-rush-hour periods), together with High Speed Rail for inter-city service to centers up to 500 miles apart, both bear directly upon alleviation of a great many problems of sustainability.
This paper discusses the issues of sustainability and current solutions, quoting extensively from writers on the subjects.
Mitchell, Peter , Bruce Mitchell, Dennis Mitchell and Rex Mitchell, The Making of an Affordable Transit System: The Mitchell Transit System.
New technology and alternative methods of transportation offer communities tremendous opportunities to provide better transit service at greater efficiencies and lower cost. The Mitchell Transit System (MTS) is one such transportation system. Twenty-eight years of study and development, including construction of three (3) half-scale, 600' test tracks, each with an off-line boarding station, have progressed the technology toward public use.
MTS's innovative propulsion, switching, and control systems maximize efficiency while minimizing cost. The propulsion system externallY applies force to each vehicle. The ultra light weight MTS vehicle, can be supported by slim, low cost, guideways. Independent travel throughout the guideway network is obtained with Mitchell's unique in-vehicle switching system with guideway based emergency override. MTS's control center provides responsive emergency control as well as vehicle flow. This true PRT system is proving to be safe, fast, and economical.
This paper describes the basic requirements for transit, history and proving of the Mitchell Transit System, description of the system, and a proposal for a full scale test track.
Parent, Michel and Yves David, Automated Urban Vehicles: Towards a Dual Mode Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
The concept of public individual transport is now gaining recognition in several countries, thanks to the development of reliable electric vehicles. Several experiments are in preparation with cars from different manufacturers. However, to implement such a system, a novel type of electric vehicle is needed which can solve the problem of moving empty vehicles. To do this efficiently, the vehicle has to move by itself and hence use robotics techniques. This paper presents such a vehicle with its robotics techniques which is now under development at INRIA. The same technology could be applied to a completely automated system on dedicated tracks. We could then have a dual mode transportation system: totally automated on a specific network of roads and manual out of this network.
Richert , Thomas, The San Diego Intermodal Program: Privately Financed PRT Development
The San Diego Intermodal Program is a proposal to develop three interrelated projects to improve transportation within the San Diego region. The first of these projects is the San Diego Intermodal Center, also called TransCity. TransCity is an intermodal facility linking all transportation modes serving downtown San Diego, including the International Airport, San Diego Harbor, private automobiles, taxi cabs, and transit services. All these modes would be linked with a personal rapid transit (PRT) network. The second project is the University City Shuttle. The Shuttle is a PRT network that connects two major retail centers, five large hotels, four million square feet of office space, and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus. The third project is the Golden Triangle Express. The Express is a high-speed automated people mover (APM) connecting TransCity to the University City Shuttle. These projects envision private investment as driving capital financing
Of the three projects, the University City Shuttle has progressed the fastest. Project stakeholders, which include commercial and residential property owners, and UCSD, have agreed that a six-mile network will best serve the area. An additional one-mile connection to a planned commuter rail station is also anticipated. This paper describes the project, reporting its progress and drawing conclusions how lessons learned on the project can be applied elsewhere.
pard Rosenblad, Elsa , The Rider's Impression of a Simulated Trip by PRT
This paper shows how virtual reality images can be used to study the reactions of potential PRT riders to the characteristics of PRT vehicles, stations and guideways. A videotape was produced for a modeled PRT loop in Gothenburg, Sweden, and used as a basis for conducting interview with a variety of potential PRT riders. Several images from the videotape are available on the Web as is a somewhat more detailed description of this study. This is a path-breaking study of personal safety, security and comfort issues.
Rourke, William , A PRT Airport - Serving a Transportation Function
What are airports really for? What kinds of transportation and hauling services do passengers, employees, baggage, air freight, supplies and material need? What are the impacts of airports as revenue generating activities for the sponsoring goverments? This paper addresses the above questions by breaking down the current functions of airport design and describing economics of airports. Several large existing airports are used as examples. A new system, the Raytheon PRT, is offered as a model to completely redesign airport layouts. The paper describes the new design and functions.
Schneider , Jerry B., Designing a High Performance PRT Network for an Edge City
A computer-assisted, consumer-oriented approach to the design of a PRT network for an Edge City (downtown Bellevue, Washington) is described. Major attention is given to determining the number and location of stations such that a high level of coverage is achieved. This is done by explicitly considering the walk and wait times that would be encountered by patrons walking to/from PRT stations. A computer-assisted design process that leads to the identification of a set of station locations that minimize the walking/waiting requirements of an unevenly distributed population is described and illustrated. It is found that use of a consumer-oriented approach produces a network design that contains many more stations than would be indicated by conventional PRT network planning methods. This finding suggests that minimizing the size and cost of PRT system components is essential if a high level of service is to be provided to potential patrons. ( See full paper ).
A description of the C-CAD software used in this study is also available.
Szeto, Cissy , Ronald Shimizu and Joanne Schroeder, A Ridership Study for a PRT System in Rosemont, Illinois
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) of the Northeastern Illinois region, in responding to its statutory obligation to pursue new and appropriate mass transit technologies for the Chicago metropolitan region, is, in cooperation with the Raytheon Corporation, designing an experimental transportation system to improve suburban mobility. The site selected for project initiation is Rosemont, Illinois. Rosemont is a suburb of Chicago that is immediately adjacent to O'Hare airport. In addition to office and hotel buildings, other major traffic generators in the initial project corridor include the Rosemont Convention Center and a rapid transit station on the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Blue Line. PRT is envisioned to provide service between the CTA station and the major land uses in the study area, as well as service for short-distance travel between buildings within the service area.
The Village of Rosemont retained Wilbur Smith Associates to conduct a study to estimate potential ridership for the Rosemont PRT system to support the development of system requirements and finance options. The initial alignment is currently being refined based on current system design specifications. Although results of the study are not yet available, the methodologies used in the analysis process will be discussed in this paper, along with travel characteristics in the study area to provide an overview of the ridership estimation process and potential system enhancements.
Taylor, Graham , High Speed PRT AUSTRANS - A Unique Solution
The increasing efforts to develop new transport technologies are in response to the acceptance that the age of oil may be rapidly approaching its end. A facsimile of the car is not necessarily the answer to our future needs and a substitute electric car has failed to emerge despite concerted efforts over a couple of decades.
The problem is exacerbated by the reshaping of our cities stemming from the mobility provided by the car, which has incurred a vast expenditure on infrastructure and created widely dispersed areas of employment and residence. In large Australian cities, for example, many commuters travel 50km to work and back each day. Emerging transit technologies need to service this urban demography and provide equivalent mobility to the car. Consequently, such systems must provide:
- Origin to destination service with a minimum of interchanges
- Service frequency equivalent to an elevator
- Fast, uninterrupted, corridor travel over long distances
- Networking at each end of the journey
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is a concept aimed at emulating the service offered by the car in the form of an urban public transport system, whereby individuals may order vehicles ondemand and be transported non-stop to their destinations. Many PRT concepts have been proposed over the last 30 years, however none have proceeded beyond prototype development and the concept of PRT remains unproven on a commercial scale.
Austrans is an automated transit system being developed in Australia by Trans Research Pty Ltd which aims to address the limitations of. previous attempts at PRT through a combination of innovative concepts and reliance on proven technologies. The essence of Austrans lies in optimising the routing of vehicles in peak hours to provide a frequent service of small vehicles capable of travelling at high speed between remote locations of a city. Web site available .
TegnÚr , G÷ran, Market Demand and Social Benefits of a PRT System: A Model Evaluation for the City of Umeň , Sweden
In the City of Umeň , (80,000 inhabitants) a Transport Plan has been carried out with the aim to reduce the typical traffic problems of similar cities - increased congestion, road accidents and environmental pollution caused by an increase in motorized traffic in the city center. A comprehensive travel demand analysis was conducted and three alternative transport strategies were evaluated and assessed:
Results showed that only a PRT system would be able to provide a substantial decrease in door-to-door travel times for the transit users. The PRT system would more than double the transit modal split from 8 to 17 percent and reduce the average transit trip time from 62 to 32 minutes. The PRT system would also reduce the number of auto trips by 14%. In this study, the PRT was the only transit system that yielded a net social surplus. The main conclusion was that implementing a PRT system would be most likely to "solve" today's and tomorrow's transportation problems - if the available cost-estimates are fairly correct. PRT can offer a high level of service - environmentally-friendly and fully competitive with the private car.
Wilde , William, The Simple, Compelling Case for PRT
When compared with existing transit modes, PRT offers compelling advantages in every important respect. The desirable attributes of any urban mobility mode are well documented, such as minimal travel time, safety, comfort, low cost and minimal impacts. These attributes are used to define a hypothetical, ideal urban mode. The ideal mode would possess characteristics such as no waiting, no stops, from anywhere to anywhere service, risk-free, accessible to everyone at any time, and non-polluting. Although not attainable in the real world, the ideal provides a model and benchmark for design much as the Carnot thermodynamic cycle guides the development of internal combustion engines, or ideal gases and perfect fluids are postulated in physics.
A matrix format is used to present the characteristics of various modes against the desirable attributes of any mode. Modes presented are the ideal, walking, bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, taxis, buses, rail transit, Automated Guideway Transit and PRT. The matrix cell for travel time for rail transit, for example, indicates waiting, transfers, intermediate stops, and 15-35 mph average speed. In all respects, PRT is shown to approach the ideal much more closely than competing modes.
Zhao, Y. and Thomas S. Lundgren, Characteristics of a Freight Pipeline Transportation System
This paper provides a summary of basic characteristics of a freight pipeline system powered by linear electric motors. Such a concept advocates the separation of freight transportation from human movement and can be very effective in reducing the ever increasing highway congestion problem. In this paper, aspects of linear electric motor propulsion and aerodynamic drag modeling are explained. Stabilities of a single capsule as well as a multiple capsule system are discussed.
Last modified: January 04, 2004