Future Urban Transportation System Categories and Concepts Examined in 1968 Stanford Research Institute Study

This study was but one of several that were done in response to an amendment to the Federal Urban Mass Transit Act of 1996 which said:

"study and prepare a program of research and development and demonstration of new systems of urban transportation that will carry people and goods speedily, safely, without polluting the air, and in a manner that will contribute to sound city planning. The program shall (1) concern itself with all a aspects of new systems of transportation for metropolitan areas of various sizes, including technological, financial, economic, governmental and social aspects; (2) take into account the most advanced available technologies and materials; (3) provide national leadership efforts of states, localities, private industry, universities and foundations."

The SRI study defined three categories of transportation technologies that they concluded were needed in metropolitan areas to significantly improve the mobility of all residents and businesses. The following table describes the functions and other attributes of the transportation technologies examined in the SRI study. Most of these systems would be able to carry both passengers and goods.

Summary of Urban Transportation System Characteristics

Name of System Type of Service Prospective Maximum Speed (mph) Typical Station Distance Desired Vehicle Capacity (persons) Hourly Passenger Capacity per Line Technical Problems Illustrative Fares or Costs*
Major Activity Center-1 Short trips within major actitivy centers 15 1-2 blocks Conveyor System 8,000 or more Difficult mechanical problems 5-10 cents per ride
Major Activity Center-2 Short trips within major actitivy centers 15 1-2 blocks 3 2-2,500 Difficult control problems 10-15 cents per ride
Public Auto Service (PAS) Local area service and feeder trips 15-25 1-2 blocks between stops 4 --- Solvable 10-15 cents per  ride
Dial-a-bus Local area service and feeder trips 25-30 --- 10 --- Solvable 35 cents per ride
Areawide Network Services (NET-1) Medium speed extended area travel 70 1-2 miles 4 or 12 500-10,000 Solvable 3-6 cents per mile
Areawide Network Services (NET-2) Same as NET-1, but without transfers 70 1-2 miles 4 500-10,000 Difficult control problems 4-7 cents per mile
Areawide Network Services (NET-3) Same as NET-2, plus option of dualmode vehicles for operation on network and streets 70 1-2 miles 4 or more 500-10,000 Very difficult control problems 6-9 cents per mile
Fast Transit Link (FTL-1) High speed corridor 160 4-8 miles 20 or 80 3-15,000 or more Propulsion, guidance and suspension 3-5 cents per mile
Fast Transit Link (FTS-2) High speed corridor 250 4-8 miles 52 3-15,000 or more Propulsion, guidance, suspension, tunneling 7-9 cents per mile

* The costs in this column include both captial and operating costs and thus represent charges at which the system would pay their own way at patronage levels analyzed in SRI evaluation studies.

Source: Henderson, Clark et al, Future Urban Transportation Systems: Descriptions, Evaluations and Programs, Final Report, Volumes 1 and 2, Prepared for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by the Stanford Research Institute, 1968

home2.gif (1492 bytes)

Last modified: September 28, 2002