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Old May 18th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #221
steveraneyC21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
It has been my observation that the capital cost of virtually every fixed-guideway transit project is initially underestimated regardless of the technology that is used.
One recent heavy fixed guideway project is a good example of such underestimation:

Oakland Airport Connector automated people mover's Year 2000 cost estimate was $130M. Current cost is $500M. The updated ridership forecast down from 13,540 per day to 4,670 per day. Round trip fare has jumped from $4 to $12. see: http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_12360514

Some other recent heavy fixed guideway transit cost info:

Cost per mile:
Oakland Airport Connector: $156M/mi
SFO AirTrain: $71M/mi
Las Vegas Monorail: $166M/mi
JFK AirTrain: $234M/mi
Dulles AeroTrain: $368M/mi
DFW SkyLink: $173M/mi
Atlanta Airport ConRAC, $191M/mi

Calculations and references here: http://www.cities21.org/HeavyAPMmonorailCosts.xls
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Old May 18th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #222
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The idea of PRTs have always been around and I think technology is almost mature enough for this kind of system to be considered. It could definately work if implemented correctly.

Still, PRTs are not about to replace buses, roads or metros any time soon, (and I don't think it ever will); probably works best in sparse suburban areas providing access to other modes of transportation or transport hubs.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 11:24 PM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveraneyC21 View Post
One recent heavy fixed guideway project is a good example of such underestimation:

Oakland Airport Connector automated people mover's Year 2000 cost estimate was $130M. Current cost is $500M. The updated ridership forecast down from 13,540 per day to 4,670 per day. Round trip fare has jumped from $4 to $12. see: http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_12360514

Some other recent heavy fixed guideway transit cost info:

Cost per mile:
Oakland Airport Connector: $156M/mi
SFO AirTrain: $71M/mi
Las Vegas Monorail: $166M/mi
JFK AirTrain: $234M/mi
Dulles AeroTrain: $368M/mi
DFW SkyLink: $173M/mi
Atlanta Airport ConRAC, $191M/mi

Calculations and references here: http://www.cities21.org/HeavyAPMmonorailCosts.xls

Interestingly, i think those are all 'novel' systems - APM, ART or monorails, not standard rail. Plenty of other places manage to build light rail / fixed guideway to budget - seems a problem particulary peculiar to the US.

PRT is stuck in a 'goldilocks' problem. How do you fit columns and guideway in dense historic european cities and old american ones? (NY, Boston, Chicago). You can't, and it has insufficient capacity compared to a subway anyway. Or, how would PRT work in sprawling car based suburbs? In order to be walkable distance you would have to have a ridicolous length of guideways going over every street. It's not like the stations are focal points for TOD like light rail ones - they're little more than bus stops.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 04:21 AM   #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveraneyC21 View Post
One recent heavy fixed guideway project is a good example of such underestimation:

Oakland Airport Connector automated people mover's Year 2000 cost estimate was $130M. Current cost is $500M. The updated ridership forecast down from 13,540 per day to 4,670 per day. Round trip fare has jumped from $4 to $12. see: http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_12360514

Some other recent heavy fixed guideway transit cost info:

Cost per mile:
Oakland Airport Connector: $156M/mi
SFO AirTrain: $71M/mi
Las Vegas Monorail: $166M/mi
JFK AirTrain: $234M/mi
Dulles AeroTrain: $368M/mi
DFW SkyLink: $173M/mi
Atlanta Airport ConRAC, $191M/mi

Calculations and references here: http://www.cities21.org/HeavyAPMmonorailCosts.xls
There are also light rail examples. Central Link in Seattle is one of the most infamous. The University-to-Airport line was advertised to the voters in 1996 as a $1.7 billion project that was to be completed in ten years. It is now a $4.4 billion project that might be completed twenty years after the 1996 vote. The cost went from about $70 million per mile to well over $200 million per mile.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #225
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NEW VIDEO:
If someone can post it in the video mode please

:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpvujRCBMlY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CftoTzUYXc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwVgdc4XQC8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_W5NO6wyg0
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Old May 19th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #226
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The main concern on the article has to do with the anticipated heavy usage that the PRT is expected to receive. The article is raising concern that the PRT vehicles may not stand up to the demand, and if the vehicles in fact do fail, then the true costs of the system may be revealed, and might be a PR disaster for PRT.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by london24/7 View Post

PRT is stuck in a 'goldilocks' problem. How do you fit columns and guideway in dense historic european cities and old american ones? (NY, Boston, Chicago). You can't, and it has insufficient capacity compared to a subway anyway. Or, how would PRT work in sprawling car based suburbs? In order to be walkable distance you would have to have a ridicolous length of guideways going over every street. It's not like the stations are focal points for TOD like light rail ones - they're little more than bus stops.
Agreed that PRT is not a subway. PRT makes a great subway feeder, solving the last mile problem.

1. There are studies of fitting PRT into historic european cities:

A study of resident reaction to ULTra PRT visual impact was undertaken in the historic United Kingdom cities of Bristol and Cardiff. 232 survey responses were collected. Cardiff was a small city with only 6,000 population in 1801, but is now a city of more than 300,000. Cardiff has a mix of old and new architecture, including castles. According to archeological finds, Bristol was a human settlement 60,000 years ago in the palaeolithic era. Bristol has beautiful historic city sections with narrow, winding streets.

Three survey questions probed reaction to the appearance of the system. "No respondent felt that the vehicle appearance was poor, indeed the majority thought the vehicles would look excellent. The visual appearance of the elevated structure was regarded generally as good, with 40.4% rating it excellent. It is especially noteworthy that the response to the elevated track gave a notably positive response, with no definitely negative responses and only 2.6% feeling that it could be difficult."

paper: http://www.ultraprt.com/library.htm#Response

2. Here are some examples of PRT concept sketches in sprawling suburbs:
Pleasanton, Palo Alto, Edina (MN), etc:
These have about 3 or 4 PRT stations per mile of guideway.

3. Peter Calthorpe believes PRT will be the focal point for TOD: "We've been building TOD without the T for too long, PRT is the T."
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Old May 20th, 2009, 06:04 AM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinB View Post
The main concern on the article has to do with the anticipated heavy usage that the PRT is expected to receive. The article is raising concern that the PRT vehicles may not stand up to the demand, and if the vehicles in fact do fail, then the true costs of the system may be revealed, and might be a PR disaster for PRT.
Let's see! The website at the link in your previous post < http://www.publictransit.us/index.ph...d=201&Itemid=1 > has a photo of a trolley as its masthead and features a series of articles that are either pro-light-rail or anti-anything-that-isn't-light-rail. Do you think it's possible that the website might be biased?

Reliability and robustness are issues for any transit vehicle. There are records of failures of all types of vehicles including the Grumman buses that had frame cracks, the Amtrak Acela trains that had cracks in the brakes, and the Siemens Combine trams that had structural failures of the bodies.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Let's see! The website at the link in your previous post < http://www.publictransit.us/index.ph...d=201&Itemid=1 > has a photo of a trolley as its masthead and features a series of articles that are either pro-light-rail or anti-anything-that-isn't-light-rail. Do you think it's possible that the website might be biased?
And yet, the Public Transit has posted Dr. Martin's comments about the design of the vehicle, for everyone to see. If the site was so biased, why would it post Dr. martin's comments? Because it is NOT. It's a transport research company.
The site is not even trashing PRT, and has specifically stated that $7 to $15 Million/mile cost probably is true ASSUMING the vehicles hold up. If the aluminum design of the vehicles cannot hold up to the expected loads, the actual cost per mile will be much higher, making PRT's case of a "cheaper" solution less believable.

Quote:
Reliability and robustness are issues for any transit vehicle. There are records of failures of all types of vehicles including the Grumman buses that had frame cracks, the Amtrak Acela trains that had cracks in the brakes, and the Siemens Combine trams that had structural failures of the bodies.
And that is why the articles specifically states the cost for the PRT might actually be higher than quoted. Like the examples you stated above, chances are the vehicles may not have been properly designed. Who knows?
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Old May 21st, 2009, 04:51 AM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinB View Post
And yet, the Public Transit has posted Dr. Martin's comments about the design of the vehicle, for everyone to see. If the site was so biased, why would it post Dr. martin's comments? Because it is NOT. It's a transport research company.
...
Don't delude yourself. This is about as unbiased a "research" organization as the Tobacco Institute. Don't go to light rail advocacy websites to try to find unbiased information about PRT, and vice versa.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 05:47 PM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Don't delude yourself. This is about as unbiased a "research" organization as the Tobacco Institute. Don't go to light rail advocacy websites to try to find unbiased information about PRT, and vice versa.
I think it's you who are deluded. you have this insane idea that there is some huge conspiracy against any mode that is not LRT. Any sort of questioning about PRT, and you go nuts.
You post pictures, and facts from pro-whatever sites, and you have the gall to tell others where they should get info from.
Even more ironic since that Public Transit.us is NOT a LRT advocacy site.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 07:09 PM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinB View Post
I think it's you who are deluded. you have this insane idea that there is some huge conspiracy against any mode that is not LRT. Any sort of questioning about PRT, and you go nuts.
You post pictures, and facts from pro-whatever sites, and you have the gall to tell others where they should get info from.
Even more ironic since that Public Transit.us is NOT a LRT advocacy site.
I was thinking about how to characterize bias. Here's one way to think about it. Would a web site, person, or organization "lose face" if the technology that they rail against succeeds? If so, then there's a high chance of bias.

I would suggest that publictransit.us would "lose face" if PRT succeeds. For support of this argument, see:
http://www.publictransit.us/index.ph...search&Itemid=

My feeling is that these very vigorous anti-PRT postings put the authors in a position of "reputation risk" in the future if PRT succeeds. (But it also puts them in position of masters-of-I-told-you-so in the highly unlikely event that Heathrow ULTra PRT fails.)

What do you think? Is this an effective definition of bias that works for pro/anti LRT, trolley, PRT, BRT, etc organizations? If an organization was pro PRT and railed against a specific LRT project, and if that LRT project was judged a success (difficult to define success) then that organization would lose face.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 09:21 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveraneyC21 View Post
I was thinking about how to characterize bias. Here's one way to think about it. Would a web site, person, or organization "lose face" if the technology that they rail against succeeds? If so, then there's a high chance of bias.

I would suggest that publictransit.us would "lose face" if PRT succeeds. For support of this argument, see:
http://www.publictransit.us/index.ph...search&Itemid=
I doubt Public Transit.us has much to fear about "losing face". The fact remains there is only one installation that can be considered true PRT that is not open yet, and is operating in a small, and closed environment. A site, or person cannot "lose face" for bringing up concerns about a new, and niche technology that claims savings, or improvements over established technologies. Public Transit.us has acknowledged that this one PRT installation can succeed if the stated cost of $7 to $15 million remains true. I would argue that your organization should be worried about "losing face" if this installation does not work as well, as you claim.

Quote:
My feeling is that these very vigorous anti-PRT postings put the authors in a position of "reputation risk" in the future if PRT succeeds. (But it also puts them in position of masters-of-I-told-you-so in the highly unlikely event that Heathrow ULTra PRT fails.)
I doubt their reputation would be at risk. They have not stated PRT will fail. Only that the costs may be higher than stated. Also, there is still only one PRT installation that is almost close to opening, and it's an airport circulator.


Quote:
What do you think? Is this an effective definition of bias that works for pro/anti LRT, trolley, PRT, BRT, etc organizations? If an organization was pro PRT and railed against a specific LRT project, and if that LRT project was judged a success (difficult to define success) then that organization would lose face.
I wouldn't call this an effective definition, for the reason that it would only work for supporters of niche technologies such as PRT.
I have yet to read any vigorous anti-PRT rant on the site. They have raised concerns about the stated costs, and have clearly stated they will not advocate limited technologies such as PRT, because there is no time at the moment to be looking at niche technologies, when BRT, and rail can do the job. LRT, and BRT advocates have nothing to lose, as there are many examples of successes, and failures. For it's worth, rail, and bus are here to stay no matter what.

Do not take this to offence, but PRT advocates have been very vigorous in attacking bus, and rail modes over the years. The message I get from LRT, and BRT advocates is that PRT advocates have been claiming more than PRT can deliver, and from the Heathrow installation, they are correct so far.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 11:03 PM   #234
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Because there is no time at the moment to be looking at niche technologies.

Do not take this to offence, but PRT advocates have been very vigorous in attacking bus, and rail modes over the years. The message I get from LRT, and BRT advocates is that PRT advocates have been claiming more than PRT can deliver, and from the Heathrow installation, they are correct so far.
Agreed that ATS ULTra PRT will lose face if Heathrow ULTra fails. Further, we'll go out of business if this occurs.

My opinion for right now is also that PRT is really for niche applications. PRT is a shuttle bus on steroids, feeding conventional transit. But, such a feeder/circulator can increase ridership on conventional transit with zero expense, so the potential for PRT is to improve the success of LRT, BRT, etc.

And, the PRT niche could be quite large. It used to be that there were PCs and mainframes and that PCs were the niche application. But, soon the niche grew to have higher annual revenues than the mainframe. There are similar PC/mainframe arguments for PRT growth.

I would agree that some PRT advocates have been vigorous in attacking conventional transit, but my estimate that this has been a minority of advocates.

I agree that advocates who push large PRT systems are over-promising right now. It's not exactly a bold prediction to say that there will be no 100 mile PRT systems by 2011. In a majority of my presentations this year, I've led off with this "it's a niche not a huge system" point. But, that's not to say what the world will look like in terms of large PRT systems in the future. I don't think there's a valid way to predict until we see the financial results from the first 10 PRT systems.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 11:34 PM   #235
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I can't really tell how biased either side is.
question 1: do people prefer a wide PRT system to a bus or BRT or LRT system?
YES!
question 2: what costs more?
I don't know. no one does. estimations are biased. It doesn't sound that expensive to me, but new=expensive.
question 3: can PRT solve all transit problems?
NO. But it could help.

in the end PRT wins by quality, not quantity- this is why i wouldn't compare it to LRT.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 01:16 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveraneyC21 View Post
I was thinking about how to characterize bias. Here's one way to think about it. Would a web site, person, or organization "lose face" if the technology that they rail against succeeds? If so, then there's a high chance of bias.

...
They will never admit that they are wrong. They will never accept any transit technology other than conventional rail. You can look at examples from some of their articles on BRT. The following is a snip < http://www.publictransit.us/index.ph...d=198&Itemid=1 >.

"While the “Quickway” BRT concept has applications in densely populated cities in developing nations as successfully demonstrated in Bogota and elsewhere, we think the idea has little to no applicability in the United States and other Western nations."

This is so extreme as to be absurd.

Last edited by greg_christine; May 22nd, 2009 at 01:22 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #237
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SWEDISH OFFICIALS RIDE VECTUS -



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Old August 24th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #238
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ULTra construction completed

http://www.ultraprt.com/ has some recent updates:

1. ATS celebrated “construction completion for the Heathrow system. Under the "London Heathrow System" tab you'll find “July 09: Construction Completion,” with:
  • Latest Heathrow photos
  • A youtube video of the ribbon cutting and a vehicle smashing a ceremonial banner
  • A compelling aerial photo of the guideway snaking into the Terminal 5 parking structure, under the auto access roadway.
  • Press coverage and BAA’s press release




2. The UK is justifiably proud of the ULTra system. The London Science Museum hosted an exhibition of “10 icons that made the modern world,” including the telegraph, x-rays, penicillin, and the Model T Ford. Stephenson’s Rocket, the world’s first commercially successful steam locomotive was displayed and credited with launching the railway era 180 years ago. Exhibited alongside The Rocket were two ULTra vehicles, displayed as the 21st-century transportation equivalent. For more details, under the "London Heathrow System" tab, please select “Aug 09: @ the London Science Museum.”

image hosted on flickr
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Old March 25th, 2010, 01:19 AM   #239
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PRT Industry Update: "Brilliant Fun," Saves Climate

PRT (personal rapid transit) is an electric, 200-mpg-equivalent, elevated transit system with many four-person vehicles. Working as circulator transit for office parks, airports, universities, entertainment centers, and other major activity centers, PRT is faster than a car. In these applications, PRT makes carpooling, light rail, commuter rail, bus, and bike more effective, by solving the "last mile problem."

Highlights:
  • BBC: World's first PRT passenger: "Something from a James Bond movie. A serious bit of kit. It's so Star Trek. Incredibly quiet, smooth. Not quite normal. Brilliant fun."
  • Minnesota: "We need to explore innovative strategies that are efficient and cost-effective and can improve motorists' commutes. We owe it to the citizens of our state to keep on the leading edge of technology and present these options to them."
  • San Jose: "San Jose, as the Capital of Silicon Valley, is stepping into a leadership role to help further the development of innovative transit technologies that have the potential to reshape how we move in the future and organize our cities in a more sustainable and livable way."
  • Times of London: "One of 20 proven ways to save the earth."
  • UK Sustainable Development Commission: "The ultimate in changing travel behavior."
  • Architecture: PRT fosters invention and innovation. PRT's svelte, elevated form enables low-impact threading through a 420-year-old city where other modes cannot pass. SketchUp 3D PRT models available to anyone with talent/creativity.
  • First youtube look at 2gethere PRT running at Masdar Ecocity
  • 17 vehicles at London Heathrow ULTra PRT
  • Vectus PRT's Suncheon (S. Korea) MOU.
  • Harvard Biz School case study: "PRT creates huge value: reducing automobile congestion, and getting passengers to their desired destinations more quickly and more reliably."

DETAILS:

1. BBC's very popular Inside Out program covered the ULTra London Heathrow system, with reporter Josie d'Arby serving as the first member of the public to take a ride. "Something from a James Bond movie. A serious bit of kit. It's so Star Trek. Incredibly quiet, smooth. Not quite normal. It's weird, completely weird. Brilliant fun." Featured in the segment are ATS Founder Martin Lowson, ATS CEO Phil Smith, BAA PRT Manager David Holdcroft ("Very green. Really good passenger service. Fun."), and ATS Vehicle Manager Adam Ruddle. Available are: BBC's news story and program transcript and stills. BBC's video material is unfortunately not viewable within the US. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8377030.stm, http://www.ultraprt.net/cms/index.ph...-brilliant-fun



2. Minnesota's DOT launched a significant PRT effort. MN Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel: "PRT systems are being developed around the world. We need to explore innovative strategies that are efficient and cost-effective and can improve motorists' commutes. We owe it to the citizens of our state to keep on the leading edge of technology and present these options to them." Sorel said he's had many discussions about PRT with Governor Tim Pawlenty, who he said supports exploring PRT. PRT system concept sketches are provided for Edina, St. Paul, and Rochester. http://www.ultraprt.net/mn.htm

3. Not to be outdone, San Jose trumpeted US PRT leadership. Hans Larsen, Acting Director, San Jose DOT on PRT: "San Jose, as the Capital of Silicon Valley, is stepping into a leadership role to help further the development of innovative transit technologies that have the potential to reshape how we move in the future and organize our cities in a more sustainable and livable way. Silicon Valley is the innovation center of the world and it would be a natural fit for Silicon Valley to be the epicenter for developing new, modern transit technology. Constructing a PRT system would advance a number of the City's high-priority goals, including advancing San Jose's Green Vision goals supporting technological innovation, and improving the effectiveness of the City's existing transit network."
http://gas2.org/2009/12/09/san-jose-...nce-in-sweden/

4. Times of London lists PRT as one of 20 climate-saving solutions in their Sunday feature article entitled "20 proven ways to save the earth." http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6931775.ece

5. The UK Sustainable Development Commission concluded that PRT is "the ultimate in changing vehicle behavior," as published in the report entitled: "Smarter Moves: How Information Communications Technology can promote Sustainable Mobility." http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publ...ns.php?id=1050

6. Architectural Innovations. PRT has created a brand new architectural arena of invention and innovation. ATS ULTra's recent Bath Design Competition explored theoretical options for placing PRT within a historically sensitive city founded in 1590. PRT's svelte, elevated form enables low-impact threading where other modes cannot pass. PRT guideway can be easily tailored to blend in with the most architecturally challenging backdrops. As evidenced by the many submissions, architects enjoy working with PRT. Many of the submissions presented first-of-its-kind concepts. http://www.ultraprt.net/cms/index.ph...re-innovations



Google SketchUp 3D ULTra PRT models are available. Models for guideway, stations, and vehicles are available for download with specifications, design guidelines, and instructions. Sample customizations are suggested. SketchUp was designed to be very easy to use. http://www.ultraprt.net/cms/index.ph...chup-3d-models

7. First youtube look at 2gethere PRT running at Masdar Ecocity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDzq-lqe8_c

8. Vectus PRT's Suncheon (South Korea) MOU for a first system. PDF: http://tinyurl.com/y959sux

9. 17 vehicles at London Heathrow ULTra PRT. As of Feb 16, there were 17 vehicles at the London Heathrow ULTra site. A youtube video shows six vehicles participating in a test traveling between the three Heathrow stations. All system components (including automatic berth doors, vehicle charging, and passenger destination selection kiosks) are fully operational. "In 2010 we will progress through a comprehensive series of confidence-building passenger trials, as we move towards the commencement of public operations in the first half of the year" - Phil Smith, ATS ULTra CEO. http://www.atsltd.co.uk/news/55/85/M...g-at-Heathrow/

New Heathrow pictures show Terminal 5 station details, Business Car Park station details, destination selection kiosks, the vehicle maintenance/storage depot, control room operation, and control room CCTV. http://www.ultraprt.net/cms/LHRimagesFeb10.htm

10. Harvard Business School Professor Benjamin Edelman recently published a case study on PRT: "Business and communities small and large are increasingly aware of PRT as a ‘green' solution to multiple transportation problems from (in)convenience to price to congestion. I'm convinced that PRT creates huge value-reducing automobile congestion, and getting passengers to their desired destinations more quickly and more reliably. I'm particularly struck by the use of PRT to increase the value of land that might otherwise be viewed as undesirable. Consider a parcel that's a bit beyond walking distance from the subway, restaurants, and the like. Right now, a developer must accept a dramatically reduced price for that kind of land. But PRT could connect outlying buildings directly to a subway platform and a restaurant district." http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6333.html
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Old March 25th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #240
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I suspect that basket-like structure invites people to throw trash or other objects into it, either from below or from the buildings' windows.
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