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Old June 24th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Hi, Can anybody in this forum tell me which PRT system is going to be used in the Masdar development?
I don't believe the exact system has been chosen yet. I believe several PRT vendors will be submitting bids (or perhaps, already have). I also heard there will actually be two systems chosen, one for high density low speed, another for lower density higher speed.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #142
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You just answered your own question. PRT would garner an order of magnitude more riders, for an order of magnitude more money. You seriously just linked me to the answer to your own "hundreds of billions" question!

That is hilarious.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:36 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
You just answered your own question. PRT would garner an order of magnitude more riders, for an order of magnitude more money. You seriously just linked me to the answer to your own "hundreds of billions" question!

That is hilarious.
Are you still seriously clinging to your hundreds of billions claim?! Really? Do you have any clue how much a hundred billion dollars is? Seriously, Ben, show us your numbers - do the math here so we can all see how you arrived at that claim.

And, oh by the way, "order of magnitude more riders for an order of magnitude more money" is your justification for Link - wasn't it you who said earlier in this thread that it's cost per rider that counts when evaluating link? Yet another example of pro-rail hypocrisy from anti-transit Ben: cost per rider when evaluating Link, but flat costs when evaluating PRT or anything else.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #144
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Is it clear to everyone at this point that this fellow is a troll?
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Old June 25th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
Is it clear to everyone at this point that this fellow is a troll?
Yet another ad-hominem. All of my posts have been factual and rational - I even provided links to sources which back up all my claims. You've done nothing but attack and insinuate.

Now, once again, why do you refuse to show us how you arrived at "hundreds of billions"? Why would you make a claim and then refuse to back it up?

I repeat: why would you make a claim and then refuse to back it up?

Last edited by TransportEnthusiast; June 25th, 2008 at 01:44 AM. Reason: expand a bit
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Old June 25th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #146
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Why would you put an elephant on your head? I repeat, why would you put an elephant on your head?

Someone please just ban this guy.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 03:50 AM   #147
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Why would you put an elephant on your head? I repeat, why would you put an elephant on your head?

Someone please just ban this guy.
I'm only asking you to back up your own words! No matter how you try to twist it, your the one who made the exhorbitant cost claim, never retracted it, and now you refuse to address it.

Just explain your rational, or if you can't, retract it. Is that so unreasonable?

Last edited by TransportEnthusiast; June 25th, 2008 at 04:08 AM. Reason: expand, reword.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 04:43 AM   #148
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Urban Ben shows up on virtually every thread concerning maglev, monorail, PRT, and BRT to extol the virtues of light rail and denigrate everything else. He frequently cites as an example the Central Link light rail system being built in his hometown of Seattle, which is ridiculous as it is the most over-priced light rail line in the United States:

Seattle - Central Link Initial Segment
$2.44 billion / 13.9 miles = $176 million/mile
Seattle - Central Link SeaTac Airport Extension (All elevated.)
($225 million light rail construction + $75 million road
realignment) / 1.7 miles = $176 million/mile
Seattle - Central Link University of Washington Extension (All in tunnels.)
$1.7 billion / 3.15 miles = $540 million/mile
Seattle - ST2 Central Link Extensions - Mid-Range Estimate (Defeated by voters.)
$9.62 billion / 49.4 miles = $195 million/mile

The following are examples of the cost of light rail in other cities:

Los Angeles - Gold Line Initial Segment (Completed 2003.)
$859 million / 13.7 miles = $63 million/mile
Minneapolis - Hiawatha Line (Completed 2003.)
$675.4 million / 11.6 miles = $58 million/mile
Houston (Completed 2004)
$324 million / 7.5 miles = $43 million/mile
Portland - Interstate MAX Yellow Line (Completed 2004)
$350 million / 5.8 miles = $60 million/mile
Sacramento - Folsom Line Extension to Sunrise (All single-track. Completed 2005.)
$89 million / 2.8 miles = $32 million/mile
San Diego - Green Line Extension (Completed 2005.)
$506 million / 5.8 miles = $87 million/mile
San Francisco - MUNI Third Street Extension (Completed 2007.)
$667 million / 5.6 miles = $119 million/mile
Charlotte
$462.7 million / 9.6 miles = $48 million/mile
Phoenix
$1.3 billion / 20.3 miles = $64 million/mile
Los Angeles - Gold Line East Los Angeles Extension (Includes 1.7 mile tunnel.)
$898 million / 6 miles = $150 million/mile
Los Angeles - Expo/Aqua Line Initial Segment
$640 million / 8.6 miles = $74 million/mile
Dallas - Green Line
$1.67 billion / 27.7 miles = $60 million/mile
Norfolk
$232.1 million / 7.4 miles = $31.4 million/mile

The big difference between Seattle and the other cities that have built light rail is that the other cities utilized existing corridors such as abandoned railroad corridors or the medians of highways and wide avenues. Seattle blazed a new trail for its light rail system with tunnels and viaducts. Where there is an existing corridor, light rail is a compelling alternative. Where there is no existing corridor, light rail doesn't offer any cost advantage over other systems.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:45 AM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TransportEnthusiast View Post
I'm only asking you to back up your own words! No matter how you try to twist it, your the one who made the exhorbitant cost claim, never retracted it, and now you refuse to address it.

Just explain your rational, or if you can't, retract it. Is that so unreasonable?
I did explain it. A light rail system like Seattle's would be some $10-20B, assuming current plus ST2 20-year plan investments in current year dollars.

In order to garner an order of magnitude more riders, and I know you disagree with this, but at a cost per passenger mile higher than light rail, you would need at least an order of magnitude more money - $100-200B.

I don't see what's so hard about this. I know you think your system is oh so much cheaper, but it's not, it has to meet the same corridor needs that light rail did, except in more corridors!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 04:36 AM   #150
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Rather than relying on cost numbers that Urban Ben pulled out of his @$$, take a look at what Light Rail Now stated in an article highly critical of PRT:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_prt001.htm

Light Rail Now estimated the cost of the West Virginia University PRT system as $89 million per mile in 2004 dollars. Light Rail Now went on to state that this cost estimate was, "not too bad for a mostly elevated transit system". The cost estimate is about half the cost per mile of the initial segment of the Central Link light rail line being built in Seattle.

This brings me back to the point that I have stated many times previously. THERE IS NO COST ADVANTAGE FOR LIGHT RAIL IF THERE IS NO EXISTING CORRIDOR TO BE EXPLOITED.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
I did explain it. A light rail system like Seattle's would be some $10-20B, assuming current plus ST2 20-year plan investments in current year dollars.

In order to garner an order of magnitude more riders, and I know you disagree with this, but at a cost per passenger mile higher than light rail, you would need at least an order of magnitude more money - $100-200B.
OK, now that I know where you derived the number, I can point out where you went wrong.

Basically, what you are claiming here is that PRT would cost as much per mile as Link. This is completely wrong, and there is no way you could possibly support such a claim.

Link costs an average of something like $230M/mile. There is no modern PRT proposal that even comes close to this number. Daventry (independent consultants) estimate around $17M/mi (unidirectional) for their pilot system.

For you to be correct, these consultants would have to be off by a factor of nearly seven.

So basically you want to take Link's projected costs at face value even as you multiply the PRT numbers by 7. On what basis? Do you have anything to support this? These estimates came from professional engineers and consultants with no ties to PRT. They analyzed every single detail, right down to light bulbs in the stations - read the document for yourself if you doubt it - and you still believe they're off by 200 million dollars per mile?

It's easy to prove your point when you pull numbers out of thin air.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 05:17 AM   #152
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You've shown me nothing to suggest that PRT would take less space per mile than Link. In fact, everything you've shown has indicated that it would take more - your stations have to be a lot larger to carry the same capacity, or you have to have MORE stations, which means more right of way no matter how you split them up.

The weight of the system is slightly lower, so your materials costs are slightly lower as well, but that's more than offset by the need for passing tracks and intersection tracks.

So in order to serve an order of magnitude more people, you'll have an order of magnitude more cost. I'm sorry that's how it goes, but anything else is just baseless assertion on your part. "Independent estimates" mean exactly zero compared to actual construction.

So as you said - it's easy to prove your point when you pull numbers out of thin air. That goes both ways, except that you're an armchair planner, and I'm observing actual construction.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 05:37 AM   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Light Rail Now estimated the cost of the West Virginia University PRT system as $89 million per mile in 2004 dollars. Light Rail Now went on to state that this cost estimate was, "not too bad for a mostly elevated transit system". The cost estimate is about half the cost per mile of the initial segment of the Central Link light rail line being built in Seattle.
Another estimate from a skeptical source: transit consultants Parsons-Brinkerhoff projected costs of around $40M/mi (unidirectional) for a Taxi2000 system in Cincinnatti. That report was widely and publicly criticised by PRT experts because PB analyzed PRT as if it were a train (including costs for many things like "signaling" which have absolutely no role in PRT). The PB report is now basically exhibit "B" of the anti-PRT movement and is frequently referenced by PRT opponents in debates.

Just to illustrate how unrealistic UrbanBen's estimates are: his estimate for PRT is three times higher than the highly critical PB report.

(and, by the way, the PB was for a higher capacity PRT system, one that could move more than 5000 pph at its peak configuration, so even at the inflated PB cost estimate, it would scale up nearly to Link capacity for about the same cost. Proving again that Ben's PRT assumptions are outrageuous even for a skeptic).
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #154
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The Seattle Light Rail must be the most expensive light rail project in the world. You could have built a nice metro or maglev train for the money .
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #155
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Exactly! I am not against spending that kind of money for a good quality transit line. I just think that a city should get good value for what its money. I think Seattle could have done much better.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #156
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So in order to serve an order of magnitude more people, you'll have an order of magnitude more cost. I'm sorry that's how it goes, but anything else is just baseless assertion on your part. "Independent estimates" mean exactly zero compared to actual construction.
OK, so basically your argument is "I don't believe the estimates of the hundreds of independent transportation engineering consultants who have have studied this problem down to the minutest detail - I still think it will cost 10 times more."

That's fine, you are welcome to your opinion. But people reading this thread need to realize that your claims are no more than the words of a pro-train, anti-PRT activist who summarily rejects the opinion of hundreds of experts who have studied PRT down to the smallest detail.


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So as you said - it's easy to prove your point when you pull numbers out of thin air. That goes both ways, except that you're an armchair planner, and I'm observing actual construction.
Every single one of my numbers in this thread has been sourced to either a news article or engineering reports from transit consultants. Furthermore, Heathrow is building ULTra as we speak, on budget, proving the numbers for all but ROW costs.

Heathrow is a confirmed construction cost at about $30M per mile (bidirectional). You claim it will cost as much as Link - $230M per mile, a $200M differential from the Heathrow costs. The only fundamental difference between Heathrow and a city application is right-of-way costs.

So, if I understand correctly, your claim is that right-of-way for PRT will cost $200M per mile. If a mile of PRT has 4 stations, each at 5000 sq. ft. per station (see my Morgantown analysis from earlier for justification of 5000 sq.ft. station size), that's $200M for 20,000 sq.ft. of elevated real estate, or $10,000 per square foot!

For reference, the cost of a condo in the most expensive neighborhood in Manhattan is $1,271 per sq. ft. - so your PRT cost claim appears rely on PRT right of way cost estimates of 7.8 times more than the value of a condo in midtown Manhattan. I had no idea Seattle real estate was so high!

Last edited by TransportEnthusiast; June 26th, 2008 at 01:49 PM. Reason: typo
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Old June 26th, 2008, 05:45 PM   #157
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The Seattle Light Rail must be the most expensive light rail project in the world. You could have built a nice metro or maglev train for the money .
We did build a metro - we have higher capacity than much of the Paris metro. We just call it light rail because we use light rail vehicles, and part of the first line runs at grade (in its own right of way) - we're going to use up to four car strings with 120 meter platforms. We tested the right of way design with a short line in downtown Tacoma starting five years ago, and have had no accidents that I'm aware of. The only interactions with motor vehicles are at a number of signaled crossings. I'm sure we'll have a few accidents, and then people will get used to it, just like they have every other system in the world. It won't have any effect after the first few months.

The future extensions of the system to the north and east (the big corridors) won't ever use the at-grade portion, so we can use metro headways through the central corridor (down to 2 minutes).

The urban core segment is tunneled, as well.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #158
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We did build a metro ... ... ... The only interactions with motor vehicles
Metros needn't compete with vehicules, hence their categorisation.

No Parisian metro wagon need compete with any vehicle, thus it'd be wise dropping your comparison.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 07:44 AM   #159
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Metros needn't compete with vehicules, hence their categorisation.

No Parisian metro wagon need compete with any vehicle, thus it'd be wise dropping your comparison.
Where are you getting this word "compete"? Cars NEVER drive along the trackway, and signals are timed for the light rail trains. In SODO, the trains trigger signal changes on approach, and will never ever stop for cars.

Some metros do have grade crossings when they go outside the city core. That's the case here. In the city core, where headways will drop below 5 minutes, we do not have crossings. Isn't this argument hard enough without getting nitpicky about what I'm COMPARING our system to? These PRT people can't even understand that it takes more real estate for on/offs when the vehicles don't get as full...

The point here was that we have more CAPACITY than much of the Paris metro. They have 70m platforms on several lines, we have 120m.

Last edited by UrbanBen; June 27th, 2008 at 08:02 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:47 AM   #160
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These PRT people can't even understand that it takes more real estate for on/offs when the vehicles don't get as full...
Ben, I'm still waiting for a response to my analysis, which showed that your "100 billion dollars for PRT" claim could only be valid if real estate costs were of $10,000 per square foot.

It'd be nice if you'd inform us simplistic "PRT people" just exactly how Seattle real estate could be seven times more expensive than midtown Manhattan.

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