Common Concerns and Unfounded Fears
This section will be fleshed out as we move along and hear concerns repeatedly.
"I think it's an altruistic solution
that won't work. Like the idea of public bicycles that people can
just pick up and drop off as needed, American nature will not permit
it to succeed. People are too wrapped up in possessions and not
inclined to sharing. It will look ugly up there where it's in plain view."
"Being elevated, PRT passengers can
see into nearby residences. Understandable NIMBYism from residents
along proposed routes will prevent construction."
Can PRT handle
peak volumes like when a train arrives or a stadium game ends?
Considers this demand
scenario: a Friday evening 'peak hour' before the start of a
Cincinnati Reds baseball game at Cinergy Field. During this hour 5338
passengers enter the various PRT passenger stations, of which 88% are
going to the Cinergy Field stations and the balance to other stations
in the network. When allowed to run to its completion the simulation
produces these resultant statistics, including an Average Wait Time
of less than one minute and a Maximum Wait time of under five minutes. Learn more at
Will the visual
impact of PRT be acceptable? Visual
impact is important in all transit systems. Many rail transit
systems are placed underground because a ground-level system requires
destruction of too much existing property and an elevated system is
too massive and noisy. A PRT guideway has less than five percent of
the cross sectional area of a rapid rail system, will generate almost
no noise, and has an external appearance that can be varied to suit
any specific community. For a series of representative photos, see http://advancedtransit.org
Visual impact of an APM system (which is
physically larger than PRT) is less than an at-grade LRT system with
it's overhead catenary. which are being approved across the country.
Note also that the Miami, Detroit, and Jacksonville people-mover (aka Group Rapid Transit - GRT)
systems have guideways far larger than Taxi2000. Yet, they were
approved in downtown areas with little complaint about visual intrusion.
What about safety? Although
safety will be engineered into the system, realize that PRT
engineers OUT the biggest liability - human error. Ninety percent of
all accidents - whether in cars, trains, or planes - is due to
What if a cab breaks
down on the guideway? Taxi2000's strategy for this type of
failure goes like this: If a vehicle stops on the guideway and can't
move under its own power, the vehicle behind it soft engages and
pushes the vehicle into the next station. To do so each vehicle is
equipped with a special push-mode coupler that permits it to attach
to the vehicle ahead, release the parking brake and operate the
switch. When the vehicles arrive at the station, the passengers are
asked to disembark and reorder their trips on following vehicles with
some kind of compensation for their inconvenience. The pushing
vehicle then pushes the failed vehicle out of the station to the
nearest maintenance facility, and thus the station is cleared. Such
an operation will be under the close supervision of trained
personnel, who function from a control room. It is important to
estimate the probable mean time for such an incident. Based on
various studies of redundant computer-controlled cabs, the result
could be stated in the following way: In a fleet of 1000 vehicles,
the mean time between pushing incidents would be about 300 years. If
one computer produces an error, control is shifted to the good one
and the vehicle is permitted to finish its trip and then proceed to
the maintenance shop, where the failed unit is replaced. The mean
time between such incidents is calculated in the paper
Effect of Redundancy on Failure Frequency in PRT,".
PRT is a humanizing technology. The new
system requires vehicles to wait for people rather than people to
wait for vehicles. It provides a short, predictable, nonstop trip on
a network of guideways, possibly inside to inside, a seat for
everyone, climate control, no transfers, minimum or no wait, 24-hour
on-demand service, ease of use, privacy, no crowding, space for
luggage, no jerky motion, no objectionable sounds, no smelly fumes,
minimum anxiety, maximum safety, minimum land use, and minimum
disruption so that businesses need not be closed while the system is installed.
Other concerns are probably covered at http://kinetic.seattle.wa.us/prt.html.
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