Thursday, December 3, 2009


I am still not sure why PRT gets any attention. So it is not a car, but yet private. We have PRT, it is called the bicycle. Listen to the NPR segment here and read the article here. I think we miss the boat with PRT:
Steve Rainey is a sales representative for ULTra, the company that's building Heathrow's PRT. He can see a day when people will choose pod transit over driving alone. "It has gone for me from this journey of being a weirdo pushing exotic technology to more acceptance and more doors opened," he says.

But would people really switch to a driverless pod?

Jon Carnegie, executive director of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, thinks so. He says energy prices over the next decade will have an impact on the way people choose to travel.

I can think of an even better way to save money while improving transportation. Why not take the existing infrastructure that we currently have and redesign it for proper bicycle use. I am sure this would be at 1/3 the cost of proposed PRT, if not even less. As many cities around the world have proven it might cost nothing at all other than the salary of a few pedestrian and bike planners. Oh, I almost forgot, we'll need some white paint.

By rethinking how our roads are used and simply by retiming lights, creating bike right-of-ways, and changing some legislation and laws, we could have PRT in the matter of a few years. I guess my flawed theory is that my PRT is based on an old mode of transportation that has been working for more than 100 years. Maybe it is time that we caught up to the modern day of the two wheeled human powered vehicle.


Miguel said...

Bruno Latour wrote a book on a failed PRT project in Paris in the 70s, Aramis, or the Love of Technology. The system failed not only for technological reasons but for sociological reasons as well. I remember one issue had to do with personal safety, especially that of women. The scenario was that of a woman alone using a PRT late at night and an agressor getting into the PRT. This was not the only problem with the concept, of course. I think PRT is ridiculous. It's a fun fantasy project but the reality of the world doesn't jibe very well with the concept.

bandit said...

Yeah, people are gonna flock to bicycle lanes in 2 below zero.
Only when they can't afford fuel.