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The ultimate light rail concept


blueradon

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I came across this website after doing some searching on light rail transit. I think that this would just be almost the perfect thing for GR to have since it is so flexible...you just have to see it for yourself.

There is a video at the bottom of this link that has renderings and shows a couple pictures of towns that already have this system. Wonder how much it would cost though...

http://www.skywebexpress.com/

I think if enough people liked this, we should make our voices heard as it seems to be heard quite often lately.

Edit: Found more videos here: http://www.skywebexpress.com/150k4_additional.shtml

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Could this really replace a morning commute with thousands of people? That would require an enourmous number of these "taxis," which wouldn't appear cost-effective.

I always thought the real benefit of mass transit was to leverage the most number of people at one time. This thing just spells cluster-f*^# to me.

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Could this really replace a morning commute with thousands of people? That would require an enourmous number of these "taxis," which wouldn't appear cost-effective.

I always thought the real benefit of mass transit was to leverage the most number of people at one time. This thing just spells cluster-f*^# to me.

Well from what I saw in the videos it does not create traffic jams as the central computers monitor intersections so that the cars do not interfere with each other...basically one of the cars would slow down a little bit so the other one can pass them in time.

I could understand the point if the car does break down and it would seem like one broken car would create a huge traffic jam...

I don't know, I thought the concept was at least neat and had potential...but now when I look at it from a reality point, some good questions are raised.

The part that I really like about all this is that the track is only 3 foot wide, you wouldn't need to build bulky bridges around town....I think that's sort of a design that GR would need to have an effective rail....I think even if they were to have longer trains instead of the cars to do what that does, it could be beneficial

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I believe studies have shown that PRT has failed to provide effiecient and cost effective transit.

To me this is just building an elevated expressway and telling people to use the publiclly provided taxi to get to their destination. I think this concept would work for much smaller places. We are looking for mass transit, not a system full of massive amounts of personal transit vehicles... I would just call this an elevated road.

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Imagine this: In x number years, no one owns an automobile. Everyone has their own rail car. Rather than asphalt and concrete, the streets are a series of rails. Type in the destinations and the car calculates the best route, while the driver takes a quick nap...

(I'm dreaming again :D )

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I believe studies have shown that PRT has failed to provide effiecient and cost effective transit.

To me this is just building an elevated expressway and telling people to use the publiclly provided taxi to get to their destination. I think this concept would work for much smaller places. We are looking for mass transit, not a system full of massive amounts of personal transit vehicles... I would just call this an elevated road.

What studies?

Wikipedia has a great amount of information about the topic of Personal Rapid Transit.

In regard to capacity, studies have shown that a PRT system could move more people per hour than existing line-haul (light rail, monorail) type systems, more efficiently. See this link.

One advantage of a public transit system like this is the time efficiency to the passengers: there would rarely be any wait to get into a vehicle, and the trip would be non-stop to the destination. The passenger wouldn't have to find or pay for a parking space. The vehicle would be instantly available for another trip.

The cost to build a PRT system is expected to be a fraction of what light rail and monorail would cost, partly because of the small land use needed by PRT. The guideways (tracks) would be much cheaper to build than monorail. The vehicles would be light and produced in large quantities, which would help keep their costs down.

if it breaks down with you inside, who fixes it and how do they reach you?
That is a valid concern. Some studies, eg this this, analyze the failure conditions and likelihood of different types of failures, and conclude that a vehicle breaking down are slim. Some proposed systems allow a following vehicle to push a broken vehicle to the next station. Most systems would have dynamic re-routing of vehicles around any blocked guideway section, so a disabled vehicle would have a small impact to the system (eg only one or two stations unavailable).

I always thought the real benefit of mass transit was to leverage the most number of people at one time.
"Mass transit", eg line-haul systems that carry a large number of passengers, are good for longer distances, like regional transportation systems. They become inefficient for smaller systems for several reasons: not everybody is coming from/going to the same place; waiting times to board the vehicles; many stops during the trip; high cost to build means fewer stations.

An individualized transportation system eliminates, or significantly reduces, many of those inefficiencies in a dense urban area. See above links for examples.

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The vehicles would be light and produced in large quantities, which would help keep their costs down.

:lol: Isn't that what Henry Ford once said?

This would not work in Metro Grand Rapids - for one reason, we don't want it, overwhelmingly... - I believe even our officials for whatever reason said it wasn't feasible...

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This would not work in Metro Grand Rapids - for one reason, we don't want it, overwhelmingly... - I believe even our officials for whatever reason said it wasn't feasible...
Do you know what they claimed was unfeasible? What was the goal they were trying to accomplish? PRT isn't a solution to every problem.
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:lol: Isn't that what Henry Ford once said?

This would not work in Metro Grand Rapids - for one reason, we don't want it, overwhelmingly... - I believe even our officials for whatever reason said it wasn't feasible...

Who is we? Could you back up any of these statements about "studies" and "we"s with any data, or are you just making them out of no where? Throwing out blanket statements about this sort of thing with out data really proves nothing.

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Sorry I didn't cite information:

biased, but so is prtsupporter:

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

credible:

http://www.wmeac.org/about/pubs/rail4.asp - To me I would rather pay the extra buck to see a system that has actually been implemented rather then being a customer and just testing it while assuming all risks.

Also ITP put out the GT2 study, which said PRT wasn't a viable alternative for various reasons. For whatever reason I can't find it on the ITP's site. When the community had a forum at the Wyoming Library it wasn't liked by most of the people there (PRT)...

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prtsupporter? Maybe possibly he is clouded by ambition to see more PRTs implemented (PRT supporter).. Listen, I'm clouded too, but can we all really expect PRT to be viable here in GR? Would you like to see elevated tracks meandering through Heritage Hill or god forbid Bailey's Grove!

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Sorry I didn't cite information:

biased, but so is prtsupporter:

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

Here are some rebuttals to the lightrailnow article:

http://www.skywebexpress.com/news/Response-to-LRT-Now.pdf

http://kinetic.seattle.wa.us/nxtlevel/prt/...l-lrnow-BW.html

http://kinetic.seattle.wa.us/nxtlevel/prt/seehow.html

credible:

http://www.wmeac.org/about/pubs/rail4.asp- To me I would rather pay the extra buck to see a system that has actually been implemented rather then being a customer and just testing it while assuming all risks.

I think light rail would be an okay system for a GR -> Holland -> Grand Haven -> Muskegon route. But, I don't think light rail would improve traffic congestion or would minimize point-to-point transit times within a city as well as PRT could.

Am I biased because I believe PRT could provide faster, easier, safer, more energy efficient travel in moderately densely populated areas? I believe it's technically feasable and would be a great benefit to the people living in those area.

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The whole idea of PRT is a fantasy world. We have personal transport, called cars, and they go everywhere.
PRT wouldn't eliminate cars. But PRT would have several benefits over cars in urban areas: Reduced number of accidents due to running on a captive, grade-separated guideway and automated computer control; increased energy efficiency; non-stop travel to the destination station (no traffic jams); no need to find or pay for parking.
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Give me some examples of extensive use of PRT... I want to see a system example that is in working use that provides real use not just theoritical computer simulation models that have no real world data to use. I think PRT can be great for small towns or suburban territory, but I find this solution to be a little catering to Metro GR sprawl. It looks to me that PRT has to go where - where is. I'm not debating the PRT mode in general, I'm debating its use in Grand Rapids - Southside and SE Corridor, maybe I should have made that clear. But we can cite srouces all we want its not going to change anyones mind.

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Give me some examples of extensive use of PRT... I want to see a system example that is in working use that provides real use not just theoritical computer simulation models that have no real world data to use.
Obviously, that's not possible.

Extensive analysis has been done that shows PRT system would actually increase transit demand. See this report from the Cincinatti study in 2000, evaluated by an independent party. Even with their flawed view of PRT, the result is that PRT would create much higher demand than any other form of transit studied. (And if you're really interested, read what was wrong with the above report here.)

If we can't believe those who analyze transit characteristics for a living, who can we believe?

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