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Jaden

Futuristic people movers on the way?

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Found this, via a link posted at TwinCityScape.com A suburban Minneapolis company is proposing this. From the photos, it would appear they have already developed them and built them already.

Kinda reminds me of the Metro Mover in downtown Miami. Take a minute or two to browse the website. I found it very interesting.

Skycab Express

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I've seen these types of systems before (not seen them, but seen proposals for them). I've even seen a map of a proposed system for Providence. I think they are stupid.

The ride is private. You don't share your trip with strangers, just with your family or friends.

Heaven forbid anyone in an urban environment should have to come into contact with any 'strangers.' Pahleeze! So what are we supposed to do? String these pod skyways all throughout our cities so that people don't have to wait for a train or bus and *gasp* see people who they don't know? I got an idea, how about everyone just stay home?

I can't see this being practical, or economically feesible on a city scale. It may be something that could be used in an airport. It would be good to be able to get in an empty people mover on demand and be taken directly to your terminal without stopping at an airport. But I don't think it's practical for cities. Skyways with sidings and whatnot.

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i totally agree with Cotuit

these "skyways" would be a terrible mistake for any city...

independent transportation is what we're trying to move AWAY from! we dont need new versions of freeway traffic. public transportation has the advantage of timelyness, not the dependency on people's schedules... baaaaaad idea......

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Its kinda like a horizontal chairlift. I think its a cool idea, but probably not very practical.

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i totally agree with Cotuit

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The sooner everyone learns to do that, the better off we'll be. :lol:

Welcome to the forum.

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I guess I just find the idea of commuting in a quiet and private vehicle appealing. And now that I think about it, I'm not sure just how unpractical it is. It is, after all, loads cheaper than light rail.

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It is, after all, loads cheaper than light rail.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not really, it'll never have a prayer of approaching the capacity of light rail, or even a bus. The areas most of these systems propose to cover are easily walkable in most cases. The Providence proposal covered less than two square miles.

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It looks like it would work only in a downtown area, but I just can't see these reaching out to the suburbs. And on that video, did anyone see where all the cars were merging onto one rail? It made me nervous, lol.

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I have met with representatives from this company.

The main advantages to PRT are the following:

1. Cheaper infrastructure due to very lightweight vehicles.

2. Minimal weight time at stations

3. Excellent at serving many destinations in an inexpensive and rapid way.

4. Economies of scale for vehicle production (mass produced, rather than 20-40 at a time)

This is what would ideally be configured as a "last mile" system in a suburban environment, where there are very many destinations, limited ridership to each destination, and a desire for no-to-minimal wait time.

These suburban PRT systems would be routed to high-speed corridors that would bring flow to traffic generators in the city, such as the downtown, shopping districts, or areas of employment. In an urban environment, a people mover or streetcar would make more sense, as for local transport in downtowns, there is no problem with filling the vehicles.

Note that the main cost in running a transit system is labor. If you avoid the labor cost by running automated in a dedicated right-of-way, you go a long ways towards making very high service frequency feasible.

What they are trying to show is that many small vehicles can move as many people as a few large ones.

PRT has its place. I'd expect that this company has what it takes to serve as a connector on the other end of LRT, subway, etc to serve low-density areas.

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This is what would ideally be configured as a "last mile" system in a suburban environment, where there are very many destinations, limited ridership to each destination, and a desire for no-to-minimal wait time.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That reminds me of a conceptual system I saw outlined years ago. Basically the PRT pods were units that could work independently or be stacked together on rail for long-distance travel.

The idea was really packet-based travel for people (like data packets on the internet). Pick your destination, get in your pod, and the system routes you to your destination, combining you with other pods as necessary. Now that I think about it, it was probably close in concept to the design in "Minority Report" though not as cool looking.

I always wondered about bathroom breaks or medical emergencies in an automatically routed transit system. I guess OnStar would evolve too.

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Of Course in a Light Rail Train you cant really go to the bathroom but exiting in an emergency would be much simpler, that brings a good point. Of course HOW MUCH could hapen when your just sitting.

I had seen a map long ago and big proposal for personal pods in Cincinnati, it was written in very serious layout, but it looked absolutely rediculous. I guess if you can dream it it can happen...I will look for that proposal, but it was so long ago that I saw it.

Haha, we cant even get a couple trains up in most of our cities (something probably seemingly less rediculous for the taxpayers that fear change), I think this is out of the question for the time being, however in the distant future I could see some sort of refined incarnation of this.

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That is a pretty neat thing. I would like to ride on it, once it is opened.

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