Milpitas BART Circulator
High-density development near the BART station is burdened
and Shuttle Pilot Project
by traffic congestion and 5 barriers to walking/cycling.
A PRT circulator would connect 5 separate neighborhoods
with BART/LRT, shopping, entertainment and businesses.
Start with a pilot project to shuttle cyclists/pedestrians over
Montague Expressway to link housing with the new school.
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is a revolutionary transit technology that promises service that's flexible, prompt and dependable. It also requires less money, environmental impact and time to construct. Simply put, it promises a radical improvement in transit value.
Although this introduction is good and the tabs above will help guide you through the "how and why PRT works",
you'll find the "world's best general-knowledge PRT website" at http://kinetic.seattle.wa.us/prt.html
An excellent quick introduction is this 3-minute animated video that shows PRT at the Microsoft campus,
or this 3-minute mash-up of various animation and real hardware videos showing how PRT can integrate into the built environment: click here.
A more detailed visual introduction is this sequence of Flash images and text.
This video from the folks in Santa Cruz, CA, is a good 15-minute introduction that showcases existing PRT technologies and how they might solve that City's traffic problems.
Not included is the Vectus system, newly installed (2013) and being tested at Suncheon Bay, South Korea.
Here is a 5-minute look at the Heathrow Airport (BAA) PRT system that connects the new terminal 5 and long-term parking.
While most transit planners struggle to reduce single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) miles by a few percent, PRT combined with existing transit options and modern technology
can reduce SOV rates by 50% according to this
study of a business park in Palo Alto, CA.
The Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) Wiki is an ongoing effort to catalog and define the world of advanced transit -- the ideas, the achievements and the people behind them.
Find links to other introductions and in-depth information at Background Information
This 17-minute video is a detailed examination of a PRT-like system in service since the 1970's at
Morgantown, West Virginia.
Alternatives to current transportation plans include
a 117-station ATN rather than a 4-station BART burrow under San Jose
and three advanced transit alternatives to HSR (High Speed Rail).
Using PRT is similar to taking the bus or train. Only a slight change is required of people. However, in terms of societal impact, PRT may prove to be more than just a new transportation technology. It may prove revolutionary. It promises a change in transportation as great as the leap from canals to railroads, or from railroads to automobiles.
To examine the history of transportation over the past 250 years is to see the rise of three major technologies. First, canal transportation developed after 1750. Railroads flourished after 1825 and then automobiles had their turn starting early last century. Each transportation system required entirely new infrastructure and vehicles. Also,each new transportation system brought benefits far out-weighing any available by simply applying new technology to the old transportation system. "So what if your canal barge has a computer control; you still can't find a place to park it."
If the Milpitas PRT shuttle proves cost-effective as envisioned, it may be copied across the country as a substitute for POCs planned or needed.
Milpitas is just one city in the Bay Area that needs a bike/pedestrian crossing. Crossings are also needed in Palo Alto (at the Palo Alto Medical Center) and Redwood City (at Five Points) among others.
Indeed, the need for POCs is large, whether to cross railroads, creeks, freeways, or other barriers.
The need for crossings can be estimated by assuming that most communities the size of Milpitas (population 70,000) need at least one barrier crossing.
A California population of over 35 million would project a need for 500 crossings; for a USA population of over 290 million, nearly 4500 crossings may be needed.
Current estimates place the cost of a PRT crossing at approximately 2/3s the cost of a POC, making PRT cost-effective in addition to being easier to site.
Funding sources like the VTA (county), MTC (regional), FTC (federal) and foundations may find this project so attractive that they fully fund it so that Milpitas
does not have to pay the customery 20% of a transportation project's cost.
Placed in the context of 250 years of transportation history, PRT could be the next revolution in transportation.
When you compare benefits and value between transit systems, you'll find that PRT can't be beat for most transit needs. Here are the leading PRT initiatives:
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