Personal Rapid Transit

PRT Grant Proposal

Intro How it Works  Construction   Economics  Point-To-Point Transport  Capacity   Concerns  PRT and the Environment SF Bay Area Further Information

Grant Proposal
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) Crossing of Railroad Tracks

Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association
Winner of the 2002 BRICC Award
P.O. Box 360581
Milpitas, CA 95036-0581
Incorporated: 1997. Gained 501(c)(3) status: 1999

Executive Summary (To read the full grant, click here)

Like many American cities, Milpitas is divided by physical barriers that make alternative transportation options challenging. Cyclists, pedestrians, scooter kids, and others discover that railroad tracks, freeways and creeks are barriers to safe and convenient travel. Spanning these barriers using standard steel-and-concrete bridges has become increasingly difficult. Nevertheless, America's responsibility to the world community requires that we move away from oil-powered transportation. Finding an alternative, less expensive technology to bridge barriers will support transportation alternatives.

How about a “ferry” that could carry people and their stuff (bikes, wheelchairs, groceries, etc.) safely and conveniently over barriers? People get on at one station and ride to the station on the other side. The “ferry” technology could be Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), a small, light-weight Disneyland-type of conveyance.

As a first step toward such a PRT “ferry”, this proposed project would create the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) necessary for a crossing over the railroad tracks in Milpitas, CA. To accomplish this $50,000 step, we'll contract with a consulting firm and work with City officials. Once the EIR is written and approved, the engineering and construction phases would follow. A successful, cost-effective PRT crossing of the railroad tracks could serve as a model to be replicated elsewhere.

The Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association (SNA), however, is planning for more effective use of PRT technology. SNA is working to create a PRT feeder from their neighborhood at the north end of Milpitas to the Great Mall Transit Center (LRT, buses and future BART) at the south end 3.5 miles away. PRT is a new technology, so it makes sense to “learn as we go” by starting small. A minimal system of two stations with a loop connecting them - a ferry - will allow us to evaluate PRT technology before deciding about expanding the system to service Sunnyhills and the rest of Milpitas. Such a demonstration system will cost less than the recently proposed steel-and-concrete pedestrian bridge.

SNA is a volunteer group of local homeowners and residents of the Sunnyhills neighborhood of Milpitas who work together to improve the neighborhood and the City through various activities and programs. Our mission statement: SNA nurtures civic responsibility and community service, educates local residents, and bridges cultural gaps so that quality of life, community well-being, and neighborhood cohesion blossoms. Since 1998, SNA has managed over $35,000 in grant funds dedicated to over a dozen projects - winning recognition and a number of awards in the process. Board of Directors members will manage the project in cooperation with City of Milpitas staff.

About Us || Contact Us