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Personal Rapid Transit for Milpitas

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The big question in transportation circles is "How do we get people out of their drive-alone pattern?" Like other suburban job centers, the Silicon Valley commute mode split is 80% drive alone, 13% carpool, and 5% transit. No combination of current transportation options promises a substantial change in the single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) rate. However, a light-weight, automated electric shuttle that weaves together current transportation options may be "the difference that makes a difference." Preliminary estimates indicate that the SOV rate can be cut in half -- from an average of 80% to 40% or less.

Consider what PRT could offer folks like you:

  • a station within 1/4 mile of your home - and a vehicle waiting for you
  • non-stop service to your destination at 25-75 mph
  • 24/7 automated operation all year long
  • for the same cost, get 10 times the coverage of LRT (twice as many stations X twice as many one-way routes X 2.5 guideway miles/dollar)

The technology to do all this is available today, most of it in use in automated people movers at airports. At least four companies are vying to offer PRT solutions to those few cities willing to lead the way. The first public use of PRT will be at Heathrow Airport where PRT will connect long-term parking to terminal 5 in 2009. Any Bay Area city could create a list of opportunities for cost-effective PRT implementations.

Milpitas is especially blessed with options. Being at the bottleneck to Silicon Valley, Milpitas residents daily endure thousands of cars passing through the city causing congestion for local residents. Also, four north-south running transportation corridors (2 railroad lines and 2 freeways) slice up the City making east-west travel difficult. These problems, combined with the arrival of LRT and BART create more opportunities than available in other cities.

Potential PRT Implementations in Milpitas

Here are possible PRT projects for Milpitas. Taken in series, they offer a development plan that minimizes risk and yet addresses our most vexing transporation problems.

PRT Project


Connect Yosemite Drive with E.Curtis Avenue over the railroad tracks
(This Midtown Plan calls this crossing a "keystone project".)


VTA has allocated $3M for conventional steel-and-concrete pedestrian/cyclist overcrossing. ( A study completed in 3Q03 shows 500-foot ramps are needed to clear the 26-foot minimum height limit above the tracks.)
Connect LRT to Great Mall entertainment area
(1/4 mile walk plus two flights of stairs eliminated.)
(Could serve as amusement ride with regional attraction.)


Supports both LRT and Great Mall patronage. Substantial private funding possible. Right of way on private land. Probably profitable as ride/attraction.
Link City Hall, Library and Midtown Area to LRT
(Hundreds of Midtown acres recently re-zoned to high density housing and mixed use.)


This first loop of a city-wide system includes two stations in the Midtown Area which would increase transit-oriented development options. Get it for free!
City-wide feeder to BART station
(BART station co-located with LRT and bus stations)


Locate stations at popular destinations: Great Mall/LRT, Midtown Area, Library/Medical Center, City Hall and Escuela schools area, parks, shopping centers, transit stops, sports fields, etc.
Connect LRT with the Fremont BART station
(Extending the concept could lead to an affordable ring-the-Bay plan.)


For the price of one BART mile, we can make the 10-mile connection in less than 5 years.
Combine BART 'Light' with a PRT web
Extend BART to Milpitas/LRT and add a 91-mile, 117-station PRT network. (22-mile BART extension estimated at $4700M.)

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, do it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." - Goethe

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