Personal Rapid Transit

Has the time come for this smaller, automated, electric transit service, the cousin of the Detroit People Mover?

January 24, 2006, 10:00 AM PST

By David Gest

"Although concepts vary, PRTs in general feature small, electric-powered pods that can carry one to six people. Because they lack the weight of something like a typical subway or light-rail car, the support structures for these smaller vehicles can be built much more cheaply than the sizable concrete pillars and guideways used to hold something as big as the Detroit People Mover. Another advantage is that the smaller vehicles, which are completely automated and powered by electricity, can be dispatched across the system with greater frequency, conceivably reducing the wait time for passengers. And they can be summoned on demand, which means there are no long waits during off-peak hours when, as is the case with existing modes of transit, service is scaled back to reduce costs. Also, instead of stopping at every station as subway cars do, riders could be taken directly to their chosen destination, cutting travel time significantly."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 in Detroit Metro Times

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