“The popularity of the PRT demonstrates how functional, sustainable urban transport development is paving the way for cities of the future.”
Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate for Masdar
2 Million Passenger Mark
The Masdar Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system in Abu Dhabi, UAE, this morning successfully reached the 2 million passenger mark since it was launched on 28 November, 2010. Over the years a wealth of data has been collected from the system which has been used to further the development of autonomous vehicles, both in relation to the technology as well as user interaction.
Just a week before its seventh anniversary, Miss Geethma Devangee, a student from Merryland School Abu Dhabi, became the 2 millionth passenger. Geethma was visiting Masdar City on an educational field trip. As the lucky winner she was presented with a dining voucher to be redeemed at any restaurant in Masdar City, as well as a certificate to mark the honour.
The PRT system at Masdar City welcomed its 1 millionth passenger in May 2014, and has now carried another million in the short time since, accounting for a staggering 75% increase in passenger numbers. The system is currently carrying five times the anticipated amount of passengers, achieving close to 90% average occupancy rates during weekends. The data collected from the PRT system has been invaluable, according to Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere. He said: “Real-life applications are invaluable for the reliability of the resulting information. Where a demonstration only provides an indication of the way passengers interface with a system, a real-life application shows real-world behaviour.
“At Masdar City we have both daily passengers and first-time users, from 6am until midnight, with the requirement to constantly provide a reliable and high service level under difficult environmental conditions. As a result we have a significant edge over companies that are only at the start of their development.”
The Masdar City PRT system benefits from dynamic safety features, resulting in zero accidents or collisions since launch. System availability and vehicle reliability have also consistently achieved success rates of 99.6% and 99.9% respectively.
Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate for Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s future energy company, said: “This milestone marks a significant step in the progress of Masdar City, and stands as a testament to our culture of innovation. The popularity of the PRT demonstrates how functional, sustainable urban transport development is paving the way for cities of the future.”
Phase 1A of the Masdar PRT pilot project is approximately 1.4 kilometers long and features two stations: the North Car Park and the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology. 2getthere plans to expand this network across more sites across the City, as well as introduce a General Rapid Transit (GRT) system in the near future.
Very Important Passengers
Van Helsdingen added: ‘We are content with the reliability of the vehicles and the application at Masdar City. Because of the appeal of Masdar City we have been honored in welcoming many VIPs in our vehicles, ranging from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President to the UAE, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN-leader Ban-Ki Moon and celebrities including Clive Owen, James Cameron and David Ferrer. The most recent VIP being His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, one week ago (passenger number 1.988.933).”