Personal Rapid Transit

Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is ‘a transport method that offers personal, on-demand non-stop transportation between any two points on a network of specially built guide-ways’. A PRT system consists of a number of small automated vehicles (seating 2 to 6 passengers) combining the desirable aspects of the private car (private travel at any desired time) with the social advantages of public transport (no congestion and parking issues).

2getthere’s Personal Rapid Transit system features of a number of automated taxi’s (CyberCabs) and the supervisory control system TOMS (Transit Operations Monitoring and Supervision). The guide way can be constructed at grade, but also elevated, embedded in buildings or underground. The system in configurable as ‘true’ PRT – providing direct connections, on-demand operations and personal transportation – but alternatively ‘ride sharing’ (single origin, multiple destinations) and scheduled operations (to optimize capacity) can also be implemented.

Personal Rapid Transit is all about (network and vehicle) controls. 2getthere’s ability to provide a PRT system is based on the well-proven (20+ years) FROG network and vehicle controls, fully customized for Automated People Mover requirements. The CyberCab vehicle is developed in close co-operation with expert 3rd parties with automotive experience.

The CyberCab accommodates a 6-person family (4 adults, 2 children) and additionally has space available for either a wheelchair or luggage. The vehicle features an automated sliding door, optionally a second door can be installed allowing (dis)embarking on both sides of the vehicle.

PRT-like systems have been installed (e.g. at the Floriade 2002 by 2getthere), but to date no ‘true’ PRT system has been realized. The first applications are imminent, however, as increased market interest indicates. A PRT system can be installed as feeder system to a public transportation node or (central) parking facility and as a local transit system. Possible applications range from airports to business and industrial parks, theme parks and resorts, city centers and residential areas.

For any application it is important that the PRT system fits within the environment. In an existing environment, the system will be optimized in light of the restrictions its surroundings pose, optimizing the value to both passengers and local residents. Where and how (at grade or elevated) the system is constructed should be carefully evaluated with regard to visual intrusion, noise and other effects on the surroundings. In a Greenfield development system optimization within the site development requires an integrated approach.PRT System Summary:

System Capacity (4 second headway): 3.200 – 4.800 passengers per hour
Economically viable from: Approx. 300 p/phour or 1500 p/pday
Supervisory System (Network Controls): TOMS (Transit Operations Monitoring and Supervision)
Vehicles: 6 passenger CyberCab
Infrastructure: Asphalt, at grade or elevated
Status: 2nd generation
Configuration: Network
Operations: On-demand / On-schedule
Connections: Direct / Ride-sharing (Single Origin, Multiple Destinations)
Stations: Off-line
Propulsion: Central AC motor, differential rear axle
Energy supply: Electric or Hybrid
Maximum speed: 40 km/h [25m/ph]
Guidance: FROG-technology

4 Responses to “Personal Rapid Transit”

  1. Would it be possible to obtain the dimensions of you PRT pods that are in use at Masdar City, or any data sheet that you have for your pods?

  2. Echoing Mustafa Pathan’s question, some dimentional data would be nice to have to play around with.

    ULTra PRT has some very informative and useful Google Sketch files available for their vehicles, stations, and pods.

    Sketching some pie-in-the-sky ideas, I’ve come to realise all the non-fixed guideway systems that have been envisaged and designed seem to ignore an important version of transit routing. Pinched-loop.

    Bi-directional vehicles would make it possible to design and implement very compact end-of-line stations and reduce the amount of overhead structure or building/ground real-estate required by vehicles that need to turn around with minimum turning radiuses.

    Bi-directional vehicles would also eliminate the reverse-turn-forward that is required by the pods to exit station bays.

    • Please note that the information on the sizing of the vehicles is available at the website of the Advanced Transit Association/.

      A bi-directional vehicle has been considered, but not been developed at this time. Such vehicle would require adaptations in drive-train, power management and additional obstacle detection sensors. As such the costs of the vehicle would increase, while the additional costs of a turning loop, due to the minimum turning radius of the vehicles, is relatively limited. As such this is requires the additional costs of the vehicle to be assessed against the additional costs of the infrastructure.

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