Group Rapid Transit

Group Rapid Transit (GRT) is an automated transit system with an exclusive right-of-way, accomodating a shared ride for 6 to maximum 30 passengers per vehicle. Typically these systems are installed in a line connection, but can also operate in a network configuration. A GRT system can operate at intermediate headways and provides a high frequency or transportation on-demand.
2getthere’s Group Rapid Transit system consists of a number of automated mini-buses (ParkShuttles) and the supervisory control system TOMS. The ParkShuttle vehicle can accommodate 20 (12 seats, 8 standees) to 25 passengers (8 seats, 17 standees) and allows for easy wheelchair access. The guide way is typically constructed at grade, allowing for at grade crossings or, when required (because of the intensity of the transportation flows), elevated or underground.

The ParkShuttle GRT system basically operates comparable to a horizontal elevator. The vehicles will stop at every station indicated as destination and stations where transport has been requested. As a consequence the system will operate comparable to a bus service in peak hours and (almost) as a PRT system in off-peak hours (providing non-stop origin to destination connections).

Possible applications, whether they concern simple connections or (complicated) networks, range from city centers to residential areas, business and industrial parks, theme parks and resorts. A Group Rapid Transit system will typically be installed as a feeder system to a public transportation node or a (central) parking facility. This can be in a line connection, but a network connection is also possible.

2getthere has realized several GRT applications, installing pilot projects at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and business park Rivium. After a (very) positive evaluation the project at business park Rivium was upgraded and extended in 2005. Additional stations were installed and six new 2nd generation ParkShuttles implemented.  In addition to the projects, (temporary) demonstrations were realized in Antibes, Monaco, Versailles (France), Hanover (Germany), Utrecht and Delft (the Netherlands).

Main reasons to consider Group Rapid Transit systems is the reduced operational and life cycle costs. Electronically guided people movers minimize infrastructure costs as well. An automated system also provides an improved service to the passengers: 24hr transportation on-demand or at a high frequency. For cities the reduction of car traffic, congestion and the environmentally friendly character of the transportation systems are important too. For resorts and (real estate) developers the system presents the possibility to reduce space wasted for non-value added activities (such as parking) by connecting locations and optimizing land use.GRT System Summary:

System Capacity (4 second headway): 2.000 – 8.000 passengers per hour
Economically viable from: Approx. 1500 p/pday
Supervisory System (Network Controls): Transit Operations Monitoring and Supervision (TOMS)
Vehicles: 20-25 passenger ParkShuttle
Infrastructure: Asphalt, at grade
Status: 2nd generation operational
Configuration: Line / Network
Operations: On-demand / On-schedule
Connections: Ride-sharing (Multiple Origins, Multiple Destinations)
Stations: On-line / 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 “Group Rapid Transit”

  1. Has there been any contact with the municipality of Groningen?. They are now opting for a tram system.

    • In the past we have introduced the ParkShuttle GRT concept at many municipalities in the Netherlands, Groningen being one of them. At the same time it should be noted that this has been over 5 years ago, meaning that changes in the local parties have taken place and people can have moved on.

      As 2getthere we are not familiar enough with the specifics of the Groningen application to determine whether our GRT system could be a suitable alternative. Where our system is intended as feeder system, this might not be in line with the goal of the tram-connection. Also it needs to be determined if the system can meet the desired peak hour capacity. If additional information is available, we would be interested to perform a prelimanary analysis of the suitability.

      • Hello,

        I would like to know if this GRT can be used like a Bus (I mean, not circulating in a closed lane with barrier but in a normal / classic bus lane) ? (if there is a child who cross the way etc.)

        • Although all vehicles are equipped with advanced sensory systems ensuring that they can detect and stop for obstacles, the operation without any type of segragation in an urban environment is so complex and sensitive we wouldn’t pursue such opportunities at this time. This is related to safety, as the unexpected behaviour of people is very complex to accommodate for in automated systems. Also the disturbances resulting from other traffic could reduce the service offered by the system.

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