On May 22nd at 13.55 hours, the PRT system at Masdar welcomed its 1 millionth passenger. ‘This milestone demonstrates the popularity of the technology being showcased at Masdar City,’ said Anthony Mallows, Director of Masdar City. ‘The PRT system has made a significant contribution to the city’s development thus far, and will continue to feature as an important function of the city’s transportation system.’
The PRT system at Masdar City was the first PRT system to open to the general public on November 28, 2010. From the very first moment the system has been a success, attracting local visitors to the retail at Masdar and featuring prominently as part of the Abu Dhabi Big Bus tour. International dignitaries, ranging from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to secretary-general Ban Ki Moon and leaders of many nations around the globe, have also been introduced to 2getthere’s innovative transit system during their visit to Masdar.
The patronage of the system is actually four times higher than originally anticipated. The higher ridership is possible as the degree to which people share vehicles is also double what was expected. Where the average occupancy of a normal car ranges from 1.1 to 1.3 people, the average occupancy of the pods ranges between 2 and 2.4, with the higher values being achieved on the weekends.
2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen comments: ‘We are very proud to have reached the 1 million passengers milestone. It confirms the success of the application and the attraction of Masdar to people. We are confident this will help convince other developers to consider these type of feeder systems to improve their accessibility as well.’
The PRT system has achieved a 99.4% system availability since the opening. ‘Establishing a mark like that in a difficult climate can be attributed to sound engineering. It is good to see we didn’t get it wrong. At the same time we are continuously taking in the learnings from the application to ensure that we can apply these for next systems’ adds Van Helsdingen.
The system at Masdar was realized in close cooperation with UAE based United Technical Services. UTS and 2getthere actually celebrated 15 years of cooperation for the Gulf Coast Countries just the night before. UTS COO Ziad al Askari: ‘The success of the cooperation didn’t come overnight. We have both invested significant time and effort in building the relationship and the business. Systems like these aren’t like toasters: there are so many variables that can be influenced to generate the right passenger experience that projects typically have a considerable lead time.’