Thursday, September 18, 2008


Bwahahaha!! Oh those PRT people. Hilarious.
The proposed system involves a 100 percent fare box cost recovery. Imagine: no subsidies for operation and maintenance costs.

The much-touted San Jose light (sic) rail recovers just 10 percent of its O & M costs. A.C. Transit recovers just 30 percent. BART recovers so little, it survives on a $250 million annual subsidy.The CyberTran System, already off the design boards and proven feasible in numerous computer simulations, is ultra-light and involves no grade crossings. Instead, the few intersections encountered are all safely grade-separated. Why? Speed and safety.
Because why build one to see if it works as advertised when we have computers!


Jarrett Mullen said...

I love how they create a perception of poor farebox performance for BART. It just wouldn't sound the same to mention BART's 56% farebox recovery ratio.

arcady said...

I love his list of outlandish ideas: monorails, gondolas, light rail, hydrofoils, catapults, kayaks, slingshots, chair lifts and of course PRT. Funny how he puts light rail in there as an outlandish idea, and also PRT which he then goes on to advocate. The only impression the article left me with is that he's not a coherent enough writer to take seriously.

Cavan said...

I wish I could laugh. This is serious now. This talk is just putting off good sound talk about present feasible solutions (of which there is only one: walkable communities connected by trains and buses for redundancy).

We need trains. We don't need this garbage. I'm trying to laugh but just can't.

Justin said...

Well it works in computer simulations! Let's build it!!

Michael said...

The first major test of PRT will be at Heathrow later this year. It may never become a mainstream solution but I could see it as a niche solution. For instance it could help solve the "last mile" problem in some areas if integrated into a larger system of heavy and light rail.

For instance, I could see an elevated PRT circulator system working in downtown Houston or Uptown districts. But you still need light rail and commuter rail to get people there. And you still probably want streetcars in some areas instead... and you still need denser development than we have had over the past 50 years.

I could see PRT being potentially used for good purposes - on clean energy, and especially as a niche solution at airports and such - so I'm not going to knock it just yet.

beyonddc said...

PRT is stupid. It combines the efficiency of cars with the convenience of transit, which is to say it's NEITHER efficient nor convenient.

I can't think of any situation where true PRT would be more cost-effective than a normal transit circulator, or a share-taxi subsidy. I certainly don't think the pro-PRT crowd is realistic about the costs of elevated rail, nor about the likelihood that anyone will want elevated lines running on every street in their neighborhood.

I will say this in defense of the article, though: San Jose's light rail is legitimately awful. Muddling along from office park parking lot to office park parking lot is no way to run a transit line.

Anonymous said...

I heard bicycles are good for the last mile too, and are (I believe, though I don't have Wendell Cox's report to prove it) cheaper to implement than PRT or cars.


Dave Murphy said...

PRT makes a lot of sense... on business campuses. I think it makes sense for a private company to implement a PRT system connecting a spread out office park to a subway station. Likely cheaper than remodeling the area into a more pedestrian friendly layout. I think it could work in places like the military base where I work.

But as far as public PRT? I don't buy it being feasible anywhere in America. the idea that this crap could be widely used without major lines and backups is preposterous.