Posts Tagged: Swift



One of the Best Analyses of PRT You’ll Ever See

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We here at The Gondola Project tend to be a pretty open-minded group of individuals with our readership generally following suit. We’re not, however, slaves to fads or trends. When we look at new ideas, innovations and technologies, we try our very best to be objective and analytical about them (but appreciate and love the craziness of things like the Chinese Tunnel Bus™).

We approach things from a position of empirical skepticism. We need to see that something can actually work – or at the very least, that the theory and logic underpinning a concept makes sound and reasonable sense. As a result, we’ve tended not to have a fondness for the mythologized panacea of the public transportation world; Personal Rapid Transit (check here and here for two of our more interesting debates with PRT advocates).

The fundamental logic behind PRT is quite simply flawed with most advocates of the technology blind to the economic and technological limitations of it. But that doesn’t prevent it from being continually trotted out as transportation messiah.

That’s why the work of blogger and researcher Apatzer is so fascinating.

Over at a brand new site called Apatzer meticulously (and sometimes exhaustingly) details the 6 months he spent researching and coding a simulated PRT network to investigate the technology’s feasibility.

His basic findings are that PRT is financially unfeasible; is incapable of providing the needed capacity in dense urban environments; and cannot provide the time savings over the private automobile typically sold by PRT advocates and companies.

I won’t go through his entire analysis as that would take about as long as it took him to do his study. As such, it’s hard for us to say whether his work is “right” or “wrong.” But for anyone interested in PRT as a viable urban transportation solution, they should spend a serious amount of time and energy exploring his work.

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