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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Mistakes: acknowledged

Commenter PRT Liberal wrote in response to a post I did on Light Rail Transit vs Personal Rapid Transit last month.
PRT supporters come from across the political spectrum. See: Who's in whose pocket?

Activists against PRT use distortion, don't acknowledge their mistakes when caught. See: See How They Distort
Interesting take on the issue; I admit I didn't do enough digging to appreciate the frequency of this attack angle. I probably had more of a knee-jerk response based on my nose for engineering follies. This attitude stems from healthy technical skepticism (I work on some systems that I myself have real doubts on -- and much more bizarre than elevated single-passenger rail vehicles.).

The statement I have to disagree with:
But traditional American transit systems fail, on a daily basis, to win more than 5-10% (depending upon the city) of trips.
Ask yourself this: if somehow you happened across a cushy job in downtown Manhattan where you had free reign over some interesting project, would you take mass-transit into the city?

You bet your bippy I would. And I think the vast majority of people would too, having a personal I-Pod transportation system at their ready notwithstanding. The fact that people still have a choice of transit in most metropolitan areas indicates that we asked the wrong question to get the desired low ridership number (5-10%).


Professor Anonymous PRT Liberal said...

Note that I wrote "depending upon the city". Manhattan is the dream city for advocates of traditional transit, because it is one of the few US cities that has everything such transit needs, such as large population, high density, high rate of non-drivers, and extensive transit infrastructure. In Manhattan, commuter trains and subways work. PRT doesn't propose replacing such systems, if they are effective.

But what about a Manhattan, Kansas (or Redmond, WA or Palo Alto, CA or Duluth, MN...)? Any city ought to be able to have mass transit without having to remake itself to be become more like Manhattan, New York City. PRT is a mass transit system that can do that: lower cost, small footprint, doesn't need high densities, serves all neighborhoods, non-transit economic development (so-called Transit Oriented Development) is optional, not required.

10:59 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

OK, let's give it a go.

5:46 PM  
Professor Anonymous Ken said...

PRT is totally bogus. That's why right-wing, pro-highway politicians like Michele Bachmann and Mark Olson support it.

The would-be vendor for PRT Taxi 2000 is suing its founder and former CEO in Hennepin District Court. The documents in the case show just how bogus the company and its "product" is:


For skeptical info on PRT:




9:14 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Interesting, I am acquainted with some of these people.

I see Richard (Dick) Braun mentioned and I go apopleptic. What a maroon, the guy named a river bridge after himself.

5:54 PM  
Professor Anonymous PRT Liberal said...

Activists against PRT use distortion, don't acknowledge their mistakes when caught. PRT supporters include liberals--and we haven't been hoodwinked. Reread--

The Ken-referenced "Lawsuit" page summarizes news of legal action going on between the company and its founder, which could have political ramifications. But there is nothing--ZERO--showing Taxi 2000 'and its "product"' are in any way bogus.

Ken said...

PRT is totally bogus. That's why right-wing, pro-highway politicians like Michele Bachmann and Mark Olson support it.

12:14 PM  
Professor Anonymous prt liberal said...

I thought you might be interested in a new video animation of what PRT would look like implemented as a corporate campus shuttle. The setting is Microsoft HQ in Redmond. The video and related information are on a new domain set up by the Seattle PRT group at bettercampus.org

The narrator sure sounds like Patricia Clarkson, but odds are 99.9% it isn't.

11:38 AM  

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