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Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Model of the London Vehicle “What we know about PRT Regionally, Statewide, Nationally, & in the UK” by Mukhtar “ Mook -tar” Thakur Director, Multi-Modal Innovation Office at Mn /DOT - ACEC Annual Conference March, 2010. In the Metro Region.

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Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)

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Personal rapid transit prt

Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)

Personal rapid transit prt

Model of the London Vehicle

“What we know about PRT Regionally, Statewide,

Nationally, & in the UK”

by Mukhtar “Mook-tar” Thakur

Director, Multi-Modal Innovation Office

at Mn/DOT - ACEC Annual Conference

March, 2010

In the metro region

In the Metro Region

  • City of Bloomington has had discussions/ presentations from three different PRT related groups.

  • Maple Grove is said to have discussions about developing the parcel near the Gravel Pit with a crossing over 694.

  • Mn/DOT has heard of or seen printed sketches of proposals for:

  • Ford Plant Site – connections to Hiawatha Light Rail Station

  • Edina

  • Richfield(in combination)

  • Bloomington

Prt personal rapid transit at london airport

PRT = Personal Rapid Transitat London Airport



City of Winona is interested in pursuing a PRT demonstration project:

  • Winona has submitted for a Federal (PRT) grant

  • A sketch shows crossing of TH 61

  • The City Council is supportive

  • Mn/DOT has issued letter of support for their Grant




City of San Jose, CA is exploring PRT at their airport.

  • RFI issued October 2008 – 19 responses received; and

  • RFP issued for ~$4M study – ongoing.

    City of Santa Cruz, CA

  • October 2008 issued an RFQ for a PRT System –


    Alameda, CA - Developer Proposal

    Peter Calthorpe of Calthorpe Associates


Personal rapid transit prt

Nationally (New Jersey continued)

New Jersey State Had a Legislative Study Performed

February 2007 Report stated:

  • PRT Systems are approaching but not yet ready for deployment.

  • Many of the technical components needed to support PRT systems are commercially available and are used in other industries.

  • Global PRT interest and development programs are expanding.

  • A fully operational PRT system is needed to demonstrate the theoretical benefits of PRT and establish commercial readiness.

Personal rapid transit prt

Nationally (New Jersey continued)

  • A comprehensive technology research and demonstration program is needed to develop a PRT system.

  • Construction of PRT underway in two locations.

  • Several other cities in the world seriously considering the development of PRT systems.

  • Many challenges that face PRT in terms of large scale deployment such as:

  • technological limitations

  • a very small number of manufacturers worldwide

  • proprietary system components that limit open competition and sustainability

Personal rapid transit prt

Nationally (New Jersey continued)

  • Any application of PRT in the commonwealth would likely require additional research, development and funding to ensure that the system is sustainable long enough to achieve a return on the investment.

    Skyweb Express Vehicle

Personal rapid transit prt

Nationally (continued)

Virginia Finds PRT Viable

Report to Virginia legislature, December 2008, noted:

  • Construction of PRT underway in two locations (London & Abu Dhabi);

  • Several other cities seriously considering development of PRT systems; and

  • Appears that technology is evolving from concept to reality.

Personal rapid transit prt

Nationally (Virginia continued)

  • Many challenges to implementation of large sale systems:

  • Technological limitations;

  • Small number of manufacturers worldwide;

  • Proprietary System Components that limit competition & sustainability;

  • Any application in Virginia would likely require additional research, development and funding; and

  • Proposal was Portsmouth be considered as one potential for a pilot program.

Nationally continued shoreline biz park google mountain view downtown nasa

Nationally (continued)Shoreline Biz Park/Google/Mountain View Downtown/NASA

  • Research Pk PRT –first version June 2008

    –last update September 2009

    Ithaca, NY Study

  • Awarded in 2009

  • 12 stations, 7.7 miles of Guideway, Lawnet Cornell University & Ithaca College,

In the uk

In the UK

  • PRT “demoline” start date is this Spring at London’s

    Heathrow Airport.

  • Connects two Park & Ride

    locations to Terminal 5

    approx. 1 mile away

  • Costs stated to be approx.


  • Start date has been delayed

    at least twice, now stated

    to be Spring, 2010 London’s Heathrow Airport

    Terminal 5 Station

Personal rapid transit prt

  • Stations are like bus stops. Destination selected by Smart Card and touch screen. (Smart Card keeps info on passengers for personalized service.)

Stop at London Park and Ride

  • For typical 1 mile journey approximately 3 minutes.

  • Expected to be very reliable.

Stop at London Park and Ride

  • Pods run either at ground level or elevated guideways supported by lightweight steel structures.

Personal rapid transit prt

In the UK (continued)

  • In the UK these points were noted about PRT:

  • Less disruption to ongoing operations at Heathrow;

  • Faster construction due to smaller scale;

  • Scalability;

  • Opportunity to extend to Airport Environment and other terminals; and

  • Low Emissions.

Personal rapid transit prt

In the UK (continued)

  • Obstructions on guideway will automatically stop the pod and alert Central Control.

  • Emission factor saving 3-4 times over cars orpublic transport. Reduces carbon emissions now.

  • Vandalism Resistant.

  • It could run on solar power.

Guideway Leading to the PRT Stop at London

Mn dot update on personal rapid transit prt

Mn/DOT Update on Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)

  • Request for Interest (RFI) published in State Register of February 08, 2010,

    download from:

    deadline for responding is May 4, 2010

  • Hoping for at least 5 and as many as 10 responders

  • Creation of a Personal Rapid Transit Alliance (PRTA) group is one goal of the RFI

  • Seeking to explore and gather interest about PRT is also a goal of the RFI

  • Next Steps are TBD

Personal rapid transit prt

Mn/DOT Update on Personal RapidTransit (continued)

Thus far we have noted the following:

  • Don’t view PRT as being in competition with line-haul bus or LRT services.

  • That PRT may be competitive with feeder/shuttle buses in niche applications.

  • Don’t see PRT being implemented as a “network” around the city.

  • That there are issues that need to be addressed when trying to establish the feasibility of a PRT application, namely: aesthetics, how it fits in the current land form and surrounding land uses, ROW, and how it is going to be funded, among others.

Concept showing skyweb express vehicles passing a station

Concept Showing Skyweb Express Vehicles Passing a Station

A Vectus Vehicle on the Test Trackin Uppsala, Sweden

London Heathrow PRT

London Heathrow Guideway



Mister prototype on display in opole poland

MISTER Prototype on Displayin Opole, Poland

Personal rapid transit prt

Model of the Masdar Vehicle

A jpod vehicle option

A JPOD Vehicle Option

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