Sunday, January 04, 2015

The System Has Tremendous Capacity If You Don't Worry Much About The People

Always hate when people start falling down the PRT rabbit hole, the mass transit system which leaves out the 'mass' part, or in this case leaves out the 'people' part almost entirely.

Even if we fully buy the basic technology and cost claims (I don't), the capacity claims are just absurd. They claim the capacity of the system is 11,000 hour. I'm sure if you run automated pods around a track without letting people get on and off that'd be achievable. You could also run subways at 2 second headways if you didn't have to worry about boarding too. That would imply an immense capacity! If only you could fill those empty trains...

The only way to get close to that is to double-triple-quadruple track on immense boarding platforms. People actually take up space, and take time to exit and enter vehicles. Suddenly that footprint isn't so small anymore. Also, too, your boarding system has to be ADA compliant so you gotta pay for all of those elevators.

Subways at peak times (rush hour, events) face boarding problems, and everybody gets to board at once! Not, you know, two at a time, waiting for the car in front of you to depart before yours can get on its way.

It's just a Jetsons idea, mass transit for people who don't like the idea of mass transit. An automated taxi system that would have the kind of coverage they claim (you'll only have to walk 1/8 of a mile to a stop!) and the capacity they claim would be tremendously expensive, even if it roughly can work as claimed.