Chart of the Day: Councilmember Zimmermann’s Plan for Personal Rapid Transit System for Minneapolis, MN

Councilmember Zimmermann's Plan for Personal Rapid Transit System for Minneapolis, MN

Councilmember Zimmermann’s Plan for Personal Rapid Transit System for Minneapolis, MN

It was 2004. PRT was in the air. Dean Zimmermann was still a free man on the City Council, having grown up from his role in the Co-op Wars.

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11 Responses to Chart of the Day: Councilmember Zimmermann’s Plan for Personal Rapid Transit System for Minneapolis, MN

  1. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele July 23, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    I occasionally run into PRT advocates at public meetings… I talked to one after a meeting last year, and it was fascinating. I don’t think PRT would be wise, but I’m glad people are dreaming about different ways of business as usual. Thinking out of the box never hurt anyone.

    Thankfully pro-road anti-transit zealots lost at co-opting these dreams to destroy legitimate transit plans, but that’s another issue.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke July 23, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      O no, PRT “pod people” have the most one track minds.

      • Matt Steele
        Matt Steele July 23, 2014 at 9:59 am #

        True. Evidence of that: Showing up at public meetings regarding specific transit corridors with a selected technology, and advocating for a complete shift towards a technology untested at that scale. I agree with you.

        What are some of the other “out of the box” ideas for transit? Remember the streets.mn article about gondolas connecting Uptown, Downtown, and the West Bank or Northeast? https://streets.mn/2013/02/07/transit-in-the-sky/

        • MplsJaromir July 24, 2014 at 8:51 am #

          Heck, at least gondolas are used all over the world and have reliable vendors with proven technology.

  2. Andrew B July 23, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Nobody ever takes my water-park-lazy-river-inner-tube transit system seriously either.

    • Joe S July 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

      I am taking it very seriously Andrew, but only if it relies on hydrogen fuel cells. Also, the liquid hydrogen must be generated from nuclear fusion derived energy. We should invest $500K into developing that technology and not make any transport adjustments until that time. That’s the only thing that makes sense. We will only have to replace these trains and BRT systems with nuclear-fusion-powered-hydrogen-fuel-cell-driven-lazy-rivers anyway. Might as well, just wait until we can do it RIGHT!

  3. Ryan Johnson
    Ryan Johnson July 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    I thought this is (seriously) something Michele Bachmann was also on board with. Anyone who can confirm?

    • Matt Steele
      Matt Steele July 23, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      Probably insofar as it is useful to kill a real transit project. You don’t see the Michele Bachmanns and Phil Krinkies of the world out there pushing for engineering/planning dollars for PRT.

  4. Caddy K July 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    I do not have a particular stance on PRT other than it should be looked into with real scrutiny.
    Are the commentators on here aware that:

    “As of July 2013, four PRT systems are operational: The world’s oldest and most extensive PRT system is in Morgantown, West Virginia. It has been in continuous operation since 1975.” -From Wikipedia

    So systems have been tested and there is real world data to be examined.

    [In West Virginia]
    “The system entered operation in 1975 and, except for a short closure for a major expansion, has operated continually with 98.5% reliability for over thirty years.” -Wikipedia
    The analysis of the system is largely positive from what I can tell, I would like to know more. I would like to see a comparison to LRT, Bike lanes, and buses in terms of cost, safety, reliability and efficiency.

    For that matter there may be other non-car transit systems that deserve examination.

    Also please take into consideration this is a site designed to facilitate the conversation about urban issues. I am discouraged by the sarcastic comments, and the opinion substituted for fact I see on so many posts here.

    For the record I am a big fan of trains, although not our LRT system plans.

    PRT is dismissed but no real information or data is given as to what the problems are.

    What exactly is wrong with the system?

    thanks!

    • Jonathan Ahn July 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      Morgantown’s PRT is more of a campus shuttle for WVU students/faculty. As far as I know, it’s closer to a tram system that runs on a fixed route (the one you see at airports and theme parks) instead of a point-to-point transit system.

      PRT at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 is probably the only real PRT that’s in commercial service. It’s running as a shuttle service between the terminal and airport parking garages. I heard the airport once had a plan to expand the PRT service to other terminals, but they are hesitant to do so due to cost concerns and capacity issues.

      (I am very much skeptical of the concept of PRT as a substitute of other modes of mass transit. At least PRT can prove that it can run as a direct point-to-point high-capacity system.)

      • Jonathan Ahn July 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

        EDIT : The last paragraph should read;
        “I am very much skeptical of the concept of PRT as a substitute of other modes of mass transit until PRT can prove that it can run at least as a direct point-to-point high-capacity system.”

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