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System Engineering: Decision Making in Systems Engineering and Management
by, Gregory S. Parnell, Ph.D., Editor
by, Patrick J. Driscoll, Ph.D., Editor
by, Dale L. Henderson, Ph.D., Design Editor

In fact, one of the most significant failings of the current U.S. transportation system is that the automobile was never thought of as being part of a system until recently. It was developed and introduced during a period that saw the automobile as a standalone technology largely replacing the horse and carriage. So long as it outperformed the previous equine technology, it was considered a success. This success is not nearly so apparent if the automobile is examined from a systems thinking perspective. In that guise, it has managed to fail miserably across a host of dimensions. Many of these can be observed in any major US city today: oversized cars and trucks negotiating tight roads and streets, bridges and tunnels incapable of handling daily traffic density, insufficient parking, poor air quality induced in areas where regional air circulation geography restricts free flow of wind, a distribution of the working population to suburban locations necessitating automobile transportation, and so on. Had the automobile been developed as a multilateral system interconnected with urban (and rural) transportation networks and environmental systems, U.S. cities would be in a much different situation than they find themselves in today.

What is important here is not that the automobile could have been developed differently, but that in choosing to design, develop and deploy the automobile as a stand alone technology, a host of complementary transportation solutions to replace the horse and buggy were not considered.

Design the System for the desired characteristics:

Government Studies
Word.doc Kunming JPods Study   Study by Kunming DOT for deploying JPods networks in Kunming. Chinese version. Babelfish English.
Video of Cabinetaxi   This hundred million dollar test system failed to be expanded on as the 1973 Oil Embargo faded and the will to expand sustainable infrastructure evaporated. The technology worked before modern computer networks. JPods patented the application of distribute collaborative networks and reduced the large parasitic mass of this types of personal automated mobility.
Last Oil Crisis, 1975   At Senatorial request, DOT defined PRT as a likely solution to oil addiction. It also noted the likely reasons it would not be adopted which had to do with lack of will to implement simple solutions.
March 2007 GAO Report   We are in the midst of Peak Oil or will experience the consequences before we can re-tool transportation.

U.S. consumers paid $38 billion more for gasoline in the first six months of 2006 than they paid in the same period of 2005, and $57 billion more than they paid in the same period of 2004....

May 2007 New Jersey Study   Study commissioned by New Jersey's Legislature. It was performed by Booz, Allen, Hamilton
060322_EUStudy.pdf   Definitive study by the European Union. PRT contributes significantly to transport policy and all related policy objectives. This innovative transport concept allows affordable mobility for all groups in society and represents opportunities for achieving equity. The demonstration of the PRT prototype system ?ULTRA? at a test site in Cardiff, four accompanying case studies at different cities and the overall European assessment indicated high overall benefits. The specific urban transport problems in particular of new member states, accession and candidate countries could be alleviated significantly at a lower cost than any other transport system. PRT is the personalization of public transport, the first public transport system which can really attract car users and which can cover its operating cost and even capital cost at a wider market penetration. PRT complements existing public transport networks. PRT is characterized through attractive transport services and high safety.
Corps of Engineer Study   Corps of Engineer's Study on the need to migrate to alternative energy sources.
InnovPTS2_Swedish.pdf   Swedish study of PRT and its importance to replace auto trips.
CSTWinnipegGilbert_0604.pdf   Canadian Sustainable Infrastructure study of energy sources and PRT.
edict_brochure.pdf   European Union Summary of Study for PRT in several cities.
directory_fp5_cot_projects_en.pdf   European Union extensive scientific approach to designing cities of the future.
Morgantown_TRB_111504.pdf   Morgantown, WV has been operating an oversized, hybrid of Group and Personal Rapid Transit since 1975. They logged 100 million injury free passenger miles.
hagenstudyCabinetTaxi.pdf   German PRT project
Wupertal   Because of its suspended design, the Schwebenbahn is one of the safest transportation systems in the world. Having carried more than 1.5 billion passengers it has had only one fatal accident at the cost of 5 lives. That is radically different than the 40,000 deaths per year from cars in the US.
Industry and Academic Studies
prt_Campus_Schneider.pdf   Study of campus solution with PRT.
EPA sponsored Studies   Study of specific implementations by Steve Raney. Very well defined method of determining benefits
SolarEvolution   Solar energy company presentation on the synergy between low mass transit and solar energy.
Princeton University   Excellent study of how a network the size of New Jersey can be broken into implementations by economic community.
prt_Campus_Schneider.pdf   Study of campus solution with PRT.
Prt_Italian.pdf   Italian PRT study.
PRTinitiative_TRB_4web.pdf   PRT study presented at the TRB.
FutureofHCPRT-Jan606.doc   Dr. Ed Anderson's 2005 paper on PRT. Ed is a leading pioneer and carried the torch for many years.
infrastructure_cost_ASCE.doc   Cost comparison of various infrastructure alternatives.
LeanManufacturingTransit.pdf   Just-in-Time productivity gains benefited manufacturers' shift from Mass Production. The same focus on quality applies to productivity opportunities in Mass Transportation.
T2K-Rebuttal-to-CALS.pdf   Taxi 2000 response to not being selected as the vendor for Cincinnati's people mover.
Ultra_case_studies.pdf   Ultra's case studies of various PRT opportunities
Ultra_clean_air_paper.pdf   Ultra's clean air study.
Ultra_Econ_assessments.doc   Ultra's Economic Assessment
CascadiaHitchhikePaper.doc   PRT study of the Microsoft Campus area.
CaseForPRT.pdf   Study on why PRT is important.
CostPerMileOperations_UWa.pdf   Study of Cost per Mile of various rail systems.
emery_genl_plan.ppt   Powerpoint using Emeryville, CA as an example of the benefits of PRT. Presentation by Steve Raney of
Industry Sites
Advance Transit   Organization which promotes the PRT industry.
Innovative Transportation   University of Washington, Innovative Transportation Technologies site.
Get There Board   Advocacy site
Citizens for PRT   Advocacy site
Austin Citizens for PRT   Advocacy site
Manufacturer's Sites
Skyweb   Minnesota based PRT system.
ULTra   British PRT System
Coaster   Swiss PRT System
Vectus   Korean/Swedish collaboration to build PRT systems. Well funded by multi-billion dollar Korean steel company.
SkyTran   MegLev PRT system.
Mister   Polish suspended system. Movie
MagLev   MagneMotion meglev company.
Macro Reports on Consequences
IPCC   The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.
Stern Review   British Treasury Report on immediate need to invest 1% of world GDP to mitigate 20% collapse of world GDP from Global Warming.
ABC Webcast of Peak Oil   Very well done presentation on the details behind Peak Oil.
World Economic Forum, 2007   List of economic risks and probabilities.
Washington State Climate Change Consequences   Very well done presentation on the details behind Peak Oil.
California Climate Warning   Climate change impact on California.
Regulatory Breakthrough
freight_Public_Private.htm   California Laws review for public investment in private rail.
Background details on automobiles and trip replacement
pub_heavy_load_10_06.pdf   Heavy burden on families, housing and transportation. Study underscores that transportation is a very heavy burden on lower income working families.
RealPriceGasoline1998.pdf   Real cost of gasoline.
AutoGHG_0608.pdf   Automobiles and Green House Gases
GasPerDay_pmmtab48.pdf   Gas usage per day by State
motor_gas_ass.pdf   DOE assessment of mechanics of gas prices increases in 1996 and 1997.
CostsperMileRoads2005.pdf   Cost per mile for roads.

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2005 Construction

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JPod Station

Alternate Energy

Vehicle Options


  • Personal cars are the right answer:
    • Model after the most successful forms of transit
      • Privately owned: automobiles
      • Non-privately owned: elevators
    • Both are on-demand means of transit
  • Focus on the value and quality
    • personal mobility opens social, educational and economic opportunities
      • the first 16 and last 16 years of life should not be restricted by a lack of competency to drive an automobile.
      • inability to afford to own and operate a car should not restrict access to opportunities
      • time waiting for scheduled transit is a tax on being poor, young or old
  • Niche design to optimize value

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