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Barry N
06-07-2008, 06:55 AM
Retired transportation engineer Louis Grimble gestures around the nearly deserted Bay LRT station to indicate what he sees wrong with the system Edmonton started in 1978.

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=fa0f6e8a-8e14-4ed1-9992-392cacae07fb

moahunter
06-07-2008, 08:13 AM
Since this is a PRT thread in disguise, I can repost this Youtube that Sweetcrude posted, it sums the logic up a lot better than I ever could, to quote:

"...they seem to be a particular kind of crank..."

DJckdzrDSs0

moahunter
06-07-2008, 08:31 AM
The thing that makes me think PRT is totally impractical though, is security. It can work in an airport setting, or university, because it is a secure setting. But on our streets? A personal "car", that is not as good as a "car", that you share with other people? People who have sex in it, do drugs in it, vomit all over the seats in it... it will be perfect for hookers, because a $5 personal transit ride will be a lot cheaper than a motel. At least with LRT, due to scale, we have security, the driver (and, we can have cameras). This has proven the flaw in Skytrain in Vancouver, it was meant to cost less because there is no need for a driver, but it turns out there is a need for a driver (security). I for one, would be scared to death jumping into an individual transport car, hoping that some scum hasn't done who knows what in it, or for all I know, isn't hiding under the seats or similar, waiting for me to jump in... no doubt half of them would stink like nothing else..., unless we have personal cleaning devices that clean every vehicle before we get in...

To me, PRT was one of these nostalgic ideas of the 1950's, like personal rockets, and flying cars. It looks nice in a book, but the reality is, we don't live in a nostalgic crime free society, we live in a real one, where unless personal transport is personally owned, or prohibitively expensive for the masses to use day to day, someone will ruin it. But with mass transit, we can have security... more "eyes" in themselves adds an element of security that a shared personal device could never acheive.

IKAN104
06-07-2008, 08:31 AM
Well, his ideas may not be practical but at least he's got vision. And the one thing I do agree with him on is the last line in the article: "The way I look at it, I don't agree with a piecemeal approach to solve transit problems. Tunnel here, tunnel there and we don't know where we're going."

moahunter
06-07-2008, 08:41 AM
"The way I look at it, I don't agree with a piecemeal approach to solve transit problems. Tunnel here, tunnel there and we don't know where we're going."
We know where we are going. NAIT, Millwoods, WEM. One day, YEG, Sherwood Park, St Albert. Not that complex really. The reason LRT is not what it could be, is because it doesn't connect enough nodes yet. It will be the spine that collects from our bus system.

IKAN104
06-07-2008, 08:44 AM
Well, yes we know roughly where we're going but what I mean is that planning is happening one leg at a time. The planning should include the entire system.

moahunter
06-07-2008, 08:45 AM
Well, yes we know roughly where we're going but what I mean is that planning is happening one leg at a time. The planning should include the entire system.
When Millwoods and NAIT studies are complete, and WEM decided won't we have the entire system? Don't get me wrong, I'm as impatient as the next person to see the full mocked up map, but I think it is likely already done in 3 or 4 versions, it just hasn't been published yet, until the costings are known for sure.

highlander
06-07-2008, 02:04 PM
I completely agree with moahunter about the fatal flaw with a system like this. One result of the lack of security is that most of the PRT vehicles, whether built for 3, 4 or 6 people will never have strangers in them together, so the real capacity is about the same as private vehicles, about 1.2 per car. what this is is not an automated public transit system, but an automated taxi system, or maybe automated car sharing. THe operational 'PRT' systems at the virginia university in morgantown, and recently at heathrow airport, are not really PRT. they have some characteristics, like on demand service, but the cars are bigger, seating 12 or so, so it's not really personal, and the number of destinations is so small that multiple riders sharing pods is a reasonable demand. Really it's automated shuttle bus. For PRT let's wait until self driving cars arrive. Then we can do this and not have to pretend that it's something else.

highlander
06-07-2008, 02:10 PM
Well, yes we know roughly where we're going but what I mean is that planning is happening one leg at a time. The planning should include the entire system.
When Millwoods and NAIT studies are complete, and WEM decided won't we have the entire system? Don't get me wrong, I'm as impatient as the next person to see the full mocked up map, but I think it is likely already done in 3 or 4 versions, it just hasn't been published yet, until the costings are known for sure.

No we won't have the entire system, because 5 legs just makes no sense (unless the nait leg stays a stump, then it might work.

But it's not so much a system proposal that I want to see, just yet. I want some public discussion (besides the half dozen transit participants on C2E) about what kind of transit sytem we want, how big we dare to dream and how much we want to spend. Then we can develop a map. and yes I think WLRT can go into detailed planning and construction before we have this all figured out.

moahunter
06-07-2008, 02:29 PM
I want some public discussion (besides the half dozen transit participants on C2E) about what kind of transit sytem we want, how big we dare to dream and how much we want to spend.
I have often felt public discussion is largely pointless. It is not democratic to go round meeting halls talking to the loudest voices. And if we have small groups, will the results really be that consistent? Talk to 2 or 3 different people, and you will hear 2 or 3 different ideas. To me, that's why we have transport experts - people who have an education in this. Council represents us. I think they set the parameters, and transport experts implement. At the moment, WLRT is such a hot topic I think, because it does represent slightly different views of what LRT is or is not. Once WLRT is decided come September, I think the other pieces will fall into place much easier, whether we go for a "rapid" LRT, or more of a "longer route" LRT. Both have their merits, but the decision won't be any easier the more people who are consulted. Conucil just needs to decide IMO, the WLRT decision will influence how LRT is built for some time.

sweetcrude
06-07-2008, 06:12 PM
"The way I look at it, I don't agree with a piecemeal approach to solve transit problems. Tunnel here, tunnel there and we don't know where we're going."
We know where we are going. NAIT, Millwoods, WEM. One day, YEG, Sherwood Park, St Albert. Not that complex really. The reason LRT is not what it could be, is because it doesn't connect enough nodes yet. It will be the spine that collects from our bus system.


I'll second IKAN104's sentiment here...

While many disagree, I've argued elsewhere on these boards that our situation has completely changed with the formation of the new regional superboard. Grimble is absolutely correct in describing our transportation planning as being piecemeal. This approach fails to take into a broad account of what the city and region as a whole requires.

I understand that studies have been done. I understand that there are those that disagree with re-assessing what is required for the region. "Too much money...", "Too much time..." , or "We already did that..." are commonly used phrases. I would say that moving ahead in piecemeal fashion only gives us a piecemeal solution and MAY NOT provide what the city/region needs.

The decisions that we make going forward are not only to benefit people who live in Edmonton. The decisions we make are to take into account what is best for the region. These decisions may not necessarily provide what everyone may want, but they shall provide what is feasible in the medium to longterm and be fair to most(majority) of the people in the region taking all things into account. As I've seen, this sort of planning is not available.

--
However, this is not to say that I endorse what Louis Grimble proposes for PRT or anything resembling that. Like Kunstler, I think the amount of investment is enormous for little benefit and the externalities of installing such a system are completely unknown as moahunter has implied.

Edmonton PRT
06-07-2008, 09:51 PM
I completely agree with moahunter about the fatal flaw with a system like this. One result of the lack of security is that most of the PRT vehicles, whether built for 3, 4 or 6 people will never have strangers in them together, so the real capacity is about the same as private vehicles, about 1.2 per car. what this is is not an automated public transit system, but an automated taxi system, or maybe automated car sharing. THe operational 'PRT' systems at the virginia university in morgantown, and recently at heathrow airport, are not really PRT. they have some characteristics, like on demand service, but the cars are bigger, seating 12 or so, so it's not really personal, and the number of destinations is so small that multiple riders sharing pods is a reasonable demand. Really it's automated shuttle bus. For PRT let's wait until self driving cars arrive. Then we can do this and not have to pretend that it's something else.
Please get your facts straight. Security issues are one of the most important design elements of PRT systems. The ULTra system for example was designed in the U.K. where they have dealt with security issues since the 1970's due to IRA terrorism. ULTra is not currently operational at Heathrow but is under construction and will be completed next year. It has room for 4 seated passengers and is a true Personal Rapid Transit system.

Definition: Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is an on demand system of driverless automatic taxis traveling on their own guideway network available 24 hours a day.
- PRT utilizes small vehicles for exclusive use by an individual or a small group of friends typically 2 to 4 passengers, traveling together by choice.
- PRT vehicles are fully automated; move quietly on small guideways located above ground or at ground level.
- PRT stations are small (50 ft long, 15m), within easy walking distance, even inside buildings.
- PRT does not use schedules; service is demand-responsive, rather than on fixed schedules and available 24 hours a day.
- PRT will take you between any two stations on the network with no transfers or stops. Direct origin to destination service, without a necessity to transfer or stop at intervening stations.
- Fully automated vehicles capable of operation without human drivers.

Morgantown, built in 1976, is actually an automated people mover (APM) that can be operated as a PRT system when demand is low, stopping only where requested by users. When demand is high it stops at every station. With a seating capacity of 8 and standing room for 12 more, it does not fit the textbook definition of PRT. The Morgantown system has nearly LRT capacity and has moved over 30,000 people per day.

Kunstler is no expert in transit systems of any type and readily admits it. Current plans for the NAIT LRT route have a cost exceeding $300,000,000 per kilometre. This is 10 times the cost of a PRT system according to a Booz Allen Hamilton study which endorses the economics of Personal Rapid Transit.
www.cities21.org/PaulHoffmanPRTbriefing012307.ppt

moahunter
06-07-2008, 10:38 PM
Please get your facts straight. Security issues are one of the most important design elements of PRT systems. The ULTra system for example was designed in the U.K. where they have dealt with security issues since the 1970's due to IRA terrorism. ULTra is not currently operational at Heathrow but is under construction and will be completed next year. It has room for 4 seated passengers and is a true Personal Rapid Transit system.

From the perspective of an airport, PRT is going to be safer than a regular train. If someone takes a bomb on a PRT, it is probably only going to kill the people in that PRT car. PRT seems to have a useful niche role in airports.

But you haven't addressed my comments about personal saftey, in respect of the vehicles, if they cost a couple of dollars to ride in. How would you stop people doing "undesirable" things in the vehicles, that leave smells, needles, or other dangers for the next customer? We have enough "eyes" in the train (not to mention a driver), to address that with LRT. I don't feel safe jumping in a strangers car, but I have no problem jumping on a bus or train filled with people, or a rental car that has been individually cleaned and serviced before I receive it.

Here is another web site, which discusses other limitations:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_prt001.htm



PRT's long history of failure

The Morgantown and Rosemont projects are not isolated – every single attempt, over the past half-century, to develop a PRT project has failed, in one way or another. in some cases, those that have not simply been abandoned and dismantled, have been converted into AGT (Automated Guideway Transit), operating as a more or less "conventional" grade-separated, fixed-route transit mode. The light-capacity peoplemover systems seen at many airports and recreation complexes and in the downtowns of a few cities represent deployments of PRT-like AGT in applications where this mode seems to have its best niche. But the vision of a vast network of guideways penetrating the nooks and crannies of even a portion of an urban area seems to have simply been abandoned when project designers and decisionmakers have confronted the real-world challenges and costs of trying to do this.

Interestingly the Federal Government in the US was supporting PRT (Richard Nixon was a big fan), as they hoped it would be a cheaper option than funding mass rail / LRT all over the place - a stalling tactic if you will, until the costs of the PRT trials hit home. That is the danger of pie in the sky ideas, they can stop us from doing what works now, like always waiting for the next model car, but never buying, because the next one, then the next one after that, will be better. If PRT is proven in a metro city then fine, let's consider it, but it is not a reason to stall LRT, a proven system that is popular right now.

Edmonton PRT
06-07-2008, 11:11 PM
Then can you show me one study of the Edmonton LRT that details the economics of the system I have only read one that stated ''the net benefits of LRT extension are likely to be negative and that lower cost alternatives exist'' by Kim and West, U of A Economics Department.

On security. If you read today's paper it reports another stabbing at a LRT station. Security is always an issue, even with LRT.

sweetcrude
06-07-2008, 11:48 PM
As Kunstler puts it... "Are they going to put tressels everywhere?"

To be perfectly honest, I don't think I know enough about PRT to leave fair comment here, but like Kunstler, the installation of PRT systems do not immediately make sense to me.


- PRT does not use schedules; service is demand-responsive, rather than on fixed schedules and available 24 hours a day.
- PRT will take you between any two stations on the network with no transfers or stops. Direct origin to destination service, without a necessity to transfer or stop at intervening stations.Sounds good.

TiUDLYvNNbo

Again, sounds good. I guess what I don't understand is the scalability of such a system.

Here's sort of what I mean:
PRT is supposed to be demand responsive (i.e. there are no fixed schedules). Therefore, a car/pod is supposed to be available to you when you arrive at a station. OK, I'm following this concept, but where I get lost is when we start to make claims of the feasibility of maintaining this system as "demand responsive" everywhere. Personally, I just don't think this is going to happen.

My rationale... How far apart are stations? What is the maximum distance residents must walk to reach a station? For outlying areas where service requests are infrequent, how are requests for pods handled? Surely there wouldn't be a pod waiting at all stations at all times? Or would there be?

Suffice to say, I don't think we're getting the whole story. This isn't to imply that the information isn't available, I'm just saying that from what I've seen thus far, there are broader concepts that don't seem to be taken into account and/or simply put... we're in most cases comparing apples to oranges.

As a feeder network system into larger modes of transit, I could potentially see it work. I could also see it working in other particular areas (e.g. airport, a downtown network, shopping districts/malls, etc). The particular item that continues to bother me about the PRT concept is that one of the main motivations behind it is to reduce congestion on our roadways. Well, wouldn't the installation of PRT serve to replace the need for roadways? Otherwise, aren't we just offering commuters another choice to not drive? The point I'm making here is that I can see the further progression of sprawl with the installation of PRT systems if they do not replace roadways. If the ever mighty price of a barrel of oil keeps increasing, how much do we really want to disable densification efforts?

JayBee
07-07-2008, 12:46 AM
How would you stop people doing "undesirable" things in the vehicles, that leave smells, needles, or other dangers for the next customer? We have enough "eyes" in the train (not to mention a driver), to address that with LRT. I don't feel safe jumping in a strangers car, but I have no problem jumping on a bus or train filled with people, or a rental car that has been individually cleaned and serviced before I receive it.


Okay, I realise this is getting into hard-to-grasp territory for someone who can't even figure out the difference between pollution in Genessee and on Jasper Avenue, but here is an amazing recent advancement in technology (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Cam_01.jpg) which may have the answer for you. And if for some reason you don't quite understand that one, how about this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_card)?

I'm not defending PRT here, but just trying to lend a hand where apparently needed.

Best of luck! :D

MylesC
07-07-2008, 12:54 AM
Funny how they say the Bay station is 'deserted'. It's been pretty darn busy there since Enterprise Square has opened.

Edmonton PRT
07-07-2008, 08:05 AM
My rationale... How far apart are stations? What is the maximum distance residents must walk to reach a station? For outlying areas where service requests are infrequent, how are requests for pods handled? Surely there wouldn't be a pod waiting at all stations at all times? Or would there be?
As a feeder network system into larger modes of transit, I could potentially see it work. I could also see it working in other particular areas (e.g. airport, a downtown network, shopping districts/malls, etc). The particular item that continues to bother me about the PRT concept is that one of the main motivations behind it is to reduce congestion on our roadways. Well, wouldn't the installation of PRT serve to replace the need for roadways? Otherwise, aren't we just offering commuters another choice to not drive? The point I'm making here is that I can see the further progression of sprawl with the installation of PRT systems if they do not replace roadways. If the ever mighty price of a barrel of oil keeps increasing, how much do we really want to disable densification efforts?
With LRT the cars must stop at every station. Put too many sations on the line and the whole system slows to a crawl. Our current LRT does a mear 32 kilometers per hour average speed. On the SLRT stations are up to 3 kilometers apart, hardly walkable.

PRT stations can be very close together. Stations are off line so you can add as many stations as you want without slowing the system. If you have a station on one block and a condo developer wants one inside his building on the next block, he can build it at his cost like he builds elevators, and the system would connect to his building. Remember that Edmonton has a free transit system in every building higher than 4 storeys that are built at no cost to the tax payer or to the user. Just as elevators increase density, a well planned PRT system can also increase density and reduce reliance on automobiles. Not everyone can drive, not everyone can afford cars and many people are moving to downtown to reduce their auto use.

Yes PRT requires a track system that can be at grade or on 18" diameter posts. The cost is one tenth that of LRT therefore we can build 10 times more network for the same money as LRT expansion. The argument that PRT requires lines everywhere is also the same for roads, LRT and buses, but PRT is very small scale and can be placed down the medians of streets, down alleys, along sidewalks and thru parks without ripping up neighbourhoods like LRT. Look at how devisive LRT is to communities where people don't want a track in their neighbourhood especially if they cannot have a station. The NAIT LRT will destroy 137 housing units and 17 businesses and cost over $300M per kilometer.

Take a look at the PRT site from Athens, Greece that Christos Xithalis has taken a Edmonton PRT map that I did several years ago before the south LRT was constructed and ran computer simulations on it.
http://students.ceid.upatras.gr/~xithalis/shortHermesDescription_en.html

http://students.ceid.upatras.gr/~xithalis/images/edmonton_results.jpg

moahunter
07-07-2008, 09:21 AM
How would you stop people doing "undesirable" things in the vehicles, that leave smells, needles, or other dangers for the next customer? We have enough "eyes" in the train (not to mention a driver), to address that with LRT. I don't feel safe jumping in a strangers car, but I have no problem jumping on a bus or train filled with people, or a rental car that has been individually cleaned and serviced before I receive it.
Okay, I realise this is getting into hard-to-grasp territory for someone who can't even figure out the difference between pollution in Genessee and on Jasper Avenue, but here is an amazing recent advancement in technology (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Cam_01.jpg) which may have the answer for you. And if for some reason you don't quite understand that one, how about this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_card)?

So we are going to put a camera, and smell detector in every single PRT vehcile and hire hundreds of people to constantly survey them all? Doesn't that defeat the advantage of them being private/personal? Not the same as a car is it? Until I see it working in practice, I will remain highly skeptical. I just don't think people are going to feel safe jumping into a small vehicle that hans't been washed since the last homeless person slept in it. Time will tell though - if another city suceeds, then sure, lets consider it. Until then though, I fear the PRT propoents, as has been suggested elsewhere, are actually being supported by those who don't want to spend money anywhere - it is a red-hering designed to distract and avoid transit spending on systems that are proven to work, like LRT.

JayBee
07-07-2008, 11:17 AM
How would you stop people doing "undesirable" things in the vehicles, that leave smells, needles, or other dangers for the next customer? We have enough "eyes" in the train (not to mention a driver), to address that with LRT. I don't feel safe jumping in a strangers car, but I have no problem jumping on a bus or train filled with people, or a rental car that has been individually cleaned and serviced before I receive it.
Okay, I realise this is getting into hard-to-grasp territory for someone who can't even figure out the difference between pollution in Genessee and on Jasper Avenue, but here is an amazing recent advancement in technology (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Cam_01.jpg) which may have the answer for you. And if for some reason you don't quite understand that one, how about this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_card)?

So we are going to put a camera, and smell detector in every single PRT vehcile

Not sure now if you're aware of these wacky gizmos either (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone), but actually millions of people around the world (including perhaps some in your own neighbourhood) carry them in their own pockets! Not only that, but they also have cameras built in! Try to imagine how cheap they must be!


and hire hundreds of people to constantly survey them all?

Okay, now I will reveal to you the top secret security practice employed by several top secret organisations such as private homes, retail shops, and (absolutely don't tell anyone okay?) transit systems in top secret locations around the world!

Here it is: they wait for crime or abuse to happen, then they check the cameras' outputs (called "photographs" or "photos" or sometimes "pictures", casually. And once you get through the basics, we'll look at something called "video", but nevermind that now.) output and the ID cards of the people who used the system to see who did it! Then they either stop permitting them to use the system, or take other reaction, based on the level of severity of the original offense.


Doesn't that defeat the advantage of them being private/personal?

Oh certainly! Unfortunately, like shopping malls, existing ETS terminals, Churchill Square, most apartment buildings, pedways, liquor stores, convenience stores, and several private homes, it subjects people to being photographed in order to (perhaps some like you think harshly) induce responsible usage of property. However, something about the fact it's used everywhere else makes me suspect that wouldn't be considered beyond this concept. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equitable)


Not the same as a car is it?

Okay, not sure why we missed this before, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transit) but in short, no. You're right, it's not a car.


Until I see it working in practice, I will remain highly skeptical.

You ought to specify what "it" means (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambiguity), I'm afraid.

If you want to see "public transportation" really working, you're going to have to leave Edmonton, I'm afraid.

But if you want to see video security working, it could be as simple as a quick visit to your neighbourhood convenience store manager.


I just don't think people are going to feel safe jumping into a small vehicle that hans't been washed since the last homeless person slept in it.

Okay, more technology info (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lock_(device)) for you here. I realise this may be getting confusing, but if so I simply recomend taking a little break, and coming back and trying to understand again next week.


Time will tell though - if another city suceeds, then sure, lets consider it.

I'm not sure why I didn't point this out to you (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy)months ago, but it explains a lot of what you say.

That can be a pretty heavy concept, I admit, even for people who have already become familiar with things like locks and cameras, but just take your time, don't give up, and you'll get there. But in short, just for today, one idea that you apparently have yet to see the value of is this. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership)


Until then though, I fear the PRT propoents, as has been suggested elsewhere, are actually being supported by those who don't want to spend money anywhere - it is a red-hering designed to distract and avoid transit spending on systems that are proven to work, like LRT.


Or trolleys? (Oops, I forgot, you don't accept cities that are exotic, such as Timbuktu, Vancouver, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Geneva, or Dayton Ohio. Nevermind, you've got enough for one post.)


...
most people realize they just don't suit Edmonton, as the Edmonton (not Timbuktu)...

(Oh, and actually, unless you know something about Timbuktu that I don't, actually I don't think it has trolleys. Not that I suspect this concept is all that important to you. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relevance))

Again, that's a lot for one day, so good luck! :D

moahunter
07-07-2008, 11:26 AM
and hire hundreds of people to constantly survey them all?
Okay, now I will reveal to you the top secret security practice employed by several top secret organisations such as private homes, retail shops, and (absolutely don't tell anyone okay?) transit systems in top secret locations around the world!

So how is the fact that the drug user in a hat with sunglasses, who shot up in the PRT before me, is on a video somewhere, make me feeler about jumping into the PRT? Are we going to set up robots at the entrance of all stations to ensure that "nasty" individual cannot enter again? Or do you imagine an ID card will keep someone out? Or a security guard at every station? Unless you have real time monitoring or a driver (which we can do with LRT, at an airport, in a taxi, or on a bus), these little cars won't get me stepping in them. But you are welcome to feel otherwise - lets see a city PRT system proven first in a real "rough and tough" urban environment where the vehciles will be urinated in and tagged, not inside the middle class / wealthy domain of a University or Airport. Until then, are you opposed to LRT as the PRT advocates are?

Carbon-14
07-07-2008, 11:44 AM
How would tourists/city visitors use the PRT if an ID card is required?

JayBee
07-07-2008, 11:51 AM
and hire hundreds of people to constantly survey them all?
Okay, now I will reveal to you the top secret security practice employed by several top secret organisations such as private homes, retail shops, and (absolutely don't tell anyone okay?) transit systems in top secret locations around the world!

So how is the fact that the drug user who used the PRT before me, is on a video somewhere, make me feeler about jumping into the PRT?

I have no idea what makes you "feelers" anything, evidently. I can't even figure out why you seem to have no grasp whatsoever that this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transit) is not the same as what you called a "car".


Are we going to set up robots at the entrance of all stations to ensure that "nasty" individual cannot enter again?

Only if you're interested in wasting humongous volumes of money.

Are you?


Or do you imagine an ID card will keep someone out?

Okay, you missed this part apparently, and I guess it's time to move on to security lesson part two. In short it's called a "keycard" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keycard#Keycard), and it goes with that thing called a "lock" and can be supplemented by that thing called a "camera".

Hang in there. I know this is getting complex.


Or a security guard at every station?

Gee, does anybody do that?



Unless you have real time monitoring or a driver (which we can do with LRT, at an airport, or on a bus), these little cars won't get me stepping in them.

I'm not sure if you realise this or not, but regardless what anyone (including yourself) says, you are one person.


But you are welcome to feel otherwise - lets see a city PRT system proven first.

I don't think that would change your mind, actually, as it doesn't work to show you cities where trolleys work, does it?


Until then, are you opposed to LRT as the PRT advocates are?

No. I'm against diesel buses, remember?

JayBee
07-07-2008, 11:58 AM
How would tourists/city visitors use the PRT if an ID card is required?

I would presume they would buy one with a credit card or something.

etownboarder
07-07-2008, 12:06 PM
I don't know why we're even debating this PRT thing... it won't happen in Edmonton. Let's build a decent LRT system, improve our current road infrastructure, and we'll be miles ahead of where we currently are as a city.

JayBee
07-07-2008, 12:26 PM
I'm not debating PRT at all, I'm helping moahunter with his grasp of everyday concepts and ability to read, for example:







and hire hundreds of people to constantly survey them all?
Okay, now I will reveal to you the top secret security practice employed by several top secret organisations such as private homes, retail shops, and (absolutely don't tell anyone okay?) transit systems in top secret locations around the world!

So how is the fact that the drug user who used the PRT before me, is on a video somewhere, make me feeler about jumping into the PRT?

I have no idea what makes you "feelers" anything, evidently. I can't even figure out why you seem to have no grasp whatsoever that this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transit) is not the same as what you called a "car".

Your link is to skytraint, not PRT.

Oopsy! Try again, my link is to "Public Transport"! Try reading carefully!

By the way, what is "Skytraint?" I've tried googling it and can't find anything.


Skytrain has security built in, including saftey in numbers.

Yes! And it has cameras! Now we may be getting somewhere.

No robots to keep people out though...


It also transports enough people that real time security video is possible.

Yeah, good point! Did you see this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relevance)by chance?


It also has stations far enough apart, and large enough, that security can be placed there as well.

Okay, so we're still missing this concept (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lock) and this concept (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera) and this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_document). Okay, a little slip up happens to everyone once in a while.


JayBee - please understand, per the thread and the intial article, the author is bitterly opposed to LRT, and stands in the "empty" Bay Station, suggesting we shouldn't waste more money on it, but should instead invest our money in PRT.

moahunter, please remember, per your post in this thread...


How would you stop people doing "undesirable" things in the vehicles, that leave smells, needles, or other dangers for the next customer? We have enough "eyes" in the train (not to mention a driver), to address that with LRT. I don't feel safe jumping in a strangers car, but I have no problem jumping on a bus or train filled with people, or a rental car that has been individually cleaned and serviced before I receive it.

... I'm just trying to explain to you how basic security works. Trust me, this is as hard for me as it evidently is for you.


Do you support that view? Or do you want both?

Okay, I'm not sure where you stop reading in posts exactly (150 words?) but again, regardless of your attention span, I'm interested in air quality.

moahunter
07-07-2008, 12:32 PM
Okay, I'm not sure where you stop reading in posts exactly (150 words?) but again, regardless of your attention span, I'm interested in air quality.
So which would acheive better air quality for Edmonton? Spending billions on PRT, or spending billions on LRT? Or, do you think they are the same, because anything that has a wire, must be good?

JayBee
07-07-2008, 12:41 PM
moahunter's post has been edited heavily since I last responded to it.

Here we go again...


JayBee - I'll post this again, since you didn't answer it.

You asked whether I was against LRT, and I said no, even though your question was completely off topic in this thread.


Please consider, per the thread and the intial article, the author is bitterly opposed to LRT, and stands in the "empty" Bay Station, suggesting we shouldn't waste more money on it, but should instead invest our money in PRT. Do you support that view? Or do you want both?

What does it matter to you? You don't even seem capable of understanding the difference between private vehicle transport and public transport. Until we get a basic common understanding of what we're talking about, we'll get nowhere again.

Hang in there. Hope, as they say, springs eternal.

moahunter
07-07-2008, 12:46 PM
I don't know why we're even debating this PRT thing... it won't happen in Edmonton. Let's build a decent LRT system, improve our current road infrastructure, and we'll be miles ahead of where we currently are as a city.
x2. Not sure why I picked this argument now (except that I was worried someone might actually look at the Journal article and think that spending money on LRT is a waste, which is what the author was saying, because we could instead have a superior PRT system)...

JayBee
07-07-2008, 12:47 PM
Okay, I'm not sure where you stop reading in posts exactly (150 words?) but again, regardless of your attention span, I'm interested in air quality.
So which would acheive better air quality for Edmonton? Spending billions on PRT, or spending billions on LRT?

How about spending an order of magnitude less on trolleys and encouraging residential density?


Or, do you think they are the same, because anything that has a wire, must be good?

Whoah nelly! Before you put words in my mouth (again), in my terms, unnecessarily burning diesel fuel in populated areas is what I call "bad".

What I call "good" is harder to sum up than the eight words you chose.

JayBee
07-07-2008, 12:52 PM
I don't know why we're even debating this PRT thing... it won't happen in Edmonton. Let's build a decent LRT system, improve our current road infrastructure, and we'll be miles ahead of where we currently are as a city.
x2. Not sure why I picked this argument now (except that I was worried someone might actually look at the Journal article and think that spending money on LRT is a waste, which is what the author was saying, because we could instead have a superior PRT system)...

So in other words you give up?

I think that means your familiarity with anything outside your own direct experience and your competence in assessing transit at all is officially in question.

This is not the outcome I had hoped for.

Edmonton PRT
07-07-2008, 01:16 PM
How would tourists/city visitors use the PRT if an ID card is required?

I would presume they would buy one with a credit card or something.

JayBee you break me up! LOL

You are correct on the security issues and there is greater security with a PRT system than LRT. The smart card technology and use of video systems greatly reduce the risks. Fear mongers will state that a mugger could jump into the vehicle at the station. There are panic buttons in each car and the central control would monitor any event and could override the destination to a station with security or police. If a vehicle arrives that the previous user vandilized, all you do before entering the vehicle is press the "request for new car" button which would send the vehicle to the maintenance facility and the next available car comes to you.


This was all figured out in the 1970's by Cabintaxi and others. See the video here. Sorry I don't know how to link the youtube frame.
http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/cab6.jpg

http://video.google.ca/videosearch?q=cabintaxi&hl=en&sitesearch=#

moahunter
07-07-2008, 01:31 PM
You are correct on the security issues and there is greater security with a PRT system than LRT. The smart card technology and use of video systems greatly reduce the risks. Fear mongers will state that a mugger could jump into the vehicle at the station. There are panic buttons in each car and the central control would monitor any event and could override the destination to a station with security or police. If a vehicle arrives that the previous user vandilized, all you do before entering the vehicle is press the "request for new car" button which would send the vehicle to the maintenance facility and the next available car comes to you.
That's what I was looking for - an answer, beyond "a video or lock will solve it". It makes a bit more sense to me now. As to whether it works or not in a real city beyond an airport or university - time will tell I guess.

sundance
07-07-2008, 03:44 PM
PRT is an interesting concept but scaled enough becomes what we currently have, ie: cars running on lots of roads. The difference it has an automated component so cars going in the same direction can be coupled into trains saving on energy because of reduced wind resistance. But with the DARPA automated guidance project this technology will become advanced enough that cars will drive themselves.

Edmonton PRT
07-07-2008, 04:14 PM
I don't know why we're even debating this PRT thing... it won't happen in Edmonton. Let's build a decent LRT system, improve our current road infrastructure, and we'll be miles ahead of where we currently are as a city.
x2. Not sure why I picked this argument now (except that I was worried someone might actually look at the Journal article and think that spending money on LRT is a waste, which is what the author was saying, because we could instead have a superior PRT system)...

Moahunter, I am asking you specifically to answer the question I posted earlier that you ignored.

Can you show me one study of the Edmonton LRT that details the economics of the system?? I have only read one that stated ''the net benefits of LRT extension are likely to be negative and that lower cost alternatives exist'' by Kim and West, U of A Economics Department. Because the big question of today with rising taxes, rising construction costs and a low density city like Edmonton without reserved right-of-ways, can we afford to build more LRT or should we look at alternatives as Grimble suggests like better routes, express buses, better fleet utilization and advanced transit systems?

Please give me your sources, if you have any on the economics of Edmonton's LRT System.

etownboarder
07-07-2008, 04:19 PM
But Edmonton's population is going to double in 30 years, and hopefully the city puts restrictions on expanding suburbs, and we see higher density developments go up in place of future suburb developments. This can only help a good LRT system in the city of Edmonton be successful.

moahunter
07-07-2008, 04:38 PM
Can you show me one study of the Edmonton LRT that details the economics of the system??
Is any public transit econoimc? I mean, how does LRT compare to the cost of building new roads / bridges, etc? To me that is the point - LRT is proven to get people out of cars - we have a system that works very well, we just don't have enough of it. People like riding on LRT - I know I do anyway. Even if you provide a free bus (which we essentially do with students), people will drive. But, people will pay for LRT, they will even park their car close to it. That's good enough for me - for less cars in the city, or at a minimun, less growth in cars in the city, IMO, makes for a better city, regardless of the economics. And a city with LRT to all corners, and buses feeding into that system rather than running all over the place, offers more prospect of getting bums out of cars, than anything else I can think of that Edmonton can acheive transit wise. LRT is do-able. The price is going to be high (about 5 billion), but to be a transit friendly city, a world class transit friendly city, I think is enough justification for that price. I'll pay more tax for that, and I believe, if you put it to a vote, others in Edmonton would too.

Edmonton PRT
07-07-2008, 05:47 PM
Can you show me one study of the Edmonton LRT that details the economics of the system??
Is any public transit econoimc? I mean, how does LRT compare to the cost of building new roads / bridges, etc? To me that is the point - LRT is proven to get people out of cars - we have a system that works very well, we just don't have enough of it. People like riding on LRT - I know I do anyway. Even if you provide a free bus (which we essentially do with students), people will drive. But, people will pay for LRT, they will even park their car close to it. That's good enough for me - for less cars in the city, or at a minimun, less growth in cars in the city, IMO, makes for a better city, regardless of the economics. And a city with LRT to all corners, and buses feeding into that system rather than running all over the place, offers more prospect of getting bums out of cars, than anything else I can think of that Edmonton can acheive transit wise. LRT is do-able. The price is going to be high (about 5 billion), but to be a transit friendly city, a world class transit friendly city, I think is enough justification for that price. I'll pay more tax for that, and I believe, if you put it to a vote, others in Edmonton would too.

Do you mean that you are not interested in the economics of LRT? You just assume that LRT is the only way to solve Edmoton transit needs. Will you blindly build billions of dollars of lines that may only include a dozen stations without regard for the costs? For a quarter of the money we could put express bus service down trunk lines along major arterials like 75th st, 170th st, Yellowhead and Whitemud and provide more frequent service for everyone rather than just a few lines of LRT. Wasn't economics the argument that ETS gave to get rid of trolleys? Not learning from 30 years of LRT construction and not seeing the lack of development along the NE LRT line that is a wasteland along the majority of the route.

I sure hope that you do not have any decision making capability as to the direction of transit in Edmonton especially since you ignore the facts and disregard good finacial planning to maximize the benefits of our transit fleet which the City Auditor stated was one of the most underutilized in Canada. Throwing money into more LRT may not be the best investment that we can do for transit users.

I stated in 2003 the following; "most transit systems are owned by civic entities with an entrenched administration that is not innovative nor accountable to the end user. There is no interest to improve the service of a monopoly. In monopolistic bureaucracies, the only incentive is to grow the bureaucracy. When they are not delivering, the answer is always the same - "we need more money to solve the problems."
We are fighting against the established norms of "bigger is better" engineering that envisions 400kph trains with 1,000 passengers that do not solve the first and last mile problem or how can I get to the supermarket without having to own a car? "

kcantor
07-07-2008, 06:22 PM
Can you show me one study of the Edmonton LRT that details the economics of the system??
Is any public transit econoimc? I mean, how does LRT compare to the cost of building new roads / bridges, etc? To me that is the point - LRT is proven to get people out of cars - we have a system that works very well, we just don't have enough of it. People like riding on LRT - I know I do anyway. Even if you provide a free bus (which we essentially do with students), people will drive. But, people will pay for LRT, they will even park their car close to it. That's good enough for me - for less cars in the city, or at a minimun, less growth in cars in the city, IMO, makes for a better city, regardless of the economics. And a city with LRT to all corners, and buses feeding into that system rather than running all over the place, offers more prospect of getting bums out of cars, than anything else I can think of that Edmonton can acheive transit wise. LRT is do-able. The price is going to be high (about 5 billion), but to be a transit friendly city, a world class transit friendly city, I think is enough justification for that price. I'll pay more tax for that, and I believe, if you put it to a vote, others in Edmonton would too.

Do you mean that you are not interested in the economics of LRT? You just assume that LRT is the only way to solve Edmoton transit needs. Will you blindly build billions of dollars of lines that may only include a dozen stations without regard for the costs? For a quarter of the money we could put express bus service down trunk lines along major arterials like 75th st, 170th st, Yellowhead and Whitemud and provide more frequent service for everyone rather than just a few lines of LRT. Wasn't economics the argument that ETS gave to get rid of trolleys? Not learning from 30 years of LRT construction and not seeing the lack of development along the NE LRT line that is a wasteland along the majority of the route.

I sure hope that you do not have any decision making capability as to the direction of transit in Edmonton especially since you ignore the facts and disregard good finacial planning to maximize the benefits of our transit fleet which the City Auditor stated was one of the most underutilized in Canada. Throwing money into more LRT may not be the best investment that we can do for transit users.

I stated in 2003 the following; "most transit systems are owned by civic entities with an entrenched administration that is not innovative nor accountable to the end user. There is no interest to improve the service of a monopoly. In monopolistic bureaucracies, the only incentive is to grow the bureaucracy. When they are not delivering, the answer is always the same - "we need more money to solve the problems."
We are fighting against the established norms of "bigger is better" engineering that envisions 400kph trains with 1,000 passengers that do not solve the first and last mile problem or how can I get to the supermarket without having to own a car? "

not to be too critical but the costs of implementing lrt are at least quantifiable. far from inexpensive but at least quantifiable in terms of initial capital cost, intial equipment cost, maintenance and operating etc. there are also scores of systems on at least three continents that document the type of ridership that can be reasonably achieved with a well designed, well run system.

moahunter's assumption regarding lrt is much less a leap than your own faith in prt which can provide no reliable comparables at all. even on your website example, you may have smaller cars but they are substantially more numerous and your equal sized sample grids seem to require at least 10-12 times as many stations and at least 10-12 times as much track and right of right of way etc. so although individually smaller, even if they could be built at one tenth the cost per block, i am not sure either the economics or the convenience are in fact "better" and see no hard numbers to evaluate or compare. and even though everything is smaller, you are imposing the track and the traffic on 10-12 times as many residences as lrt would. i know the "chicken and egg" argument about costs - it's just that the onus should be on the recipient of the money to prove it will be better spent and that the system will be more readily accepted, used or not. there are many jurisdictions such as singapore that have proven that you don't need 400 kph trains with 1,000 passengers to build a well used, well integrated and well used rapid transit system and neither of those are being proposed for edmonton anyway. you do need sufficient coverage and good feeds (including transit oriented development and integrated bus and taxi service) but it's not "bigger is better", it's better that is better. as for getting to the supermarket, perhaps we need fewer superstores that aren't readily accessible and more grocery stores that are. and save-on-foods and sobeys are already proving that they will respond once that demand is sufficient and if they don't do it soon enough, then the niche retailers probably will - you just have to patronize them.

JayBee
08-07-2008, 03:54 AM
You are correct on the security issues and there is greater security with a PRT system than LRT. The smart card technology and use of video systems greatly reduce the risks. Fear mongers will state that a mugger could jump into the vehicle at the station. There are panic buttons in each car and the central control would monitor any event and could override the destination to a station with security or police. If a vehicle arrives that the previous user vandilized, all you do before entering the vehicle is press the "request for new car" button which would send the vehicle to the maintenance facility and the next available car comes to you.
That's what I was looking for - an answer, beyond "a video or lock will solve it". It makes a bit more sense to me now. As to whether it works or not in a real city beyond an airport or university - time will tell I guess.

Astounding. Utterly.

Edmonton PRT
08-07-2008, 08:11 AM
moahunter's assumption regarding lrt is much less a leap than your own faith in prt which can provide no reliable comparables at all. even on your website example, you may have smaller cars but they are substantially more numerous and your equal sized sample grids seem to require at least 10-12 times as many stations and at least 10-12 times as much track and right of right of way etc. so although individually smaller, even if they could be built at one tenth the cost per block, i am not sure either the economics or the convenience are in fact "better" and see no hard numbers to evaluate or compare. and even though everything is smaller, you are imposing the track and the traffic on 10-12 times as many residences as lrt would. i know the "chicken and egg" argument about costs - it's just that the onus should be on the recipient of the money to prove it will be better spent and that the system will be more readily accepted, used or not. there are many jurisdictions such as singapore that have proven that you don't need 400 kph trains with 1,000 passengers to build a well used, well integrated and well used rapid transit system and neither of those are being proposed for edmonton anyway. you do need sufficient coverage and good feeds (including transit oriented development and integrated bus and taxi service) but it's not "bigger is better", it's better that is better. as for getting to the supermarket, perhaps we need fewer superstores that aren't readily accessible and more grocery stores that are. and save-on-foods and sobeys are already proving that they will respond once that demand is sufficient and if they don't do it soon enough, then the niche retailers probably will - you just have to patronize them.

The problem is, as you state, that Moahunter just assumes LRT is more economical than expresss buses, route changes and even PRT. LRT isn't a leap of faith, it is a disaster in the making. I totally support the original LRT that was built for $9 Million/kilometre. I am not in support of expanding LRT at a cost of $300 Million/kilometre. There are cheaper solutions and no one is talking about utilizing our existing bus system more efficiently.

Moahunter is shooting from the hip and expounding the vertues of LRT without a care for the taxpayers and the economic implications that may bankrupt this city (see Scott McKeen's Saturday article that states that half of the $27B infrastructure plans are unfunded).

At least I can supply independent studies of PRT systems and scholarly papers that demonstrate that PRT can be profitable and a better value for our taxpayers.

Here is one from none other than Booz Allen Hamilton
http://www.washingtonairports.com/events/Presentations/Seminar%203/6-22%20Hoffman%

A study from Sweden on the economics of transit.
http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/big/Goran_shortfalls.pdf

http://earth2.epa.gov/ncer/publications/workshop/12_5_2006/transitvillages.pdf

http://advancedtransit.org/pub/2002/prt/andreasson.pdf

http://www.advancedtransit.org/pub/2006/CaseforPRT.PDF

http://www.atsltd.co.uk/media/papers/docs/trb_paper_2.pdf

moahunter
08-07-2008, 08:49 AM
Here is one from none other than Booz Allen Hamilton

I had a look at the Booz Allen Hamilton study. It includes a graph, that shows that PRT is on the "verge" of being an effective system. We could jump on that "bleeding" edge, and spend who knows what money (for we don't know how much it would cost in a city, because it has not been put in a city), or we can invest in what is probably the most popular city rail transit option in the world right now - LRT. As KCantor points out, at least with LRT, the cost is quantifiable, and the system is proven.

Further on cost - I never said LRT was less than buses, but I did say that unlike buses, it will get people out of cars. You can dispute that if you choose, but show me a ParkNride next to a bus stop to support your contention. LRT is expensive, but then, the London subway was expensive (the original private investor swindled a lot of money from the public who lost every dime), Moscow subway was expensive, NYC subway was expensive ... the AH is expensive ... would the world be better off without those? The private sector is investing more than 50 billion dollars around Edmonton over the next decade (I think it is closer to 80 billion - with even more being spent further North near Ft Mac), that's money which will be taxed, if not by our City, by our Province (and our Province will not allow Edmonton to go bankrupt, despite your fears). IMO the public sector has to reinvest some of that in proven infrastructure enhancements now, if we want to keep our advantage, and respond to the needs of people in this city, including a growing senior population.

codeman9669
08-07-2008, 09:31 AM
/\ You are definitely right, moahunter - in that the bus really does seem to have a negative connotation attached to it. I know I have no issue jumping on the LRT, but you are likely never to see me on a bus. I know the same is true for most people I know. It may not be right - but that is the way it is. If you want people out of their cars, and onto public transit - you aren't going to do it with a bus!

With that said, I have never known our bus system to be anything other than the slow, meandering, CF that it is. So, who knows...maybe an improved bus system could do it - but it would have a HUGE mental barrier to leap!

moahunter
08-07-2008, 12:27 PM
/
With that said, I have never known our bus system to be anything other than the slow, meandering, CF that it is. So, who knows...maybe an improved bus system could do it - but it would have a HUGE mental barrier to leap!
Expanded LRT should make the bus system much better, such that in many parts of the city, you take a 5-10 minute bus trip to the LRT station. That may help people "jump" the barrier about buses, they will often be a feeder device to the tranist that people want to use. Many of the most hated routes now, will with some good planning, be eliminated.

LindseyT
08-07-2008, 12:45 PM
Would places like Century Park be able to use "located near a bus station" as a significant selling point? No. Better yet, what would have been built there if the lrt was not there?

LRT has the ability to reshape neighbourhoods with more density, vibrancy and sustainability and those benefits are impossible to quantify with costs.

highlander
08-07-2008, 12:52 PM
I don't know about whether LRT is a good deal on your scale, but I ran some simple excel calcs to determine what's the cheapest mode of transit, per passenger km. I admit that I don't have all the data to make sure, but I did find these #s:

at passenger throughputs over 240 people per direction per hour (6 buses)capacity, electrification costs are paid back by lower energy costs, assuming 40 year infrastructure life.

at about 1000 ppdph (24 buses, 8-10 streetcars) streetcar rail costs are recovered, up to 25m/km versus deisel bus, up to 15m/km versus trolleybus or articulated bus.

Over 2000 ppdph, only rail makes sense, although i did not consider PRT.

If those numbers sound high, they are for suburban areas, but the LRT runs about 6000ppdph during peak and will be 7800 after 4 car the new order and slrt is operational, and my local bus stop has 16 buses per hour, or about 640 ppdph.

To run the LRT with buses would cost almost 4X as much as much as it does as LRT, even assuming an average capital cost of 35m/km spread over 40 years.

As for PRT, I have been (mostly) convinced that security could work, but I still have a few questions:
1. What is an honest # for practical throughput on PRT?
2. What would a commonwealth PRT station look like after a football game, and how many acres would it need?
3. Since the incremental capacity is required at peak rush hour, and that extra peak capacity is also most expensive, how is PRT a value since at peak buses can have up to 150% occupance (based on seats) LRT easily stuffs 250% but PRT would be doomed to a pitiful <50% by unfortunate human nature. I mean, if we rarely carpool cars, why would we share PRT rides?

Edmonton PRT
08-07-2008, 01:04 PM
/
With that said, I have never known our bus system to be anything other than the slow, meandering, CF that it is. So, who knows...maybe an improved bus system could do it - but it would have a HUGE mental barrier to leap!
Expanded LRT should make the bus system much better, such that in many parts of the city, you take a 5-10 minute bus trip to the LRT station. That may help people "jump" the barrier about buses, they will often be a feeder device to the tranist that people want to use. Many of the most hated routes now, will with some good planning, be eliminated.

Read beyond just one issue from the report of BAH. It demonstrates that Hong Kong actually makes a huge profit from transit. Now I know what you will say that they have a greater population and density but you also mentioned London, NYC and Moscow (which is interesting as Moscow uses thousand of those nasty electric trolleys that you hate sooo much) that have also greater population and density.

Then why does it take just as long to go from Hermitage in the NE end of the city to downtown where we have had LRT for 30 years, than to go from Callingwood in the west end to downtown where we only have bus service? In fact the ETS trip planner recommends using buses only from Hermitage to downtown, not LRT.

Read the other reports that deal with the serious problems with conventional solutions to mass transit and low ridership.

Moahunter; since you admit that LRT is more expensive that buses should we not look at alternative like better buses and routes before we expand LRT? How about having an international conference on transit solutions or a open compitition for transit improvement ideas and proposals? Why are we locked in to a single solution to all our transit woes?

You seem to look at every issue like; if the only tool you have is a hammer, then all you problems begin to look like a nail.

I have stated repeatedly that PRT is only one possible solution. I have recommended, carpooling, vanpooling, route changes, express bus services, an expanded trolley network with double articulated buses and even free transit but you keep hammering away at PRT rather than look at more economic solutions.

What we need is a serious look at ETS. I am not blaming ETS for all the problems with transit. It is a victim of too many masters including being part of the transportation department rather than answering directly to Council, and that the MES dept. rather than ETS servicing their own equipment. We need regime change and we need ETS to be free of the encumbrances of the bureaucracy and be more accountable to the transit user

moahunter
08-07-2008, 01:11 PM
Moahunter; since you admit that LRT is more expensive that buses should we not look at alternative like better buses and routes before we expand LRT?

The city did that, the city looked at BRT, and it was decided, based on public feedback and a general dislike for the concept, not to proceed. As to trying to solve the cities transit woes with car-pooling or similar, I don't see how that is going to get us ahead, when we have a system, that we know people like, which is LRT. So, why not run, with what people like? Maybe they will use what they like, and per Highlanders post, may not be that unreasonable cost wise? The attractiveness of LRT in Edmonton to date, will be reinforced even more when SLRT opens, the line looks absolutely fantastic in a way no bus route will ever be. I'm very excited about it, and don't think it was a mistake. I'll be excited when we finish WLRT, NAIT LRT and Millwoods LRT as well, even if they don't run on my favourite routes.

Edmonton PRT
08-07-2008, 01:28 PM
As for PRT, I have been (mostly) convinced that security could work, but I still have a few questions:
1. What is an honest # for practical throughput on PRT?
2. What would a commonwealth PRT station look like after a football game, and how many acres would it need?
3. Since the incremental capacity is required at peak rush hour, and that extra peak capacity is also most expensive, how is PRT a value since at peak buses can have up to 150% occupance (based on seats) LRT easily stuffs 250% but PRT would be doomed to a pitiful <50% by unfortunate human nature. I mean, if we rarely carpool cars, why would we share PRT rides?
A1. take a look at the BAH report http://www.washingtonairports.com/events/Presentations/4-20-07%20Hoffman%20Presentation.ppt It states that PRT has similar throughput as LRT plus with more track at lower cost and smaller stations in more places the system is a network rather than a single linehaul line.

A2. If you are referring to Commonwealth Statium, it already has LRT and is served well by the system. I would never suggest to remove existing LRT that was built for only $9 million/kilometer

A3. Most PRT vehicle have 3 to four seats. Standing is not permitted as these are high performance vehicles. Shared rides are encourged as you can travel with friends or family and share the cost of a single ticket. For example a short trip of 1 kilometer may cost 50 cents but a trip to WEM may cost $5.00 but if you are traveling with three friends the cost is still only $5.00 and you can split the cost. The PRT system has many vehicles so the next one or more may already be at the station and others are automatically on their way as demand picks up at your station. That allows other riders instant access to an empty PRT cab and you are not crammed in like on a bus or packed LRT. PRT is demand responsive and does not use schedules like other forms of transit. No demand, PRT waits and uses no energy, much like an elevator.

Edmonton PRT
08-07-2008, 01:34 PM
To run the LRT with buses would cost almost 4X as much as much as it does as LRT, even assuming an average capital cost of 35m/km spread over 40 years.


Your assumption is based on $35m/km? LRT costs over three times as much and you are calculating peak capacity not average capacity. Please redo you numbers based upon average capacity which is usually the peak annual capacity multiplied by 4/7ths or 56%

highlander
08-07-2008, 09:37 PM
To run the LRT with buses would cost almost 4X as much as much as it does as LRT, even assuming an average capital cost of 35m/km spread over 40 years.


Your assumption is based on $35m/km? LRT costs over three times as much and you are calculating peak capacity not average capacity. Please redo you numbers based upon average capacity which is usually the peak annual capacity multiplied by 4/7ths or 56%

The 35M/km did not include vehicles, which were included separately so that the model could be scaled to different demand levels. I also did numbers for what I called expensive LRT at 70m/km and for LRT subway that I guesstimated at 200m/km. No surprise that the subway isn't cost competitive (from a transit perspective only) until about 20,000ppdph, or about 80% the practical maximum throughput, but even at 70m/km, plus vehicles, LRT costs far less than moving the same number of people with buses.

As for peak capacity, I did account for the fact that you wouldn't need peak capacity 24 hours a day, although I wasn't aware of the 56% number. I simply used less than 365 days /year when calculating milage and fuel costs (330, I think, I've read that number as a standard multiple for converting weekday ridership to annual) I also used a guessed number for service hour per day, somewhat less than full service hours to account for reductions in off peak capacity. This was also a selectable variable in the sheet, so I could compare costs between current service (I'd guess 6 hours peak service + 14 hours of offpeak at 50% capacity for 13 peak hours equivalent/day and ideal urban service (8peak+12 half=14).

Whatever the case, I take issue with your unsubstantiated claim that"LRT costs over three times as much" or at least 115m/km. that's true for the NLRT estimates, but you muat agree that a line with nearly a km underground cannot be considered typical LRT.

My basic urban LRT would be what I expect could be done with a route on an abandoned rail ROW, or on existing reserved ROW along arterials, assuming that we don't have to move the whole darn road, including sewers, and also using low floor vehicles no more than 3 cars long so that stations do not require under/overpasses, elevators, or extra-long platforms. Road/rail grade separation are minimal.

70m/km is roughly what SLRT cost, sans vehicles and without including the 'not-LRT-overpass', including a couple grade separations, big stations and moving 5km of 111 st over 40'.

Edmonton PRT
08-07-2008, 10:48 PM
Whatever the case, I take issue with your unsubstantiated claim that"LRT costs over three times as much" or at least 115m/km. that's true for the NLRT estimates, but you muat agree that a line with nearly a km underground cannot be considered typical LRT.


No, I must not agree. Only about 200 meters is tunnel and 200 meters are part of the EPCOR basement (cut and cover) and overall less than a half kilometer with no new stations underground.

Sorry that I underestimated the costs of LRT. I should have used a higher figure

NAIT LRT will cost $305m/km (the most expensive LRT line in North American history.)

WLRT depending on route will cost $1.7B +/- 50% or $170M/km according to
http://www.edmonton.ca/RoadsTraffic/WLRT-FAQs-Final.pdf

The NE LRT was built in 1978 with two massive stations, Churchill and Central with lots of underground plazas and pedestrian ways for $9m/km which is less than $30M/km in today's dollars.

highlander
08-07-2008, 11:18 PM
As for PRT, I have been (mostly) convinced that security could work, but I still have a few questions:
1. What is an honest # for practical throughput on PRT?
2. What would a commonwealth PRT station look like after a football game, and how many acres would it need?
3. Since the incremental capacity is required at peak rush hour, and that extra peak capacity is also most expensive, how is PRT a value since at peak buses can have up to 150% occupance (based on seats) LRT easily stuffs 250% but PRT would be doomed to a pitiful <50% by unfortunate human nature. I mean, if we rarely carpool cars, why would we share PRT rides?
A1. take a look at the BAH report http://www.washingtonairports.com/events/Presentations/4-20-07%20Hoffman%20Presentation.ppt It states that PRT has similar throughput as LRT plus with more track at lower cost and smaller stations in more places the system is a network rather than a single linehaul line.

A2. If you are referring to Commonwealth Statium, it already has LRT and is served well by the system. I would never suggest to remove existing LRT that was built for only $9 million/kilometer

A3. Most PRT vehicle have 3 to four seats. Standing is not permitted as these are high performance vehicles. Shared rides are encourged as you can travel with friends or family and share the cost of a single ticket. For example a short trip of 1 kilometer may cost 50 cents but a trip to WEM may cost $5.00 but if you are traveling with three friends the cost is still only $5.00 and you can split the cost. The PRT system has many vehicles so the next one or more may already be at the station and others are automatically on their way as demand picks up at your station. That allows other riders instant access to an empty PRT cab and you are not crammed in like on a bus or packed LRT. PRT is demand responsive and does not use schedules like other forms of transit. No demand, PRT waits and uses no energy, much like an elevator.

1. Yes It says that, but why should I believe it? he offers no numbers, and what BAH thinks is mid-capacity rail systems may not be what our LRT is. He also states absolutely that it cost less 'than any other fixed rail options' which I declare to be BS. It may cost less than any other elevated option, but that's not what we are talking about. The Goran report, which has real numbers, offers PRT at 14m/km for double track, and LRT at 18m/km, both in euros. That doesn't look like a deal to me, when LRT can carry far more people than PRT can on any stretch of track. Theoretical PRT max at 1.1 people per pod = 3960ppdph, LRT real numbers, 4car trains at 5 minute capacity= 7800 ppdph, and LRT can more than double capacity simply by adding more vehicles.

2. i know you're not advocating demolishing the existing LRT, although IF PRT is built blanketing the rest of the city, it would be a logical final step to a cohesive transit system. My point is that if PRT should have a solution to the 30,000 riders an hour from one point. I don't think that it does, and any PRT station (or group of stations) to handle that crowd could be much larger and far more expensive than a simple LRT station that, by the way, could handle 100% of commonwealth stadium in 1 hour if we only had enough vehicles.

3. I don't think that the pricing system is really part of PRT. with smart cards we could charge by distance on buses too.

My point is that those pods will not all be full, especially at rush hour. Off peak they would be a great system as more groups travel at those times. but at peak, as the report admits, average occupancy is only 1.1 persons per vehicle or 1.1 per pod. The podcar people amazingly count pod capacity at 100% of seats, but limit other modes to 100% seated plus 30% of standing spaces (goran report). Interesting that they also compare cost per seat between modes (PRT wins) instead of cost per passenger (PRT loses badly at peak.) I don't care how many seats move how far, I care how many people can go.

highlander
08-07-2008, 11:30 PM
Whatever the case, I take issue with your unsubstantiated claim that"LRT costs over three times as much" or at least 115m/km. that's true for the NLRT estimates, but you muat agree that a line with nearly a km underground cannot be considered typical LRT.


No, I must not agree. Only about 200 meters is tunnel and 200 meters are part of the EPCOR basement (cut and cover) and overall less than a half kilometer with no new stations underground.

Sorry that I underestimated the costs of LRT. I should have used a higher figure

NAIT LRT will cost $305m/km (the most expensive LRT line in North American history.)

WLRT depending on route will cost $1.7B +/- 50% or $170M/km according to
http://www.edmonton.ca/RoadsTraffic/WLRT-FAQs-Final.pdf

The NE LRT was built in 1978 with two massive stations, Churchill and Central with lots of underground plazas and pedestrian ways for $9m/km which is less than $30M/km in today's dollars.

The problem you have is not with LRT but with the increasing cost and scope of LRT projects, and I totally agree with you. There is no sane reason that the Nait LRT line should cost so much, although again you pick the upper number (the published range was 700-900m, although I'm sure you remember better than I) and a small part of the number is 150m worth of trains to run service from nait to health sciences. But even the low end is still way too expensive.

Just to note, the WLRT cost estimate is for the 87ave+bridge route only, so they are confident that is will cost somewhere between 850m and 2.55B, including 150m+ worth of vehicles, so the infrastructure will cost between 600M and 2.4B. It's not exactly a number that we can make a decision on. In my opinion, the lower number would be a deal, the upper one a complete rip-off.

The_Cat
10-07-2008, 01:29 AM
One question I have about PRT - what happens if a PRT vehicle breaks down say, as a cause of an electrical malfunction? LRT at least has some recourse with another track. If PRT fails in winter, customers could be stuck.

Could this be another trolley issue?

RichardS
10-07-2008, 10:45 AM
PRT on a mass scale is a non starter. It will get you around Disneyland or a large research campus, but it won't scale.

LindseyT
10-07-2008, 10:53 AM
PRT on a mass scale is a non starter. It will get you around Disneyland or a large research campus, but it won't scale.


You mean building a comprehensive second set of infrastructure above existing knowing it has zero ability to cope with peak times (the times were public transit is most beneficial) isn't a good idea. But what if I was to tell you it would be possible for it to tie into the muni and HSR to calgary...would that change your mind?

:D

newfangled
10-07-2008, 11:11 AM
PRT on a mass scale is a non starter. It will get you around Disneyland or a large research campus, but it won't scale.

Richard, you're totally wrong.

PRT would be easy to scale to a serve city.

It's called cars and roads. :rolleyes:

RichardS
10-07-2008, 11:57 AM
Oh...my...god...like..WHAT-EVAH....

Medwards
10-07-2008, 01:09 PM
Ya maybe the city did miss the LRT bus, but most buses come around every 15 mins, unless you are trying to get somewhere at night. Hopefully the city is catching the bus during the day time.

Edmonton PRT
13-07-2008, 10:37 PM
PRT on a mass scale is a non starter. It will get you around Disneyland or a large research campus, but it won't scale.

Richard, you're totally wrong.
PRT would be easy to scale to a serve city.
It's called cars and roads.

Actually studies have been done in the 1970`s that shown that a city wide PRT network was possible like this one for Minneapolis MN
http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/minnprt8.jpg

When I look at Edmonton`s LRT plans I see lines radiating out to suburbia and encouraging people to live outside of downtown. The LRT would be used mostly for commuting and since only about 20% of auto trips are for getting to and from work, the other 80% is for going shopping, visiting friends, going out for entertainment and seeking services like a doctor or dentist which would be suburban travel to suburban destinations. This form of LRT planning contributes directly to urban sprawl and suburban residents use more energy and need more costly infrastructure than urban residents.

I look at a community like Oliver with thousands of condo and apartment units built in the last 10 years and not one single LRT station will service them. Why not try a small PRT system from downtown west to 124th street, and from Jasper Avenue to 107st Street and linked to a couple of LRT stations? Why shouldn`t these people be better served by transit since they made the choice to live and pay taxes in Edmonton rather than live in Sherwood Park, St. Albert or Beaumont where LRT routes are being planned at enormous costs?