– BC needs personal rapid transit – not 18th Century locomotives

Here’s a story from the USA about a personal rapid transit (PRT) system built in the early 1970’s and still in operation today

Four seater PRT

Eight-seater PRT

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The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system is one of five automated urban “people mover” systems that have been built in the United States since the late 1970s. (The others are in Detroit, Michigan; Irving, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; and Miami, Florida.) It is operated by West Virginia University, and connects the university’s Evansdale and Downtown Campuses with downtown Morgantown. It is a single line, 3.6 miles long, with five stations. The section from Walnut St. (downtown Morgantown) to the Engineering station opened in 1975; the rest of the line opened in 1979.

The cars seat eight people and have some room for standees. They run on rubber tires in a U-shaped concrete guideway that has power and signal rails along the inner walls. There is no human staff on board the cars or in the stations (as far as I can tell). The three intermediate stations each have several platforms, and “express tracks” that bypass the stations completely.

During low-traffic periods, all cars stop at all stations. During high-traffic periods, cars bypass stations so that any station can be reached non-stop from any other station. When entering a station, passengers press a button on the entry turnstile that signals where they want to go, then proceed to a specific platform to wait for the next car to that station. Different platforms serve different destinations; some platforms “share” destinations, and use an overhead electric sign to indicate the destination of the next car.

WVU students, faculty and staff ride by paying a per-semester fee; they swipe their magnetically-encoded ID cards though the turnstiles when entering the stations. Others pay a cash fare of $0.50.

Source

Additional news story

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