- Report Published -
|The Viability of Personal Rapid Transport in Virginia: Update|
|Secretary of Transportation|
|HJR 603 (Regular Session, 2007)|
|Currently there are no Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) systems in commercial service worldwide; however, two systems are under construction outside of the United States. The first system that is scheduled to operate in mid-2009 is located in Masdar, a city currently being developed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Masdar is being developed with the goal of being the world’s first zero-carbon city. As part of this effort, no automobiles will be allowed inside the city; instead they will rely heavily on a PRT system for mobility. The second system under construction is located at Heathrow Airport and is scheduled to open in late 2009. This system will connect a parking facility on airport property to one of the airport terminals. Future expansion of the system is contemplated both on and off of airport property.|
With the construction of PRT underway in two locations and several other cities in the world seriously considering the development of PRT systems, it appears that the technology is evolving from concept to reality. While these advances have helped to demonstrate the feasibility of the technology, there are still many challenges that face PRT in terms of large scale deployment such as: technological limitations, a very small number of manufacturers worldwide, and proprietary system components that limit open competition and sustainability. Any application of PRT in the Commonwealth would likely require additional research, development and funding to ensure that the system is sustainable long enough to achieve a return on the investment.
The remainder of this report provides case studies on the latest PRT systems under development and a discussion on the potential application of PRT in Virginia.