Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Getting out of the airports

Today's conference focus will be on the role of PRT as a general trafficing alternative.

Will grab some breakfast now, and head for the sessions.

By the way. One thing which has surprised me positively is the overall analytical approach to traffic and PRTs. In many presentations (at least Frost & Sullivan and 2GetThere), it has been emphasized that PRT's are promising in certain areas but they are no one-does-it-all solution that will transform all traffic on Earth.

I absolute agree. It is about a (rather simple, actually) complementary service to existing modes of traffic. It will change the world, but so have the modes that came before it.

Pioneer Martin Lowson (the man behind the ULTra) had a very enlightening slide on this, showing the following traffic modes on a timeline (as to when their construction in UK had occurred):

- water channels (ca. 1700)
- railroads (1800's)
- regular car-ready roads (early 1900's to 1960's, most of them)
- motorways (peaks in 1960-1980 I think)

The timeline shows a clear pattern, and he had even placed the inventions leading to the next wave on the timeline. They seemed to be at the peaks of the earlier modes. Like steam engine was invented at the peak of the channel building.

His point was that we _already_ have the next mode of traffic invented (whatever that is). And that the usage of that mode won't go well together with the earlier mode (motorways). It will get a wave of its own, and transform the society just like the earlier waves have done.

I will ask Martin for that slide. It really tells it far better than I tried here. :)


Avidor said...

Was Taxi 2000/Skyweb Express there? How are they doing? What are their plans? When and why did Morrie Anderson step down as CEO?

Also, why are the Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit (CPRT) meeting in the home of convicted felon Gary Dean Zimmermann?

Ollie Mikosza said...

This event was organised for 'tested' systems only, therefore T2000 and e.g. MISTER, were not qualified. It is a pitty, as these two + Jpods are only a handful, which have progressed well beyond paper concepts. Such prototyped solutions offer many competitive ideas to the ULTra, 2GT and Vectus.

But I accepted, not without disappointment, such a decision of the PRT leaders and successful, investor backed, companies like ULTra.

Of course I also hope that when my company (MISTER) finaly breaks the "investor barrier" and builds its own certification track, then we'll also be organizing our own, exclusive conferences :)

Our other "claim to fame", is being the only company, which has already received permission to build (ROW) in several cities. But this was not enough to convince organizers to allow us into London's conference presentation space.

Well, good luck to PRT ideals at Heathrow, as it is important step in our history.

Ollie Mikosza

Avidor said...

Taxi 2000 was scheduled:

4:30pm - 5.00pm
Taxi 2000 PRT system
Mike Lester, President and Chief Operating Officer, taxi 2000 US
... speaking of history... Here's the wretched history of PRT in Minnesota.

PRT is a Joke.

Mr_Grant said...

Hey everyone, it's Ken Avidor! He's the incredibly accurate investigative cartoonist who claimed there is no PRT project at Heathrow.

Mr_Grant said...

And congratulations, Ken, on chasing down the evidence about Taxi2000's involvement in the conference. It must have been difficult, finding it on a public web page.

akauppi said...

Hi, Ollie!

Glad to see you online. I'm not the only one hoping to have seen you here.

The Taxi 2000 presenter couldn't make it, for some reason. The four projects planned to be presented in detail were:
- ULTra (of course)
- Vectus
- 2GetThere (Masdar)
- Taxi 2000 (missing in action)

The "tested only" reason Ollie is giving has not been stated in the conference, and Taxi 2000 is included in also the latest program handouts.

Dr. Paul E. Firmin's presentation today used a lot of various pictures, including Mist-er, and Dan's openprtspecs (

Avidor said...

Gow, the ULTra at Heathrow with only two stations and massive guideways isn't a true PRT anymore than the so-called PRT at WVU...... it's just an ordinary, battery-powered, glorified golf cart people-mover.

There's always a lot of publicity for gadgetbahn... Does it ever lives up to the hype? ... where is Skybus or the Duke hospital PRT today?

So, Gow... what do you think of the CPRT meeting at Zimmermann's house?

Mr_Grant said...

Ken, we can't have a discussion if you continue to misstate basic facts in your biased way, and clutter-up the discussion with irrelevancies: there are only two stations NOW, you know BAA wants to expand ULTra to the whole airport; the guideways are NOT massive, they are constructed as planned (with the expedient exception of the railings); ordinary golf carts are not computer-controlled automated peoplemovers; Skybus was not PRT; no one is talking about replicating the Duke design anywhere else; CPRT can meet wherever it wants; Dean Zimmermann has paid his debt to society.

So Ken, how's the weather where you are in Alameda?

Avidor said...

But, Gow, you and your PRT pals say he is innocent... did you change your mind?

Anyways, Zimmermann only served his jail time, he's still on probation.

Here's a video about how Zimmermann tried to sell PRT to Gary Carlson for $250, 000.

I remember hearing Zimmermann talk about ULTra at Heathrow in 2005. It was supposed to be up and running by now... so was the Dubai PRT.

PRT is all vaporware.

Speaking of... PRT booster Michele Bachmann has an Earth Day message - CO2 is not harmful.

Mr_Grant said...

I don't speak for my "pals." I don't think I ever said Zimmermann was innocent, I only pointed about certain inconsistencies in the prosecution's case. And once he was convicted I didn't contest that -- although as we now know from Gov. Siegelman's case that the Bush Justice Dept. as not above a railroad job.

At any rate, you are still guilt-by-associating PRT and illegality. PRT is a technology that was invented by planners and engineers, not Resmuglicans. Smart Growth and sustainability advocates and environmentalists are supporting PRT as well as light rail and buses.

You and your claims about PRT conspiracies are becoming even smaller and weirder than before. Your problem is that you were unable to differentiate PRT theorists from PRT policy. You took theories about what PRT could be capable of and jumped to the conclusion that PRT would be implemented as the pervasive transit mode, and supplant all others.

Of course, this is obviously not true. PRT designs that can prove they work will be used like any other transit mode--here and there, in the appropriate niches, according to locally-driven policy decisions.

Your house of conspiracy is built on sand, Ken.

Avidor said...

Maybe you can tell us what happened to the proposed PRT project at Falcon Heights.

Mr_Grant said...

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Falcon Heights was an idea, not a project. Learn the difference.

A Transportation Enthusiast said...

Welcome Ken Avidor, PRT's favorite foil! Every circus needs a sideshow, and no PRT discussion would be complete with some empty-headed criticisms from the propagandist himself.

Ken, it's good to see you here. Please post your whole ridiculous campaign for all of our entertainment. Maybe you can start with telling us when the updated date for ULTra's bulldozing - you did say it was "postponed" after others pointed out the obvious fact that your photo evidence was 5 years old from before the test track was even built! So "postponed" means you must have evidence of a future date, right? Do tell!

By the way, feel free to invite all your alternate personalities to this discussion. No PRT debate is complete without Ned Luddington, Joe Sixpack, "Soul Not Sold to Road Warriors", and all the other fake online identities you created to support your campaign. Bring them on!

Avidor said...

Just curious, Mr. Gow...did you make $$$ doing all that PRT stuff on the internet (web site design and content, blogs, commenting on blogs etc.)?

I should also point out that Gow and A.T.E. seem to be the last defenders of the Pods... what happened to all the PRTistas who used to infest forums and comment sections like this?

I take a look at the PRT forums for laughs now and then and there's hardly any activity.

Not much going on at Seattle PRT forum .

Mr_Grant said...

Ah, a reprise of your laughable attempts to get a conflict-of-interest judgment against me at Wikipedia. Remember this one?:

"You're not the boss of me. And at 01:41 you promised that would be the last time you asked. --Mr Grant 05:05, 9 August 2007 (UTC)You walked RIGHT into that one. HI-larious.

Yes, Ken, go ahead and post ALL your debunked talking points.

Avidor said...

Emory Bundy... Bill Eager... hmmmm....

Mr_Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr_Grant said...

That link is only 5 and 2/3 years old -- you're slipping Ken. And look -- it's written by Richard Borkowski.

What happened to the good old days when you were alleging a conspiracy going back more than three decades? Hmmmm?