Ten Things a PRT System Can Do That Traditional Transit Cannot
1. Eliminate transfers. - Traditional transit systems are a series of loosely-coupled line-haul routes, resulting in most trips requiring a transfer and the associated de-boarding and waiting for the next bus or train. A PRT system allows non-stop travel from any station in the system to any other station in the system. It's actually part of the common definition of PRT.
2. Guarantee a seat to all riders. The PRT system is designed so that all riders are seated. Urban rail systems usually provide seats for about a third of the vehicle's capacity. Bus systems can also require people to either wait for the next, possibly full, bus or to strap-hang.
3. Match PRT's high average speed. Urban bus systems average around 15 mph (per APTA) by the time you include stops and traffic. Light rail systems come in around 21 mph. Taxi 2000 is planning for the first installations of Skyweb Express to run at 40 mph in the suburban area and 25 mph while in the downtown core. If a typical commute is 60% suburb and 40% downtown, average speed should be about 35 mph - over twice the bus speed and 50%+ faster than LRT.
4. Allow 100% of the system capacity to be used by wheelchairs or bikes. Standard transit practice is to provide space for two wheelchairs per bus and two bike racks. What happens when there is one wheelchair or bike on the bus and two wheelchair-bound or cycling friends want to get on at the next stop? With the PRT system, every vehicle can be used to carry a wheelchair equipped patron, plus a walking attendant OR a person and their bicycle. The system essentially provides a constant stream of usable capacity at
every station to carry however many wheelchairs or bikes show up.
5. Eliminate running to catch (or miss) your ride. Being 30 seconds late to a mass transit and missing your ride is a bit of a problem - you have gone from being 30 seconds late into the door at work to 10 minutes late - or whatever the headway is for the system. In a PRT system, you are simply 30 seconds behind where you would normally be.
6. Eliminate the need for a route map as well as a schedule. Since every PRT vehicle goes to every PRT station, there is no need to figure out which bus route you need to catch, watch for the correct bus on a street served by multiple routes, or even figure out which direction you need to be going on the system. All you need is the station code for your destination. The PRT system handles getting you from here to there.
7. Eliminate the possibility of missing your stop. Your stop is the only stop on your PRT trip. When the vehicle pulls into the station you are at your destination. If you happen to fall asleep on the way or are inattentive, or are not familiar with the area, the system will wait for you to press the door button, then notify the system operator that there may be a problem.
8. Allow you to reject a vehicle that is dirty or in disrepair. If some gets sick in a bus, what choices do the other riders have? With PRT, you have the chance to inspect your entire car before boarding, and tell the system to send the offending vehicle to the maintenance depot. You then board the next vehicle, which should be there in the next minute or so.
9. Remove the possibility of being in an auto accident. While bus and rail are very safe (for the rider) in the event of a collision, what about the effect on your schedule and the trauma aspects of being involved in a collision? Full grade separation allows PRT riders to avoid the risks taken by systems that mix with traffic.
10. Eliminate waiting for the vehicle late at night. Available 24 hours a day, PRT provides the lowest wait time precisely when people are most sensitive to them - at evening, at night and cold weather. The system has spare vehicle capacity and can keep vehicles waiting in the stations for the next rider.