MISTER ("Metropolitan Individual System of Transportation on an Elevated Rail") is a personal rapid transit (PRT) system developed in Poland. It belongs to the group of PRT systems using a carriage suspended by a rail, mounted so its bottom is approximately six metres above the ground.
Olgierd Mikosza, the inventor of the system, claims that switching rails at intersections will be done at full speed of about 50 km/h, with a minimum spacing of 10 m. In addition, adding new intersections and stops should require very little modification to the current network. The pod's carriage wheels descend to grab the side of a triangular structural truss. To switch to another direction, the wheels on the other side of the carriage descend to grab a track on the other side, and lift the first side away.
Considerable thought has gone into reducing the system's cost. The system reuses existing rights of way. The main tracks are about 10 metres (30 ft.) in the air, so that there is no interference with ground traffic, and the truss can go down the centre of a street. The triangular octahedral truss that forms the track is strong, small, lightweight, sheds snow and is above floods. The tracks provide power, so that the vehicles have no heavy, expensive batteries. The design speed of 50 km/h (30 mph) is slow enough that aerodynamic loads are small. The main disadvantage of the pod design is that it is not very aerodynamic.
The pods ascend and descend at 45-degree angles, using a cogway on the truss. A hinge point at the top of the pod permits a level floor at all times. A small ramp at a station permits access by a wheelchair, bicycle or pallet jack. Access to wheelchairs meets statutory requirements for disabled access. Access to pallet jacks permits revenues from pallets of light cargo, which in some cities can be quite profitable. Only a two by seven metre (7x20 ft.) area on the ground is needed for a minimal station. High traffic stations are possible by parking several pods at an angle to the street. These larger stations need only a five by fifteen metre area (16x50 ft.) to park five pods.
In the Uppsala video, the inventor claims that there is a further plan to disconnect the pod from the overhead rails, and operate it as a dual mode electric vehicle, permitting door-to-door operation.
Currently, Opole and Rzeszów are two cities in Poland involved in including MISTER in their public transit system. The cities did not buy the system, but rather gave permission to install it and collect revenues. The inventor is therefore seeking investors.
According to the Uppsala video, the system competed for the PRT installation to be done in Masdar City, but lost the competition. The system has computer simulations of operations, and a prototype of the pod and rail, but the inventor thinks it probably lost because of its technical immaturity.