Talk:Personal rapid transit

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Please do not violate WP:SOAP[edit]

Article talk pages are for discussion of the article, not for opinions or debates on the subject of the article. This particular article tends to attract much of the latter, which is in violation of WP:SOAP. Please restrict your comments to discussion of the article. Unsourced and/or irrelevant commentary will be removed. ATren (talk) 22:38, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Hospital Rovisco Pais[edit]

Is this system really PRT? It only has two stations, and the pod moves back and forth between the two. Also, it operates on roadways rather than a closed system. There are almost no citations, at least in English. Thoughts? Vectro (talk) 02:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I've decided to remove this section from the article; listing it here might constitute original research, if nothing else. If you have an appropriate reference from an authoritative reliable source stating that this system is PRT, please re-add it to the article, making appropriate citations. Note that a source need not be in English in order to be considered reliable. Thanks, Vectro (talk) 23:42, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with removal for now; not much to go on. Though it's interesting to see another ULTra/2getthere type system being developed. ATren (talk) 03:16, 26 August 2010 (UTC)


Hello. I would like to propose restructuring the article with the goal of improving the layout for readability and using the MOS as a guideline. Viriditas (talk) 12:30, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

General comment: the original article was written back in 2004 or 2005, likely well before MOS or the modern reference system existed. Then there was a war for about 2 years, and the content was secondary to the conflict -- we were more worried about compromising on content so style took a back seat. Then, when we reached a point of content where nobody complained anymore, we left it alone, almost in fear that even stylistic changes would restart the war. :-) But that was 2 years ago now, so I think the time is ripe for a good overhaul. I say go for it, be bold.
One recent source that might be helpful as a primer is this Boston Globe article on PRT. It talks about the history, the debate, etc, in very fair terms. I think it can be a good supplementary source for much of the existing material here, and even as primary source for stuff that was written before the strict referencing requirements.
One other note as to sourcing: the description sections lack ref tags, but much of the technical details can be found in primarily two sources: (1) Fundamentals of Personal Rapid Transit, Jack Irving -- this was the official published report of government-sponsored research in the 1960s and 1970s. It is very comprehensive and lays out much of the fundamental design framework. (2) The books and papers of J.E. Anderson, who founded Taxi2000, aka Skyweb Express, based on his designs. Anderson published much of the design work that went into Taxi2000, and it references "Fundamentals" heavily.
I believe these sources are available online. I will try to track down links. ATren (talk) 15:27, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Fundamentals is actually linked from the article: [1]. A collection of some of Anderson's work can be found here. ATren (talk) 15:37, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Article size[edit]

At 74,479 bytes, we may want to consider splitting detailed sections out into new articles, or not. Readability is very poor at the moment. I find that it helps to read this article with beginner's mind, pretending to be a general reader who has never heard of the topic before. We need to write to that level, and present the topic accordingly. Viriditas (talk) 01:51, 6 September 2010 (UTC)


  • Disambiguation: "For other uses, see PRT (disambiguation) and PAT (disambiguation)."
    • This is not needed, since PRT now has its own dab page. Remove? Viriditas (talk) 02:37, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
      • Done. ATren (talk) 04:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Infobox: None.
    • I realize that some editors are against infoboxes, but there may be a need for them, such as {{Infobox machine}}. Viriditas (talk) 02:39, 6 September 2010 (UTC)


I notice the article currently has an "Overview" (which is analogous to an abstract or executive summary) in section 1. I don't know the full history of the article, nor have I had time to scroll through the page history, but I suspect this is an old throwback to the time before WP:LEAD was fully developed. Unless we are dealing with a series of related topics, overview sections have been mostly deprecated. There are several options available to editors. Looking at other transportation-related articles for comparison, section 1 in monorail uses a "Differentiation" subsection which might provide some insight on alternative presentation methods. Could we name it "Comparison with existing transport systems", just like the table? Whenever possible, we want to reserve an overview for the lead. Viriditas (talk) 12:35, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I think this makes sense. I also think it's a bit verbose in both the lead and the "overview"; perhaps we could trim down the lead and jump right into the technology comparison, and that might help it flow better. ATren (talk) 02:26, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I have trimmed down the lede, removing some mild POV. I think it reads better now. I may try to get to the Overview section this weekend. ATren (talk) 04:20, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Existing and planned networks[edit]

Too much data presented to the reader in the beginning of the article without explanatory text. Table presentation needs to be used as a supplement to the text or as an appendix, not as the main body. Good and featured articles use tables carefully. Viriditas (talk) 02:23, 6 September 2010 (UTC)


This is the third table in a row starting with the overview. Too much, too soon in the article. Viriditas (talk) 02:23, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

SUGGESTED CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION - MUST BE ABLE TO LIST ALL CATEGORIES - I.E. NO "?" I deleted APGM from the list of designs as it appears to be derived from a single study that did not proceed. There doesn't seem to be any clear criteria on why concepts are or are not included in this list. I think having a long list is useful for the uninitiated in indicating how many designs have been tried (and floundered) but I propose that any concepts that cannot complete the categories of the table should be deleted since they are too amorphous and vague. Tjej (talk) 08:59, 25 November 2013 (UTC)


This section could be split out into a history of personal rapid transit and replaced with a summary style section consisting of three paragraphs summarizing the main points. Viriditas (talk) 02:47, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I like this. The history takes up a lot of space that can easily be split out. ATren (talk) 02:57, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Opposition and controversy[edit]

A good candidate for splitting or deletion, as there is too much emphasis spent on this subtopic that is out of proportion to its coverage in reliable sources. Nine paragraphs spent on criticizing the concept is way, way out of proportion. Viriditas (talk) 02:52, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

That controversy section was part of the compromise between warring factions on this page. There was a strong sentiment that the article was too promotional and that more criticism was needed. So I would prefer not to be the one to handle removing or paring it down, since it may be viewed by others as partisan whitewashing. ATren (talk) 02:56, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, as a neutral editor who has no connection with this topic, I would be happy to help. When you have time, could you very briefly list the main opposition and controversy elements that should be stated upfront? Nine paragraphs is pretty much unheard of, and I have great difficulty believing that this article was ever of a "promotional" nature. Viriditas (talk) 03:00, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
It was mildly promotional in its early days, and then it was over-corrected the other way for a while (too critical -- even more than it is now).
The main source of criticism is Vukan Vuchic, who is a highly respected transit authority (he's published books on transit) who has pretty much rejected PRT as infeasible. I've read his material and I believe he's dead wrong (his objections seem to be partly due to prejudice -- he is considered one of the pioneers of light rail and considers PRT a distraction from that -- and partly due to misunderstanding) but of course, that's all OR. His opinion is certainly notable.
Vuchic and JE Anderson engaged in a debate a while back, I think that's notable.
There are two other transit professionals who have written negatively about PRT (Michael Setty and Louis Demery) but most of it is unpublished. I believe the article has one report by Demery (which was unpublished, but seemed reasonable enough for inclusion) questioning the regulatory implications of PRT.
Then there is the political/ideological opposition, mainly from a single individual. That material is not published and highly unreliable.
Note: I am active in forums outside of Wikipedia, and I also have a blog, and I have frequently commented on all of these individuals, sometimes highly critically. I just wanted to put that out there so there are no surprises. I don't want to give the impression that I am advocating for or against material this particular section, especially regarding the people I've identified above. ATren (talk) 03:15, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
More: there is an oft-cited criticism of PRT called "Cyberspace Dreams Collide with Reality" which claims to debunk PRT. It is basically an attack piece written by an advocacy (and arguably, astroturfing) group for light rail transit, a transit mode which would theoretically be impacted by wide PRT deployment. It was never published, and in fact, it was written anonymously. Several PRT promoters have debunked it point by point. I fought hard to keep links to it out of the article, but if it does appear, the rebuttals should also be there (they are all unpublished, so they should all be out).
There was also a criticism published by a PRT researcher (Wayne Cottrell), which was more of a "what needs to be done for PRT to succeed" kind of thrust. It identified areas where research was weak and advocated for more government investment to improve those areas.
Scanning the other parts of the criticism section, some of it appears to be not criticism at all, but rather "this has been criticized, but..." followed by reasoning why it's not a valid criticism. The baggage handling section appears to follow this pattern.
Let me know if you have any other specific questions on criticism (I'm familiar with pretty much all of it. :-)) ATren (talk) 03:25, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

The article still seems overly promotional and not neutral to me. I definitely would oppose paring down the criticism section beyond what it is now Fell Gleamingtalk 01:21, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Please provide specific examples of promotion and violations of neutrality (bias). Please also explain why you oppose cutting back the criticism section. Viriditas (talk) 03:52, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I've reworked the lede to address some concerns, though many others remain in the body. As to why I oppose reduction of the criticism section, I already explained my reasoning, which includes both NPOV and undue weight. Removing more criticism gives undue weight to viewpoint that PRT is some sort of panacea for mass transit. Fell Gleamingtalk 11:55, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I've added the discussion of expansion of Morgantown back in with a source, and tweaked the wording on Morgantown. I do agree that the lede had some POV issues (both ways) but I think it's far better now than a few days ago. As for other promotional elements in the article, do you have anything specific? I don't recall the word "panacea" being used anywhere. As far as I know the claims presented are all well supported in reliable sourcing, which includes several books on the topic as well as peer-reviewed research. There are also more recent sources discussing PRT that can be incorporated. Overall, the amount of reliable criticism of PRT is actually quite small -- there are only 3 transit professionals who have significantly questioned PRT, and only one of them is published (Vuchic). So if we're talking about the weight of reliable sources, the criticism section is probably too lengthy, though there are certain criticisms I would not remove (i.e. Vuchic is notable -- even though I believe his opposition is based on flawed analysis, and Vuchic's crit should not be presented without JE Anderson's rebuttal). ATren (talk) 12:26, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Other concerns[edit]

Tagged as unsourced since 2008. Does not require its own section and recommend merge or deletion. Concerns about visual impact, loss of privacy, and policing against terrorism and vandalism applies to very aspect of infrastructure in the modern world. "Some in the business community in Cincinnati" is not good enough for an encyclopedia. Based on these nebulous claims lacking proper attribution and reliable sources, I recommend deletion. Viriditas (talk) 02:58, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

See also[edit]

It's a bit odd that Duke University Medical Center Patient Rapid Transit is only mentioned as a see also, rather than in the appropriate section. Viriditas (talk) 01:44, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe the Duke system is PRT per se (well, it is PRT, but P stands for patient, not personal). I think it's more of a people mover than a true PRT, at least by the commonly accepted definition of PRT. Having it in "see also" indicates it's similar but not the same as the PRT discussed here. ATren (talk) 01:49, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for clearing that up for me. See also sections are usually used for links that could eventually be moved into the body, but not always; That's how I use them. Can you see this link going into the article somewhere? If not, maybe it belongs in a template footer or navbar? Viriditas (talk) 01:52, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, perhaps if we have a "related technologies" section, this system could go there? There is also another whole class of PRT called "dual mode", commonly abbreviated DM, which is basically a hybrid PRT/automobile, which could go in the related tech section. DM operates on streets (usually under human control) but can also operate on segregated guideways. Because they operate on the street, DM allows for (but doesn't require) private ownership of vehicles, which also distinguishes it from PRT. Not sure if we have a DM section already (searches...) -- actually, we have a short DM article on DM which can be linked from here. PRT is also somewhat related (technologically) to intelligent highway systems. All of those could potentially be included in a related technologies section. ATren (talk) 02:13, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Pilots and prototypes, conferences, proposals, advocacy, and PRT skepticism and criticism. All of this can be discussed as text and linked appropriately inline. Don't really see a need for it as external links. Viriditas (talk) 01:40, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I wasn't sure if my editing on the citations in the first few paragraphs were included in this, I didn't really see why the links were in the line but please correct me if I'm wrong, sorry.Alex (talk) 20:59, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Lede rewording[edit]

Good job Atren on rewording my first pass on the lede; it is significantly improved and much more balanced. Fell Gleamingtalk 12:28, 10 September 2010 (UTC)


You are wrong about the external link (SkyTaxi) you've deleted. This link complies with the guidelines for external links. I don't add this link, but recover it after the attacks of a vandal. It's a very valuable link. You can ask the famous expert Professor Emeritus Jerry Schneider (jbsATpeakDOTorg) about this link. His website knows every enthusiast of PRT. (talk) 17:44, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

The page being added is simply an advert linkspam which fails both WP:ELNO and WP:RS. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:55, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Critical Move[edit]

I removed "Critical Move" from the page, since it's not clear to me that the system is PRT at all (it seems more just like an outdoor people mover) and there were no citations to that effect. If Critical Move is in fact PRT, please restore it to the list, making appropriate citations to reliable sources. Thanks. Vectro (talk) 15:35, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

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Proposed merge with JPods[edit]

Subject lacks sufficient notability for a stand alone article. Propose merge or delete. Ad Orientem (talk) 06:02, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

That is like saying Apple should be merged with personal computers. JPods and the Town of Secaucus have signed a Letter of Intent to deploy the world's first solar-powered mobility network. BillJamesMN (talk) 02:45, 28 Feburary 2014 (UTC)

Closing discussion Result was don't merge. -Ad Orientem (talk) 02:39, 6 March 2014 (UTC)