Talk:Personal rapid transit/Archive 5

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Parasitic Energy Consumption original research

The new sections added by BillJamesMN seem to be a lot of original research and uncited. I think this use of Parasitic Energy Consumption may be a new use for the term, amounting to a neologism. While I don't disagree with the research or the concept being identified as Parasitic Energy Consumption, I think they need to be independently vetted a little more before being included in WP and the wording needs to sound less salesy and are not verbatim quotes from the JPods marketing pitch. I would highly recommend that BillJamesMN apply his engineering knowledge to areas of WP that help WP more than they are intended to help his own project, like creating an article called Parasitic Energy Consumption. --JJLatWiki 19:57, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

BillJamesMN, I see that you've added references to support your edits, but you're using yourself as the your own source. That's called original research and is covered in WP:NOR. If you can't find reliable, independent references most of your changes need to be removed. --JJLatWiki 14:54, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

PEC is only one factor of the wider issue of energy efficiency. I propose the following--

Energy efficiency
The energy efficiency claimed by PRT proponents is based on two operational characteristics: low vehicle weight; elimination of unnecessary starting and stopping through direct origin to destination service.
  • Parastic Energy Consumption. Parastic Energy Consumption is a complicated way of defining the weight to be moved that is not people (or cargo). In order to achieve the lowest consumption of energy per passenger, it makes sense that the lighter the vehicle, the less energy consumed. As an example, for a PRT vehicle with a capacity of four persons and weighing 882 lbs. (400 kg),
Lowson, M.V., "A New Approach to Sustainable Transport Systems," 2004)
the parasitic weight is 220.5 lbs. per seat. By comparison, a Siemens SD600A light rail car of the type used by Portland's Tri-Met agency has a weight of 109,000 lbs.; with 72 seats and a standing capacity of 261 passengers, the parasitic weight is 1,513 or 417 lbs., respectively.
Tri-Met SD600A specifications page,, 2001)
  • Elimination of unnecessary starting and stopping. It takes less energy to maintain a steady speed, as evidenced by hybrid vehicles that recapture at time of deceleration t̪the energy consumed by acceleration.
The combination of parasitic weight and starting and stopping means that rail transit consumes 3,268 BTU per passenger mile,
USDOT, "Transportation Energy Databook," 24th Edition, Ch. 2, p.13)
whereas ATS Ltd. estimates its ULTra PRT will consume .55 MJ (megajoule) per passenger km (839 BTU per passenger mile).
(reference: Lowson, M.V.)
By comparison, buses consume 4,127 BTU and automobiles consume 3,581 BTU (reference: USDOT).

--Mr Grant 00:08, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I still see no citation that describes "parasitic energy consumption". I see references to specifications that support the research, but no such independent research. Are there any transit engineering books that describe parasitic energy consumption? Preferably peer-reviewed books. I personally don't think the neologistic term would withstand engineering scrutiny because it seems to be used here only in reference to weight or mass. Mass alone isn't a parasite. A parasitic loss usually comes from such things as rivots that serve no aerodynamic purpose, or the viscosity of oil in an engine that retards the motion of moving parts, or drag of a wheel on a surface. It seems the concept being described as the lost energy used to accelerate the heavier vehicle involves the concept in physics known as conservation of energy or mass or momentum (I'm not sure which). Regardless, without a qualified citation (multiple and independant of JPods), the entire section needs to be removed. A sign of probable original research is a phrase like, "it makes sense that", because what makes sense to you doesn't make it so and it may not make the same sense to others. --JJLatWiki 23:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I propose something far shorter:
Energy efficiency
The energy efficiency advantage claimed by PRT proponents is based on two operational characteristics: low vehicle to payload weight ratio; and the elimination of intermediate starting and stopping through point-to-point service.[citation needed] --JJLatWiki 23:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your assessment, and I've expanded on your changes somewhat. See new section at the bottom of this talk page for what I did. ATren 00:57, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Unimodal (Skytran) & NASA

"The beginnings of a prototype are underway. It has a U.S. Department of Transportation grant at the University of Montana and is working with NASA's National Center for Advanced Manufacturing in New Orleans to develop the vehicles."........... Is there a link to this info?...Avidor 21:40, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Question About Conflict of Interest Concerning David Gow (Mr Grant)

David Gow maintains several websites, blogs that promote Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) and moderates a Seattle PRT web forum. All this activity alone constitutes a conflict of interest, but I would like to know if David Gow (Mr Grant) has received payment for promoting PRT and if so, who has paid him...Avidor 18:07, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

First: I have no clue whether or not he has been paid; second: it is entirely irrelevant here because he has not added anything advertorial or controversial to the article; third: if you insist on knowing whether Gow was paid, you should also answer whether you've ever been paid for your anti-PRT campaign - like, for example, any articles or Roadkill Bill works you've created that are anti-PRT in nature. Your presence on these articles has been much more significant and controversial than Gow's, so if you've made any money off your anti-PRT campaign then that would be much more of a COI than anything you can accuse of Gow. ATren 19:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Once again we see Avidor attack a person because his attacks on the technology have been shown to be without foundation. As Atren notes, I may have a pro-PRT presence online, but it is only COI if my Wikipedia edits have a COI result. Avidor seems to think expertise or opinion necessarily takes away one's ability to write objectively or neutrally.

As for whether I receive payment for my work, for the time being I am going to neither confirm nor deny anything, one way or another. The reason? I wish to be amused by the talking points and conspiracy theories Avidor will produce in the coming days/weeks/months/years/eras, which I am sure are being concocted even as I write this. After all, one of my blogs is Avidor Humor, and I always need material. --Mr Grant 19:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Again, I ask respectfully; Have you, Mr Grant (David Gow) received payment for promoting PRT and if so, who has paid you?
The policy {]:
If you fit either of these descriptions:
you are receiving monetary or other benefits or considerations to edit Wikipedia as a representative of an organization (whether directly as an employee or contractor of that organization, or indirectly as an employee or contractor of a firm hired by that organization for public relations purposes); or, you expect to derive monetary or other benefits or considerations from editing Wikipedia; for example, by being the owner, officer or other stakeholder of a company or other organisation about which you are writing;
then we very strongly encourage you to avoid editing Wikipedia in areas where there is a conflict of interest that would make your edits non-neutral (biased). Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy states that all articles must represent views fairly and without bias, and conflicts of interest do significantly and negatively affect Wikipedia's ability to fulfill this requirement. If your financially-motivated edits would be non-neutral, do not post them.
And again, I ask you respectfully, which of Mr. Grant's edits to the PRT article do you consider to be problematic? ATren 20:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
And I, just as respectfully, respond to you, Ned Luddington (Ken Avidor), that I am in compliance with the policy you have quoted. I'll trust you on quoting them accurately. Love ya, don't change. Mmmmmmmwah. --Mr Grant 21:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

There also seems to be an obvious conflict of interest regarding owner of a start-up PRT company BillJamesMN editing the PRT page and it seems other editors were well aware of it [1]...Avidor 21:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

If you have a problem, raise it at the COI noticeboard. I think you know where it is... ATren 21:39, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Hey Nedken: I agree with you that BillJamesMN may have appearance of a COI. That is why I have proposed a remedy I hope will improve the article. How would you like to improve the article? --Mr Grant 22:43, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
One last time; Are you paid to promote PRT?...Avidor 01:41, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
One last time: which edits are you concerned about? Because if he's not making promotional edits, then the COI question is moot! ATren 01:44, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Are you paid to oppose it? Because it's like a full-time job for you. --Mr Grant 02:36, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
With the exception of a comic about PRT back in 2003 for which I received $40, no... Now, you can answer my question; Have you been paid to promote PRT?...Avidor 04:15, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
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)
And can you answer my question: which edits do you consider PRT "promotion"? Because unless there is evidence of actual PRT promotion on behalf of Mr Grant, the COI charge is completely irrelevant. Are you going to provide diffs to support your argument? ATren 04:21, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
So that's it? You refuse to provide the diffs? ATren 13:59, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

It would take a more time than I have... I agree with the admin--"If he (Gow) wants to avoid all potential for future misunderstanding he can confine himself to the article talk page."Avidor 15:58, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Hold the phone! You did the experiment without doing the research first? You went to battle without knowing the enemy's position? You asked a question in court without already knowing the answer? You expect me to believe that, with all the time you spend trawling the PRT waters, you have no actual evidence of my COI? This was just a fishing expedition!!! Is there a Wikipedia policy against time-wasting?
And staying on the talk page "to avoid all potential for future misunderstanding" amounts to a gag order -- because you are the one who will be doing the misunderstanding. So no way. I am educated in performing neutral, competent policy & program analysis, I have a sheepskin that says so. I perform neutral, competent policy & program analysis every day. How about you? FORTY DOLLARS???!!! --Mr Grant 16:46, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
The admin also clearly states that Mr Grant's edit history is "all helpful and straightforward contribution." And, judging by your "I don't have time" excuse, it's quite clear that she's absolutely right - there is nothing on which to base a COI complaint. As Mr Grant states above, this appears to be little more than a fishing expedition.
Furthermore, I question why you believe that Gow has received money to promote PRT - do you have any evidence to support this? Once again, that seems to be a completely unfounded insinuation, made with the intent to falsely imply impropriety on Gow's part. To paraphrase the great Jackie Gleason: "Ad homina homina hominem".
So as far as I'm concerned, Mr Grant has proven himself to be a model editor on these pages, and he can go ahead and continue editing without reservation. ATren 17:32, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Arizona Republic Article About Skytran Quotes Transportation Professional

There's nothing new about the concept, which some sources date to the 1930s. Companies have been tinkering with SkyTran-like ideas for years. But although the company's literature speaks of SkyTran in the present tense, the idea has yet to get off the ground, literally.Mike James, Mesa's senior transportation planner, said SkyTran "is an idea on the Internet, but that's about the only place it exists."Only now, Spellman said, is the company building two prototype vehicles and some sections of rail. It hopes to put enough actual equipment together to erect a test loop of about 1,000 yards. Spellman said Williams Gateway would be an ideal location for the first test run. James said that probably won't happen."We're really focusing in on what the federal government would call proven technologies," James said. And as far as personal transportation, he said, "We as a city already have a good personal transportation system in our road network."[2]...Avidor 13:01, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, a transportation professional who works for the Mesa Transportation Division. In earlier times you would call it the Road Department. I thought you opposed all road warriors, now you're looking to them to support your arguments? Doesn't all that road work take funding away from light rail? It's in the same department! --Mr Grant 16:55, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Is SkyTran's Jerry Spelllman [3] more credible?Avidor 23:44, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a point in posting links to these news articles and blog postings? Unless you have a specific problem with the article that you wish to discuss, please cease posting links like this. Wikipedia is not a blog, nor is it a soapbox. If you have a specific problem with the article, raise it here; posting every random Internet posting you find on PRT is not helpful, and unless it concerns something specific in the article, is nothing but a disruption and likely a WP:POINT violation. ATren 00:43, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I have contacted Mr. Spellman and he won't give me any information about his claim that Skytran has a contract with US DOT. Maybe someone else can ask him to verify his claim?.... here's his e-mail: ...Avidor 10:53, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Why don't you ask Larry Fabian to ask Spellman? --Mr Grant 16:46, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge the "Ridership and Operating cost" section into the "Energy Efficiency" section?

It seems that the section on "parasitic energy" repeats some of the same points as the "Ridership and Operating Cost" section. It alludes to the 25% occupancy of PRT, which is expanded upon below in the ridership section. Also, it seems that the "Ridership" section as written fits nicely into the energy section.

I suggest a third item in the "energy efficiency" section: load factor is independent of service level. This basically means that PRT can offer 24x7 service without sacrificing load factor - load factor is the average occupancy compared to max occupancy and is related to parasitic energy in the sense that the greater the load factor, the less parasitic energy consumption. Load factor has a theoretical lower bound of 12.5% for PRT because vehicles only move empty to redistribute vehicles, and the absolute worst case is 50% empty vehicle movement (the case where every trip is a full round trip back to the originating station, with the return trip empty).

For scheduled transit, load factor is always at odds with service level, and there is no theoretical lower bound on load factor as there is with PRT. Buses and trains may achieve PRT-like average load factors, but only by cutting back service during off hours. Consider the extreme example of trying to provide ubiquitous service with buses - this would mean that buses would run on a 6-minute schedule all the time, 24x7, including weekends and holidays. This would come close to the PRT service level (though 3 minute waits are still longer than PRT wait times), but it would drive the load factor down to near zero and make the parasitic energy usage skyrocket. Put another way: buses would be riding around almost empty all the time. A big aspect of transit planning and operations is trying to balance these competing needs, and it's a no-win situation because cutting back service to reduce parasitic energy alienates potential riders, which in turn drives down the load factor even further.

So, it's a fundamental tradeoff between cost and service level for scheduled transit modes. PRT has no such tradeoff - load factor is independent of service level and thus can provide the same level of service 24x7 with no parasitic energy implications.

Would anyone object if I merged these two sections by adding this third bullet item to the energy efficiency section?

ATren 13:04, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge away. Do you recall a thread here about mode load factor? Maybe it was in Yahoo Groups. The only thing I could find that had loads for various modes was this mention in a Brookings paper (pp. 25-26). Skeptics (not you-know-who) replied to the effect that 'oh, those numbers must be old,' but if I remember correctly they could not provide better/newer references.--Mr Grant 17:38, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

This Article Needs a MAJOR Overhaul

Too much advocacy, weasel words that support original research withoput citations... it's a mess written by promoters with tremendous conflicts of interest.

"Advocacy. Here's an example: wp:Personal rapid transit. This is a cool technology, but right now it does not really exist. The article portrays this wonderful system of widescale urban transit, but the only system currently being built is in an airport car park. The article describes a concept which is not just untested, right now there's nobody in power actually proposing it. But there are some people who like to use the chimaera of PRT to undermine funding for proven modes like light rail. Light rail, trams, is known to work. It's also pretty cheap as the routes tend to run over existing roads or old rail track beds. It can be built quickly because the hardware is stock, due to its use in many cites throughout Europe. PRT faces formidable political obstacles, but even that statement has been quietly edited out of the article by the PRT fans who "own" it. Instead of noting the formidable obstacles, we now have a PRT advocate's quote that the only barriers are political. No, they aren't. The barriers are technical, political and societal. Surveys on cycling all say that more people would cycle if only there were more cyclepaths; built the cyclepaths and mostr of those who said they would cycle if only they were there, still don't cycle. Same with PRT, I would bet. Whatever kind of public transport infrastructure you build, you will not get many people out of their cars, because people love their cars. All cyclists know this. We also have an article on UniModal, or SkyTran, a system which has no existence at all outside its developer's head. It's right up there with the Moller Skycar. So what, you say? So the advocates for this mode, and the people pitching for money to build a test track for SkyTran, seem to me to be using Wikipedia to promote their baby."...[4].

Personal Rapid Transit is like Intelligent Design - it's used mainly as a stalkiing horse to teach the controversy about a controversy that doesn't exist (except on PRT sites and Wikipedia) that LRT is expensive and inefficient. This article fails to mention that nearly every PRT site attacks LRT. This article fails to mention that several PRT crusaders are opponents of LRT. Emory Bundy was a PRT promoter of a defunct PRT project called Pathfinder.

PRT has little or no support among transit groups or transportation professionals. Thi article refers mainly to sites that promote PRT... many are dead sites like Skyloop.

Here's a scan from page # 221 from the book "Transportation for Livable Cities" by Professor Vukan Vuchic of the Univ. of Pennsylvania... the professor gives PRT only one paragraph saying PRT is "imaginary" and "infeasible"

PRT was heavily promoted in the media 2003-2005 in Minnesota. Although PRT had some support among Democrats, it was mostly supported by right-wing, anti-transit, pro-highway Republicans and a corrupt Green Party elected official who was convicted of taking bribes from a Republican developer. Here is a video that gives a glimpse into what was going on back then...Avidor 21:56, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing actionable here. If you have a complaint, take it to RFC. ATren 22:28, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
You can do that, but There needs to be a discussion here before you remove the NPOV....Avidor 00:10, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Avidor, with all due respect, your persistent claims that PRT is only a "stalking horse" used to bash Light Rail Transit is completely unfounded. The people who really care about PRT, the people who develop it, the people who promote it are people who care about transit. Look, for example, at the Minneapolis example. The PRT system that was proposed for Minneapolis was designed to complement and add to the functionality of the light rail transit. It had integrated multimodal stations, so that LRT could transport large numbers of people into Minneapolis, who could then circulate around the city. In what way does that suggest it is only used to make LRT look bad? It's made to HELP LRT!
Now you say PRT has little support among "transit professionals." I assume you are talking about the people who make transit in the status quo. They have a lot to LOSE from PRT. Traditional transit systems are made by a small oligarchy of companies that often have some shady practices. They get billions and billions of dollars of government money, no doubt because of the millions of dollars they spend lobbying and contributing to political campaigns. They have a lot invested in the status quo. Were PRT to be widely implemented, they have a lot to lose.
You persistently insist that PRT is a pipedream, that it is unworkable, that it is untested. You ignore the fact that there are working prototypes. You ignore the fact that there are computer models that show it would work on a larger scale. You ignore the fact that reputable organizations have looked at PRT and found that it could be viable. You ignore the fact that PRT relies almost exclusively on proven transit technologies.
Your only opposition to PRT is because it is so widely supported---including by people you don't like. You obviously have the mantra that "the friend of my enemy is my enemy." Well, if some Republican or corrupt official you don't like supported world peace, would you be against that too?
Your main proposition--that PRT is used to prevent LRT from being built--is completely and verifiably false. It doesn't it even make sense. I have never heard a genuine PRT advocate say "we should not build any transit because we want to wait until PRT is ready." On the contrary, I've heard genuine PRT advocates say we SHOULD build light rail with PRT to complement it, or that we should build PRT instead of light rail only if possible now, or that we should build transit while researching PRT for the future.
You make it sound like PRT is a conspiracy by the auto industry and that elected officials are in their pockets. Well, I say follow the money. The PRT industry and the genuine PRT advocates get no money from the auto industry. Although they occassionally get people to present their ideas to the legislature, they have been unsuccessful in getting ANY public money. On the contrary, the megacorporations and transnational conglomerates that push oil, autos, and traditional transit spend MILLIONS upon MILLIONS on lobbyists, campaign contributions, and advertising to prevent transit innovation.
What I'm saying is that your concern about why this article needs a "major overhaul" is based upon you imputing bad faith to the thousands of people who generally hold hope that PRT promises a better future for us and our children. I just ask you to assume good faith. Don't overlook the reality of PRT because of your childish grudge against a few of its past supporters.
What you call unsupported advocacy in this article is really just reality. This article is well supported. If anything, it carefully understates the potential of PRT. There are no "conflicts of interest"--the people who have contributed to this article don't stand to make money from PRT. Rather, we're just grassroots enthusiasts who want to end auto dependency, sprawl, foreign oil dependency, and all the other problems that our current transportation strategy has gotten us.--Happyshifter (talk) 00:49, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Vuchic description

Okay, Atren and I are in a bit of a disagreement over the description of Vulkan Vuchic. Atren is saying that he is "a proponent of traditional forms of transit". The problem I have is that "traditional forms of transit" is a rather vague term. Plus, "traditional" could also mean automobiles, couldn't it? But he certainly is not a proponent of automobile-friendly developments...

I'm shooting for something like "alternatives to automobile transit". PerryPlanet 23:03, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Oops, we both added a comment at the same time. :-) See my rationale below. I have a problem with the word "alternative" because that often implies stuff like monorail and maglev, which Vuchic opposes; and anyway, Vuchic may promote trains and buses but he doesn't necessarily oppose cars. See my full discussion below. ATren 23:08, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Vukan Vuchic is the UPS Foundation Professor of Transportation Engineering Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering School of Engineering and Applied Science Professor of City and Regional Planning University of Pennsylvania[5] Professor Vuchic's peer-reviewed articles and books carry more weight than the the self-published citations in this article...Avidor 23:35, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Vuchic: proponent of "traditional forms of transit" vs "alternatives to automobile"

PerryPlanet, with respect to what Vuchic is a proponent of, I reverted back to "traditional forms of transit" for several reasons:

  1. "traditional" covers trains, buses, pedestrians, and bicycles - which corresponds pretty much exactly to Vuchic's views.
  2. Vuchic has opposed many newer transit systems that might be considered "alternative", like monorail, PRT, and maglev. In fact, the word "alternative", when applied to transit, generally applies more to these newer, more exotic modes, and not to more establish forms like trains and buses. So "alternative" is somewhat misleading, I think.
  3. Vuchic lists as one of his research topics "Highway Transportation: Design of highways and streets." [6] So "alternatives to cars" does not seem to reflect his full viewpoint.

For these reasons, I've reverted back to "traditional forms". But I've opened up this discussion in case anyone else wants to chime in. I think we can come to some sort of agreement - it's a minor point. ATren 23:05, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

How about "established alternatives to single-occupant vehicle transit"? PerryPlanet 23:12, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
But that excludes only bicycles. :-) Seriously, how about "existing transit modes like buses and trains"? I really don't think it's appropriate to imply he's opposed to cars when he's done research on highways and traffic patterns. Of course, I haven't studied his entire body of research, so my impression that he doesn't vigorously oppose highways could be incorrect... ATren 23:29, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Instead of speculating what Vuchic has written, you should go to the library and read at least one of his books....Here's a list[7] and Here's what he has to say about PRT....Avidor 23:42, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Just saying "buses and trains" leaves out bicyclists, pedestrians, carpoolers, and other modes of transit Vuchic has advocated for. Perhaps we don't need a description at all? I mean, is it really necessary? Why not just leave it at "Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania"? PerryPlanet 23:48, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with PerryPlanet. Professor Vuchic should be refered to as a "Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania"... I have read Vuchic's "Transportation for Livable Cities"... The way this article describes Vuchic as a mere "proponent" is unjustified and demeaning and further evidence of the widespread POV-pushing in this article...Avidor 00:07, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
The reason we identify Vuchic's affiliations is because others have insisted that every mention of a PRT researcher in the article must be qualified by "PRT proponent". If we must qualify every statement by a PRT researcher, we should also qualify Vuchic's affiliations - and he has been involved intimately with light rail for over 3 decades. In fact, he was one of the first to publicly use the term "light rail" and has written many papers in support of it. Vuchic is no less a proponent of light rail than Anderson is a proponent of PRT. I'd be fine removing the Vuchic affiliation if we also remove all pro-PRT qualifications as well. ATren 00:15, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, Vuchic is a proponent of light rail, no one is saying he isn't, but it is a bit misleading to make that his affiliation as he is also a proponent of bus transit, metro systems, carpooling, bicycling, and walking -- really, a vast array of transportation modes.
I suppose removing the pro-PRT qualifications would be fine with me. I don't see a problem with doing so, at least none yet. PerryPlanet 00:37, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

That's a teach the controversy argument. Professor Vuchic's books and articles are peer-reviewed in the field of transportation engineering....Anderson and Schneider are not. To suggest that Anderson and Schneider are equal to Professor Vuchic is exactly the same "teach the controversy" argument used by proponents of Intelligent Design who cite "experts" who publish in non-peer-reviewed literature....Avidor 00:27, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

POV tag

Avidor, you have now applied the POV tag 3 times without specifying a single actionable complaint about the article. Please list specific complaints or I will remove the tag. ATren 01:15, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I did thatAvidor 01:23, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing actionable there - everything you mention there is either unsourced opinion or already in the article (see the section on Vuchic's quote). I'm not going to play this game again. I've opened up an AN/I thread. ATren 01:32, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

OK, let me address your above statement, one by one:

  • JzG's off-Wiki complaint - yes, JzG believes PRT is infeasible, and it is his right to express that, but JzG's opinion is irrelevant to this article. I might also add that JzG expressed two specific concerns in his off-Wiki complaint, and I have addressed both of them: (1) the EDICT paragraph is now quoted directly from the EDICT report, and the "only barriers are political" line is no longer there, and (2) the "formidable obstacles" paragraph is back in the article - I don't know who removed it, but I never said it didn't belong (though I did have WP:WEIGHT concerns when it was in the opening section - the article was not significant enough to get such treatment). So as far as I can tell, JzG's specific concerns have been addressed.
  • "Personal Rapid Transit is like Intelligent Design - it's used mainly as a stalkiing horse..." - you have been making this statement for almost two years, but have never provided a reliable source for it - if you provide a source, then it will be added; otherwise it doesn't belong there. I realize that you believe in this strongly, but until you have actual sources to back up your claims, they cannot be added. I'd also add that Intelligent Design doesn't have a commercial installation being built as we speak - your comparison of a real working technology to a politically charged pseudo-science is completely unsupportable.
  • "PRT has little or no support among transit groups or transportation professionals. This article refers mainly to sites that promote PRT... many are dead sites like Skyloop." - Again, this is your opinion, and is largely unsupportable. Many transportation professionals have studied PRT, and some have even been involved in projects that resulted in prototypes. Currently in Europe, there are at least two major projects involving many transit professionals, and many other smaller efforts. Furthermore, with the notable exception of Vuchic and a very few others, there has been very little direct criticism of PRT by transportation professionals. Which brings us to...
  • "Here's a scan from page # 221 from the book "Transportation for Livable Cities" by Professor Vukan Vuchic..." - and you will note that Vuchic's critism is plainly stated in the article, so what's the problem? I fail to see why you keep bringing this up, when Vuchic's quote is in the article and has been there since the beginning!
  • "Although PRT had some support among Democrats, it was mostly supported by right-wing, anti-transit, pro-highway Republicans and a corrupt Green Party elected official who was convicted of taking bribes from a Republican developer. Here is a video that gives a glimpse into what was going on back then..." - First, where are the sources? Second, PRT has been a topic of research for decades before it became a Minneapolis political topic, and it continues to be a hot topic in parts of Europe and Asia even as the Minneapolis political battles have died down. The point is this: it may be very important to you and the people of Minneapolis that a few local politicians supported PRT, but what is the relevance to the rest of the world? Answer: almost nothing. You continue to try to make this all about Minneapolis politics, but Minneapolis is just a small, insignificant piece of PRT history. So even if your allegations were supportable in reliable sources, it's seriously debatable whether it would even belong in an article about PRT in general.

So, I'll repeat what I said earlier: I see nothing actionable in your complaint, and unless you provide specific, actionable complaints, I will remove the POV tag tomorrow.

ATren 03:31, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Skyloop isn't dead? The Skyloop website hasn't posted anything since 2001....Your denial of facts your endless Wikipedia:WikiLawyering is tedious.....but, that's the idea, isn't it?...Avidor 03:53, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Skyloop was a proposal that was rejected. The website is still there, so there is a link to it. The only mention of the proposal is in the criticism section, where the rejection of the proposal is discussed in some detail. What are you suggesting we do here, remove the criticism? I doubt you want that, so I fail to see what the problem is. Please tell us specifically what you want done here.
And might I assume by virtue of the fact that you didn't respond to any of my other points, that you do not contest anything anything else? If you do disagree with something else in my above analysis, then please present your case here, with specifics; otherwise I will remove the tag until you can present actionable complaints. ATren 04:07, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Still waiting for a response here. Per WP:NPOVD, when you add the POV tag to an article, it is your responsibility to provide specific actionable items here on the talk page. In the discussion above, we appear to have narrowed the problem down to Skyloop, but I still do not know what you want done with Skyloop. Frankly, Skyloop is barely mentioned in the article (and certainly not in a positive POV light), so to tag the entire article POV just on the basis of one mention and one external link - that seems excessive. So if you do not respond to this request and provide more details, I will remove the tag later today. ATren 13:59, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
To list Skyloop (and other rejected (and dubious PRT projects such as Skytran and JPods) as a "proposal" or "pilot" without also mentioning that it was rejected in 2001 would be same as listing the Titanic in an article about ocean liners without mentioning that it sank in 1912. The same is true for the other "proposals" except for ULTra which is proposed to be an airport "people mover", not the fine-grain, high capacity PRT system described elsewhere in this article. The main POV problem with this article is that the claims that PRT is competing against conventional transit modes such as LRT... to date, that is not true and Wikipedia is not a crystal ball WP:NOT#CRYSTALBALL...Avidor 14:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, I'll address each of these separately:
  • I've qualified the Skyloop link as you requested
  • JPods and Skytran have both received media coverage. Skytran, we've already dealt with, extensively - if you want to revisit that, I suggest you go to arbcom as Radiant suggests. JPods was the subject of a Star-Tribune article and claims to have a letter of intent for future development. I think a single external link to a system that has received media coverage is fine and does not violate POV.
  • "ULTra which is proposed to be an airport "people mover", not the fine-grain, high capacity PRT system described elsewhere in this article." - see the EDICT report, which was an extensive study of PRT by transportation professionals for use in cities. ULTra is certainly targeted for cities, even if the first application is in an airport. This complaint is without merit.
  • "The main POV problem with this article is that the claims that PRT is competing against conventional transit modes such as LRT... to date, that is not true and Wikipedia is not a crystal ball WP:NOT#CRYSTALBALL..." - PRT is being considered as an option in several cities in the US and Europe. You know this, because you've written letters-to-the-editors to newspapers in many of those cities. I would estimate that PRT has been raised as an alternative in at least 10 cities - and that's just the ones I've heard about. And these are more than just casual mentions - PRT is a very serious part of the discussion in these cities. If you don't consider this "competing against LRT", then what term would you use? Crystal ball certainly does not apply here. Now, if the article said "PRT will be built in cities", I would agree that that is inappropriate, but nowhere does it say that. It properly documents the current state - that PRT is being considered but has not yet been built.
So as far as I can tell, the single actionable item here is the Skyloop link, which I've now modified. JPods now seems notable enough for a single external link, and the Skytran debate has been rehashed many times here - regardless of your feelings, consensus is that Skytran is notable enough for inclusion, and if you want to revisit that, you should take it to dispute resolution or arbcom. None of the other complaints have merit, as there are reliable sources that directly oppose your position.
Based on this, I am now removing the POV tag. If you have other actionable complaints, feel free to list them here, but please do not edit war on the POV tag. ATren 15:16, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I will not "debate" with ATren who has declared on his user page to defend this article against critics of PRT. ATren needs step back from this article WP:OWN. I will not discuss anything with someone who has accused me of fraud[8] which is a crime. Ironic since 2 of the biggest promoters of PRT in Minnesota are convicted criminals... I await arbitration....Avidor 15:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Definition of scam: A fraudulent business scheme. You seem to have no problem with using the word scam to describe PRT and its proponents. Are you implying that everyone who has ever researched PRT is a criminal? Anyway, I removed the word "fraudulent" yesterday as soon as someone questioned it. As for WP:OWN: why would I spend all this time on the talk page if I had ownership issues? Very little of this article was actually written by me. Furthermore, this particular debate is about the PRT article, not me. If you have a problem with me, file an RfC or arbcom case. ATren 16:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

"Parasitic Energy Consumption" --> "load factor"

In the Energy efficiency section, JJLatWiki removed much of the verbiage about "parasitic energy consumption" and left a small unsourced stub about the rationale for calculations that project reduced PRT energy consumption. This, I believe, was an improvement overall, since "parasitic energy consumption" seems to be an obscure term - but we still needed a citation for the claim.

So I did some digging and I found a source (an Anderson JAT paper) that provided a more reliable rationale for reduced energy consumption: reduced load factor. Load factor is not a neologism, and from what I can tell it is a common term in transit theory. Interestingly, load factor seems to be very much related to the concept of "parasitic energy consumption" - both indicate the percentage of energy that is consumed doing real work (i.e. moving passengers). So load factor actually works pretty well here.

After that, merging the "ridership and operating costs" section into this section made sense. The "ridership" section also deals with load factor, describing why PRT load factor would be higher than scheduled transit load factors, even for full 24x7 service. So I merged that section into the energy efficiency section.

I believe this is an overall improvement, as the "ridership" section always seemed to be out of place, tacked onto the end as it was. Note I added almost nothing in this series of edits, just moved some stuff around. ATren 01:11, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks ATren. "Load factor" seems to be a good transportation term used most in the airline industry. Probably because of all passenger transport modes, the airline industry is most competitive, so they actually care about such things. Load factor is definitely appropriate when discussing cost efficiency and probably energy efficiency. I don't think "load factor" is the same concept that "parasitic energy consumption" is attempting to portray. Load factor deals exclusively with available seats without regard for how much the vehicle weighs. Obviously the weight can impact the available seats, but not in a way that correlates "LF" to "PEC". I hope BillJamesMN understands that I think his theory is sound and valid, but until other people start working on and publishing research on the theory, it really doesn't belong in Wikipedia. --JJLatWiki 15:23, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Another PRT Company Goes Down

Besides having their own PRT product, Frog/2getthere provided the guidance system and platform for British PRT ULTra in 2001[9][10]...Avidor 22:14, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

...and it was replaced in 2003. But didn't the PRT Skeptic write in 2005 that FROG is not PRT [11], ULTra looks like FROG[12], and therefore ULTra is not PRT[13]? Discuss. --Mr Grant 05:09, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

The PRT promoters who wrote this article are always making excuses for every failure of every PRT "system". FROG is just the latest of many... which is why the Light Rail Now Cyberspace article isn't allowed to bring reality to this article. Incidentally, did somebody from the Frog Company anonymously edit the Wikipedia PRT page? [14]...Avidor 13:58, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Recent PB-244854 edits by BillJamesMN

I have been removing the recent edits by BillJamesMN in regards to the 1974 PRT Technology Assessment known as PB-244854. BillJamesMN has broadly interpretted this document as a "study" that was designed to find a solution to what he calls the "oil crisis" and that the conclusion of the study was that PRT is the solution. BillJamesMN has inflated the PB into "the blueprint" for PRT development and Morgantown was "the execution" of that document, even though constuction of the Morgantown PRT preceded the congressional letter requesting the assessment. --JJLatWiki (talk) 19:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

In his most recent edit here, he quotes from the PB and assigns meaning to the quote: The report accurately identified past innovation failures and the future of PRT for the next 37 years, "UMTA's R&D programs [US DOT Urban Mass Transit Administration] … have neglected near-term … simpler approaches to correct transit problems." The full quote (at least the closest I could find in the PB) goes: It is the opinion of the panel that UMTA's present approach neglects the near term need of local communities, and that concentrating solely on the small vehicle GRT type commonly called "HPPRT" will unnecessarily delay putting automated systems into use. The quote from the assessment panel, and based on the rest of the report, implies that the UMTA should spend more money on larger vehicle designs of 15+ passengers since that technology is more mature and better able to satisfy the near-term needs of local communities than the small vehicle designs. There is a lot of verbiage in the assessment that is decidedly negative against PRT. And most positive comments about PRT are prefaces with the typical "proponents of PRT" and "PRT advocates". --JJLatWiki (talk) 19:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

In short, PB-244854 adds nothing of significance to the PRT discussion, especially when it's added in a manner that carries the editor's POV of the meaning. --JJLatWiki (talk) 19:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Author James Howard Kunstler on PRT

Author James Howard Kunstler talks about Personal Rapid Transit-[15]...Avidor (talk) 02:55, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Is there a point to the youtube link? How does this add value to the article? I think this might fall under the category of what wikipedia is not --JJLatWiki (talk) 20:10, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Doing some general cleanup

I'm looking at the article again for the first time in a long while, and am realizing that it could be improved considerably. I'll be intermittently working on it over the next few weeks. My main aim is to improve its readability and shorten its length, both by tightening up the language and removing unsourced material. I'll avoid touching the more controversial sections until I have time to fight about it here on the talk page. Skybum (talk) 21:45, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Systems and Proposals

I've been thinking about making some radical changes to the "Systems and Proposals". First of all, I think it's necessary to distinguish between PRT platforms (eg., ULTra, Vectus, Skyweb, et cetera), and PRT networks (eg., Heathrow, Al Masdar, et cetera). So far the two have been quite conflated, which is fairly; let's disentangle them and put each in its own section. For now, I'd only like to deal with the latter -- specific network sites -- which I believe should go under the heading of "PRT Networks".

If we're going to document PRT networks, I think it's important to clearly delineate the criterion for inclusion. Anybody who has been paying attention knows that there are plenty of flakey PRT "proposals" out there, which are non-notable and un-encyclopedic. Just because some random person says that there ought to be a PRT network in Timbuktu, and manages to get a story published to this effect, doesn't mean that it's notable enough for inclusion here. Also, I think that there's a world of difference between an operational test track, and an actual open-for-business public system. The former is indicative of the level of development of a given technology, but I don't think that they should be considered as "networks" per se. This means that the tracks at Cardiff and Uppsala should not be included in this list.

I'd like to propose the following categories and criterion for what should be included:

  • Operational -- This is a fully-functional open-for-business commercial/public system. No such system yet exists, unless you count Morgantown, which isn't fully a PRT. Once the public can use the Heathrow network, it will be classified in this category.
  • Under Construction -- This means that the PRT infrastructure is currently being built. Infrastructure of the associated project should not count towards this category. For example: although Al Masdar and the DIFC are both generally under construction, their planned PRT systems are not. I believe that currently, only the Heathrow PRT network would fit under this category.
  • Planned -- This is for systems that will almost certainly be built. Ie, there are unequivocal statements to this effect by the parties that would be building it, a specific network design and implementation plan, and a tender that has either been issued or will be issued shortly. Both Al Masdar and Daventry would fit into this category.
  • Proposed -- This is a risky category, given how many unrealistic and non-noteworthy proposals are floating around out there. However, with strict guidelines for inclusion, I think it would be a worthwhile category nonetheless. Basically, a proposed system would be one in which resources are are being allocated by the end customer itself. So, my Timbuktu example wouldn't count, unless Timbuktu itself decided to fund a study to investigate the notion, and this study came to a positive conclusion. Skytran's proposal to the city of Mesa, for example, wouldn't count -- because the city of Mesa has never put up funds to pursue the idea themselves. On the other hand, Santa Cruz would count, because they've done a study of their own accord, which came to a positive conclusion. There are a number of cities in Sweden that may also fit this criterion. Until their plans become more definitive and concrete, Bawadi would still count as "proposed" rather than "planned"

A couple of other suggested guidelines for keeping this section encyclopedic:

  • We need to be sure that every single piece of information in this section comes from a reliable source.
  • This should not be an archive of historical plans or proposals. If there has been no cite-able information about a network within the last two years, then it should no longer be considered a going concern. (It can still be mentioned in the history section, if appropriate). For example, even though the DIFC issued a tender for a PRT system quite a while ago, nothing has been heard from them for quite a while. Pending confirmation that this project is still on track, I wouldn't include it.

I've started putting together a rough version of what I think this should look like, which you can see here. What do people think? Skybum (talk) 21:21, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

In general, I like it. The table in your user page is a nice, concise summary. I might add Mist-er to the list - they have a committment from Opole, Poland to build a prototype [16] and they've demonstrated a prototype vehicle there. There seem to be a few third sources for this, but they are in Polish, unfortunately. The project has full support from the city and a prototype is scheduled, but they still must get funding (it will be 100% privately financed, Opole just provides the city :-)).
I say, keep plowing ahead. The article is already better. ATren (talk) 02:53, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I keep working on it then, and merge it into the article when I've got something worthwhile. One thing, however, is that I would be cautious about MISTER. So far, there is very little corroborating information coming from anywhere outside their website. (The one article I could find, badly translated from the Polish, comes across as quite disheartening). Moreover, I'm aware of quite a few cities that have stated that they would be happy to host PRT systems, as long as they don't particularly have to do anything themselves -- and it never adds up to a network being built. So to avoid the crystal ball, I would generally stay away from such claims. If a city isn't participating financially, then i think that they need to have at least agreed expedite or minimize R.O.W acquisition costs, planning and zoning permission, utilities hookups, et cetera -- and there need to be accounts from multiple credible sources (not just the PRT company) saying that they have done so. From what I've seen, I don't think that MISTER meets that criteria yet.
In the case of a PRT company that is wholly going it alone (without any particular assistance from the city), then I would consider it to be "proposed" when they have submitted all of the requisite planning documents to the city, and "planned" when they have successfully completed all the requisite reviews, and received full permission to build. This process should generate a fair amount of press -- and hundreds of pages of publicly-available documents -- so it should be quite obvious when it takes place. I know I'm proposing an extremely strict and conservative standard for notability, but I think it will keep the page as reliable and non-controversial as possible. Skybum (talk) 14:37, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I see your point. That article certainly seems critical of the Mist-er effort, as far as I can tell through the translation artifacts. I've studied the Mist-er design and I like several aspects of it, and I was impressed by the photos and video of the prototype vehicle, but you are correct in that there is almost no third party validation other than that committment from Opole (which is really not much of a committment).
In my view, though, I would not completely omit Mister and SkyTran, because they have received press attention as PRT systems. Perhaps a simple one sentence statement like "Other efforts exist in various stages of development, including SkyTran (California) and Mist-er (Poland)." That's completely verifiable, and IMO it's more appropriate to include a simple mention like this than omitting them completely. But again, only for those which have received some level of press attention. ATren (talk) 15:14, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Based on what I know of them, I think the place to mention these two is in the "systems" list rather than "networks" list. These are actual companies with actual designs (of varying and not-always-easy-ascertain stages of development) that are actively marketing their systems -- all of this is easy enough to source reliably. Also, there's nothing intrinsically unusual about new-technology companies like that, so I think we can get by with merely ordinary attention to notability and verifiability and such. On the other hand, when it comes to actual operational pubic networks, the problem is that we're writing in the context of a history of many false starts and disappointments. Due to this, it becomes one of those subjects where "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." If we can come up with a really ironclad, explicit, bulletproof rationale for the inclusion of material there, I think that will go a long way towards making sure that there aren't further outbreaks of drama here. Skybum (talk) 22:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed - they would go in "systems", not "networks". And, I would almost prefer that section be named "designs" rather than "systems" to avoid the implication that they have been fully implemented. ATren (talk) 00:18, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Order of Sections in the article

There is a LOT of information in this article, and it isn't necessarily presented in the most comprehensible format. I think that this can be improved by changing the order of the information -- going from the most current / concrete to the most historical / abstract. I would propose that the order of sections go something like this:

  1. Overview (tightened up considerably from what it is now.)
  2. Networks (see above for what this would be.)
  3. PRT Systems (this would be a list of on-the-market PRT technologies, largely replacing the "See Also," "Pilots and Prototypes," and "Proposals" section. We should establish some clear criterion for notability before working on this section.)
  4. Principals of PRT System Design
  5. Opposition and Controversy
  6. History (may be worth giving its own page someday -- it's a long section in a too-long article.)

Thoughts? Skybum (talk) 21:38, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

That looks good except that I might put Principles ahead of networks and systems. I'd like to say what it is before saying where it is, but it's a minor objection - putting the design stuff later is OK too. ATren (talk) 02:55, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that we need to cover what PRT generally is, before going into specific sites or systems -- but I think we should try to do that in the overview section, in as concise a manner as possible. My reasoning is that the detailed "Principles of PRT System Design" necessarily gets into a lot of abstractions -- sometimes quite contentious and theoretical. These things are worth covering in depth, but it seems to me that they should come after certitudes. So, we can be black-and-white certain that networks are being built at Heathrow and planned at Al Masdar, and certain that such-and-such companies are offering these specific systems. But we must be much more qualified in our language when talking about issues such as the optimal guideway configuration, practicable headway distances, theoretical ridership attraction, costs at economies of scale, and so forth. Currently the best that can be done on these topics is to cite the conjecture of various experts, because there are not yet any certainties when it comes to such things.
So basically, I'd like to go from the certain to the uncertain, in much the same way that the physics article goes from classical mechanics to quantum physics. Even though the latter arguably underlies the former, it's just too darned confusing to start off with. Skybum (talk) 14:07, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with that now, that makes sense. As long as a basic description is in the overview, that sounds good. ATren (talk) 15:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Side note: do you think we should add a blurb about dual-mode? There's very little coverage of dual mode even though it's a significant branch of the PRT concept. Perhaps a single paragraph discussing the differences? ATren (talk) 15:23, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely! There's been a lot of interesting material produced about dual-mode lately, which I admit that I haven't been able to devote much attention to. So feel free to give it a go, if you like. Skybum (talk) 22:19, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Tightened the overview; discussed what PRT is, rather than what it isn't. Added references to the control algorithms section. Added some possibly controversial text to the discussion of peak speed; and also the discussion of theoretical minimums for headway; feel free to rewrite. Reworded the discussion of train capacities (to remove weasel words, not info.) Removed the general reference to Anderson's lovely article about control systems, because the control algorithms section now has a standard reference to that text. I love the new tables, by the way. Ray Van De Walker (talk) 05:27, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Section Overview might be retitled Advantages, while section Opposition and Controversy might be retitled Disadvantages. This might help reorganize the article to a more neutral POV. Also would be nice to see a section on which sort of environments tend to lend themselves toward PRT most efficiently. I hope there is someone out there neutral enough not to scream "all" or "none." --Zachbe (talk) 19:16, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

PRT Designs

I've added a table with several well-known PRT designs. I think I got most of the major ones, but there are probably a few I missed. It also could use citations, but this is a starting point. The table is based on Skybum's table for networks. I think it's a nice summary of the major features, organized by development state (green = most developed, red = least developed) ATren (talk) 18:00, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Is The CityCoaster AG suitable for this list? ( They write: The Coaster is a modern, future requirements equivalent traffic system (PRT = Personal Rapid Transit), which operates on its own route. The special flexibility of the system offers new possibilities, which could not be realized so far. (talk) 11:23, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

The New Tables of Would-Be PRT Vendors Are Full of Errors

Just a few; "The company Frog/2getthere went into bankruptcy several months ago. The company is considering/trying to do a restart at a moderate size to prevent the total loss of the specialist knowledge and experience with guided systems.' - [17]... also Taxi 2000/Skyweb Express is located in Fridley, MN not Minneapolis. Taxi 2000 has been anything but "active' since the company sued its founder and former CEO J. Edward Anderson in 2005... and what does "active" mean? ... also, if the table includes failed concepts like Aramis, why exclude other failed PRT concepts like Ford's Levacar- [18], the Carveyor [19] and Emory Bundy's Pathfinder?- [20] - more about Pathfinder:

PATHFINDER SYSTEMS, INC. UBI Number 601 506 329 Category Regular Corporation Profit/Nonprofit Profit Active/Inactive Inactive State of Incorporation WA Date of Incorporation 01/14/1986 License Expiration Date 01/31/2003 Registered Agent Information Agent Name EMORY BUNDY City SEATTLE State WA ZIP 98112...

Avidor (talk) 18:02, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

  • 2getthere: "2getthere has become an independent company after a recent restructering process of Frog Navigation Systems. After operating for several years as a subsidiary, 2getthere will now independently continue the development and marketing of the Automated People Mover concepts CyberCab (PRT) and ParkShuttle (GRT)." August 20, 2007.
  • Taxi2000: I changed it to "Minnesota"
  • "active" - still actively seeking funding and/or contracts.
  • Ford Levacar - appears to be an early concept (1959) for an air-supported vehicle, unrelated to modern PRT.
  • Carveyor - appears to be a belt-based people mover from the 1960s - again, unrelated to modern PRT.
  • Pathfinder - I have no objection to including this. ATren (talk) 18:46, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Here's a list of PRT and "quasi- PRT" projects - [21] What is the criteria for including or excluding the 100-plus PRT and "quasi-PRT" systems in this table? And there are other PRT systems Why, for instance isn't Hallitubes or this PRT project included in these tables?....Avidor (talk) 19:29, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
No, that is a list of "Emerging Innovative Transportation Technologies", many of which are not PRT. Hallitubes bears little relation to PRT - it is not automated, has no "stations", and appears to be aimed solely at long-distance commuting. The only resemblence to PRT is the small vehicles. PRT Project is closer to PRT, but is not grade separated and seems to be more of an automobile replacement. Also, PRT project has no prototype and has received little or no media attention. Still, I would have less objection to PRT project than Hallitubes, which has little resemblence to PRT. As for the others on that page, many are not PRT and are therefore irrelevant for this page ATren (talk) 21:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

What is the criteria for deciding whether a concept is PRT or "quasi-PRT?" ATren says that the Ford Levacar and the Carveyor are not PRT, but the UC Berkeley site lists them as "Personal Rapid Transit"... Is there a more notable source than UC Berkeley that says the Ford Levacar or the Carveyor are not PRT or "quasi-PRT"?...Avidor (talk) 22:20, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

By the modern definition of PRT, those systems are nothing like PRT. Those systems are from the 1950's and early 1960's, before modern PRT was even invented. The Morgantown system started off as PRT, and ended up something very closely resembling PRT. That is a completely different issue than these completely unrelated systems. If you want to argue that they belong in this article based on a single historical link, go ahead and file an RFC, I'm no longer going to debate the issue.
I'll also add, Avidor has, to this point, found one single error in the table: that Minneapolis was used when it was actually a suburb of Minneapolis. Yes, indeed, that certainly qualifies as a table "full of errors". ;-) ATren (talk) 00:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Looking up Taxi 2000 in Google Maps returns the following: "8050 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN" --Mr Grant (talk) 21:08, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
So technically, there was a grand total of zero errors in my original version. :-) ATren (talk) 21:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

From the Taxi 2000 Corporation website - Taxi 2000 (T2) Corporation 8050 University Avenue N. Fridley, MN 55432 USA - [22]... Avidor (talk) 15:26, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

The Google Maps "more info" pop-up reads
Write a review
8050 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55432
(763) 717-4310‎
It's the same zip code. How does debate about the correct name of T2's location improve the article? --Mr Grant (talk) 23:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Would you describe that other Fridley PRT company, PRT International LLC as "active"? Is PRT International more or less "active" than Taxi 2000? Neither of them has sold any PRT systems after all these years. Why isn't J. Edward Anderson's PRT company also in this table? ... And why are you live-blogging this discussion, Mr. Grant? - Avidor (talk) 03:40, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
PRT International LLC has not made its work public and so there is no basis for including it in the article. It is not our purpose here to speculate on the past or future of any company's business plan. --Mr Grant (talk) 05:23, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
By the way, how does debate about the correct name of T2's location improve the article? --Mr Grant (talk) 05:33, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, accuracy.... you are also wrong about PRT International not going public with its plans. J.Edward Anderson tried to sell PRT to Branson late last year. Here is a transcript of of Anderson's Q&A in Branson including his own table of PRT companies....Avidor (talk) 13:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
No, Avidor, I wrote PRT International hasn't, to my knowledge, disclosed its "work." That is, progress on Anderson's detailed concept which would give us an idea of how closely the concept is being followed in execution, how fast they're going, is there a prototype, what kind of prototype, how much backing and therefore financial viability they have. This allows us to decide what Status to assign. Of course, you could simply ask Anderson -- if he will take your emails.
This is all in aid of not having empty boxes in the tables. In fact, I will complete the CVS and Cabintaxi rows. If someone reads French, I can give you a link on Aramis.
Does this mean Fridley vs. Minneapolis is no longer an issue for Avidor? How did that improve the article? --Mr Grant (talk) 18:37, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the new table of "well-known PRT designs"

I don't think the article is helped by some of the designs in the new table described as "summarizes several well-known PRT designs". In particular, the "threat level" style color coding and the inclusion of insignificant developments. The meaning of the color coding isn't documented anywhere and the contents of the table doesn't otherwise make it obvious. The inclusion, or at least the status elevation of some of the "designs" is questionable. At best, JPods and MISTER are in the "concept" phase, not the "prototype" phase. They have built "mockups" of one car, hung them from beams, and attached motors so they would traverse the 8 foot section. Unlike ULTra, which was in prototype for years testing every major subsystem, JPods and MISTER have no stations (so no boarding/deboarding function), no line switching (so no conflict management), no systemwide command and control system, and the list goes on an on. I'm sorry if this sounds insulting, but an HO model railroad set is more of a prototype than these systems. Being in a "concept" stage, I further suggest that a higher level of notability be applied for inclusion in the article. JPods and MISTER seem to have maybe one article each when I searched Google news. JPods was in an online article not specifically about JPods. MISTER was in an EV blog, again, not specifically about MISTER. I have nothing against MISTER or JPods. I just don't want the PRT article to devolve into an all-inclusive bible on PRT, pro and con. (The same goes for the new comments from the New Urbanists.) Such a course is a detriment to Wikipedia and my primary concern now. --JJLatWiki (talk) 17:12, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I added the "designs" table because I liked the way the "networks" table looked and I figured that it would be a good summary of current and past work. I consider it a work in progress. (Translation: be bold and edit it as you see fit. :-))
My criterion for inclusion of a system was that it received some level of media coverage. Both JPods and MISTER had small vehicle prototypes (or maybe your term "mockups" is a better way to say it) that had local media coverage in Minneapolis and Opole, Poland. Perhaps "partial prototype is too strong, for one or both of these, but then is it too strong for Taxi2000 too, which had only a 60-foot linear section? Maybe there is a better set of terms like "vehicle prototype" (Taxi2000, Mister) and "vehicle mockup" (JPods) which encompasses the fact that JPods' prototype appeared much less extensive than the other two, while they all fall short of "partial prototype" or "full prototype". the exact language and format of the table is certainly open for debate - that was really just my first crack at it.
As for the New Urbanists' quotes, they're opinions from 3 well-known urban planners who are associated with New Urbanism, so I think that makes them somewhat notable. If consensus disagrees, I have no problem removing it. ATren (talk) 17:44, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
When it comes to the PRT article, sadly, I tire easily of the edit/revert cycles, so I would rather test the waters first. If it's work in progress, I'm willing to wait and see where it goes while I offer an opinion for you to consider.
As far as "some level of media coverage", MISTER has much more coverage in Poland, well, almost exclusively in Poland, but at least the sources seem to be technology related. The only media coverage for JPods seems to be a poorly produced local news puff piece in which they repeat lines right off the JPods web site. JPods has no coverage in journals of any kind. I don't think the MISTER vehicle can be considered a "vehicle prototype". It's much larger than the JPods vehicle, but I wouldn't say that makes it more functional or prototypical. MISTER and JPods are still just concepts, and MISTER maybe gets more press because it has less competition in Poland than JPods has in the U.S. Taxi2000 had at least a full scale functional track section and vehicle undercarriage. I don't know from the videos if they were using LIMs and how extensively they had developed their command and control software or if either was involved in the operation of the 60 foot demonstration. If the JPods and MISTER vehicles were prototypes, they're gonna need a lot airsick bags. Maybe JPods and MISTER should be called "vehicle mockup". Taxi2000 should be "station mockup". Prior to the Heathrow construction, ULTra, I would say, was in "full-scall prototype testing", but now is "under operational construction".
I understand the arguement for having the New Urbanist comments, I just disagree with the value added, weight, and notability. Busses and LRT don't have a section for thoughts from New Urbanists and I would bet that New Urbanists have said a lot more about those forms of transit. Maybe, maybe, there could be a general section for miscellaneous comments from urban planners. But "comments" seems to be all there is here. It seems clear that Kunstler hasn't studied the subject and doesn't seem to really care enough to study it, not that he should. But if he's not that familiar with PRT, why does his opinion rate in an encyclopedia entry on that subject? --JJLatWiki (talk) 20:38, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
With regard to the table, there's nothing you've said here that I strongly disagree with. On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is pure concept and 10 is full prototype, I'd rate Taxi2000 an 8, Mister a 5, JPods a 2. IMO, Mister gets some credit for having a real section of the steel truss guideway and supports along with a nicely done vehicle (which only suffered from the lack of dampers to restrict lateral motion ;-)), but Mister still lags significantly behind Taxi2000 which has published details about its hardware and control systems.
So I basically agree with your suggestions for labels, with the qualification that I'd probably label Mister significantly higher than JPods right now. So go ahead and implement what you think is best. I wouldn't even object if you removed/added systems entirely. You have always been a voice of reason on this article so just do what you think is right. When I said "work in progress", I meant others should fill in/correct as they see fit.
I'm on the fence re: Kunstler. I personally believe his opinion is absurd, but he did say those words and he is considered a reliable source on urban planning, so verifiability and reliability are not an issue. The same can be said of Calthorpe's and Hall's opinions. If you think all this falls under WP:WEIGHT or WP:COATRACK then we can debate that. It seems from the discussion below that it's a dead heat for inclusion/exclusion, so perhaps with discussion we can find a version that works for all. ATren (talk) 13:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Good work, but...

After watching it evolve, I think the "summarizes several well-known PRT designs" table needs to be reduced to only the most notable examples, maybe one for each major type/style of PRT; suspended below, support above, open track, straddle. By having an unrestricted list, the table is becoming a magnet for insignificant designs with no apparent prospects or notability. And now the list is turning into a directory of links to pet PRT projects. The table makes it easy to see the difference between the plethora of PRT projects, but the point of the article isn't to be the clearing house directory to the web page of the project. The table doesn't help me understand PRT. I think the table should be torn down and turned into a few descriptive paragraphs. Before I make the attempt, what are your thoughts? --JJLatWiki (talk) 02:14, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

The "well-known" requirement should not include insignificant designs. That should keep out a semester class project, but I don't know how to describe where the line should be drawn. -- SEWilco (talk) 18:51, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
These are good points about future additions to the list. However, speaking as someone who keeps watch on PRT in the news, I think nearly all that are on the list qualify as "well known" in some way. The exceptions are JPods, which is known because its designer is good at publicizing it, and SkyTaxi, which is not well known at all and has yet to explain how parallel tensioned cables can go around corners. --Mr Grant (talk) 19:40, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Author James Howard Kunstler on PRT

Author James Howard Kunstler talks about Personal Rapid Transit - (podcast #13) [23]MP3 download - [24]... Should James Howard Kunstler's comments should be included in the "criticism" section?...Avidor (talk) 20:07, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

If you want to add that, we should also add that Kunstler's New Urbanism peers, Peter Calthorpe and Sir Peter Hall, have both made statements in support of PRT. Personally, I'd rather avoid the "he said, she said", especially for Kunstler who admits he doesn't "get it". ATren (talk) 21:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Where's the direct quote of Peter Calthorpe saying he supported PRT?....Avidor (talk) 21:53, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Here. ATren (talk) 22:19, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

That's not a direct quote. In that Planetizen opinion piece, PRT promoter and ATS principal consultant Steve Raney [25]. Steve Raney links to this article [26] where Calthorpe mentions BRT or Bus Rapid Transit... no mention of PRT... Is there another, more direct source for the claim that Peter Calthorpe supports PRT?...Avidor (talk) 22:36, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

The quote apparently comes from a speech Calthorpe made at a conference, which is not available online. Is there a reason to distrust this author or Planetizen in general? I find it odd that you now distrust Planetizen; they are the ones who did the Kunstler interview, and they also have one of your favorite anti-PRT commentaries ([27]). Is Planetizen only reliable for commentaries you happen to agree with?
Also, BTW, Calthorpe has apparently supported PRT in Urban Land Magazine (March 2008) in the article "Riding on the Future" - though I am not a member of ULI so I can't see the article directly. Do you deny all this evidence that Calthorpe has come out in support of PRT?
The Urban Land article is quoted here. --Mr Grant (talk) 19:30, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
And then there's Sir Peter Hall. From this transcript of a speech he gave: "And I think we may also in the future be looking to technological advances in public transportation to create new kinds of personal rapid transit. We had a big breakthrough announced only a week ago that a British system called, literally, PRT, Personal Rapid Transit, is going to be adapted for Heathrow Airport progressively over the next ten years. And when you drive your car into Heathrow to one of the parking lots, you will get your own personal vehicle and program it to go to your terminal, or vice versa. And if this is as successful as I think it will be, this could be a big breakthrough in developing new kinds of totally personalized rapid transit, which could transform our cities in ways that we can't yet see." Do you dispute that too? Is there anything ambiguous about "this could be a big breakthrough... which can transform our cities in ways that we can't yet see"? ATren (talk) 01:09, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Now having established that Calthorpe and Hall have supported PRT, do you still want to add a he-said-she-said section on the perspectives of these three New Urbanists? I don't think it's necessary, but if the consensus is to add them to the article, I won't object. ATren (talk) 01:13, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

OK, having slept on this, I think maybe we should include the new urbanist perspective here. We have 3 new urbanists (Kunstler, Hall and Calthorpe) who have expressed opinions on PRT, so I think we should include their perspective. We already have Calthorpe's and Hall's views , and I've transcribed Kunster's PRT quote here:

On the Segway versus PRT:

I am going to create a section in the criticism area that includes Kunstler's criticism along with Calthorpe's and Hall's endorsements. ATren (talk) 10:05, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

While Kunstler is certainly notable, I seriously question whether the same can be said for his comment that is now in the article. --Mr Grant (talk) 00:03, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

This PRT guy blogged about Kunstler's comment...I think it should stay...Avidor (talk) 23:55, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the link? That post merely reinforces that JHK's comment was uninformed and lacked depth (i.e. not notable). In what way do you see it adding to your argument that the comment should stay (i.e. is notable)? --Mr Grant (talk) 16:35, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I also think that the comment should stay, given that Kunstler is a notable source, and that this is decently representative of a certain strand of criticism of PRT. Whether or not it is uninformed and lacks depth has nothing to do with it. If this was necessary for inclusion in Wikipedia, then I would be happily expunging every single statement that George W Bush has ever made -- but it isn't. Verifiability, Notability, and Due Weight is what counts, and I think that this quote satisfies all three. Skybum (talk) 17:59, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll vote to remove the New Urbanist comments. As comments, they are not well formed critiques of PRT. Kunstler's seems particularly uninformed, reactionary, and highly opinionated. If it was the current most notable person in the world making the comments, then I would say keep it. But because he is a notable expert in one type of urban planning and transit is one part of urban planning in general, his personal opinion on the subject doesn't rate an uninformed opinion quote. How about saying, "some New Urbanism planners are optimistic about the viability of PRT, while others doubt PRT can have any positive effect" and then reference quotes from particular such planners? If the section is even important enough to include, to which say it is not. --JJLatWiki (talk) 20:57, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Is Kunstler accurate in his description of the "PRT guys"? Here is a video of two self-described PRT guys talking about an imaginary PRT facility in Duluth, MInnesota.... and here is a video of Minnesota's Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit at the Living Green Expo in April....Avidor (talk) 21:15, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Not that the videos help me understand why "PRT guys" are evil, but Kunstler's description of "PRT guys" is entirely irrelavent in an encyclopedia article about PRT. If someone said something inflammatory about "Pedestrian/Bicycle utopian guys" and then showed me a video of you as proof, it would not hold sway in an encyclopedia article about "Pedestrian/Bicycle utopias". If wikipedia had an article ABOUT "PRT guys", THERE Kunstler's insult would be appropriate. --JJLatWiki (talk) 22:17, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Kunstler said "They seem to be a particular kind of crank", not "evil"...Avidor (talk) 23:36, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Please propose a research plan you might undertake to objectively define "crank," a test to verify whether "PRT guys" fit the profile, and metrics you will must meet to be able to generalize the label to all PRT advocates. One hopes you will treat 'guys' as a gender neutral term. --Mr Grant (talk) 01:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Crank_(person)..."Crank" is a pejorative term for a person who

  1. holds some belief which the vast majority of his contemporaries would consider false,
  2. is eccentric, especially one who is unduly zealous,
  3. is bad-tempered.

The term implies that

  1. a "cranky" belief is so wildly at variance with some commonly accepted truth as to be ludicrous,
  2. and arguing with the crank is useless, because he will invariably dismiss all evidence or arguments which contradict his cranky belief.

Common synonyms for "crank" include kook and crackpot. The word quack is usually reserved for someone who promotes a medical remedy or practice that they know to be ineffective. The crank differs from the fanatic in that the subject of the fanatic's obsession is not necessarily widely regarded as wrong, or a "fringe" belief.... Avidor (talk) 12:12, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

But Kunstler specifically said "a particular kind of crank" - so which kind was he referring to? Was he referring to the environmentally conscious cranks from MIT and Foster and Partners who are building Masdar? Or the entrepreneurial cranks at Bristol University who developed ULTra? Or the regulatory cranks from HMRI who approved ULTra for passenger travel? Or the consulting/engineering cranks at Arup who built the infrastructure for ULTra? Or maybe he's just talking about his peers - the new urbanist cranks Calthorpe and Hall. If Kunstler is critical of a "particular kind of crank", he can at least tell us which kind he is referring to. :-) ATren (talk) 13:14, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Nice thorough definition. Now you need to collect data showing "PRT guys" all have these traits; not sure how you will quantify varying levels of crankiness. Perhaps that will be your major contribution to the literature. But you'll also need a control group. I suggest you study the traits of those opposed to PRT, particularly "invariably dismiss all evidence or arguments which contradict his cranky belief" (I hope you can obtain a statistically significant sample). Possibly you could start with Kunstler himself. Good luck with your research. --Mr Grant (talk) 16:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I just noticed an inconsistency that I want to bring to your attention. Your proposed definition includes the explanation: "The crank differs from the fanatic in that the subject of the fanatic's obsession is not necessarily widely regarded as wrong, or a "fringe" belief" (emphasis added). But if Kunstler says PRT advocates are cranks, you will have to disprove that, since you have called PRT advocates "fanatics" many times[28] as well as "fringe."[29] Therefore, by proving the accuracy of Kunstler you would be disproving yourself. You may want to adjust your hypothesis. --Mr Grant (talk) 16:47, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Kunstler's comments are the subject of this discussion not mine... Avidor (talk) 20:13, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and you're the one who asked Is Kunstler accurate in his description of the "PRT guys"? and offered up a definition of crank. If you want to continue to push for inclusion, then show us how "PRT guys" are all cranks, as well as what kind of cranks. Otherwise you can withdraw from the topic and the rest of us can decide -- I am aware you usually don't have a lot of time to spend on this. --Mr Grant (talk) 21:16, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Kunstler explained why he called the "PRT guys" cranks. You could always write to Jim Kunstler for clarification. His website has contact info - [30] ...Avidor (talk) 21:35, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
You were the one who asked "Is Kunstler accurate in his description of the 'PRT guys'?", now you're telling us to look it up ourselves? Personally, I don't care about the veracity of what Kunstler says; if he want to call his fellow new urbanists "cranks" that's his business, and that's why it's in the article. Whether it's "accurate" or not is for the reader to decide; what's undeniably verifiable is that he said it. ATren (talk) 21:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Hey, I think Avidor's managed to clarify things. Wasn't Kunstler referring specifically to people who come up to him at conferences and show him plans of PRT designs? That is a very narrow subset and obviously does not include Calthorpe, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, HMRI and others mentioned above. So I would support retaining Kunstler's opinion if the context is explained. I propose: "a particular kind of crank," referring to people he encounters at conferences who want to discuss PRT. --Mr Grant (talk) 21:57, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion this context could only be something like a "warning" in form of a List of uninformed, biased people who admit that they don't understand PRT, and then insult "PRT guys" and try to spread misinformation about PRT. But then there are others that might need to be put up on this list first. For me Kunstler is just like a slightly better than average checkers player without knowledge about chess who tries to comment on a grandmasters' game of chess. So, I think unless the context is clear his insulting comments do not improve the quality of the article. Germet (talk) 23:49, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I couldn't have said it better. I think I'll take ATren's suggestion and start a thread debating due weight and coatrack. --JJLatWiki (talk) 17:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

New Urbanist opinions - Keep/Delete?

The comments by the New Urbanists, pro and con, seem to be unresearched opinions and I suggest they be deleted on the basis that they are given undue weight and turning the article into a coatrack of opinions. The article is not about the opinions that surround PRT. Any expert notable in urban planning, transit, psychology, demographics, vehicle fleet management, environmentalism, and on and on, could express a personal opinion on the effectiveness potential of PRT. Unless they've done research specifically on PRT and can say with authority why they have such an opinion, their opinion adds no value to the article about PRT. If WP had an article called, "Unreasearched opinions of PRT by notable non-transit-engineer experts" where we are comparing views, that would be the appropriate place. These New Urbanist opinions could be based on a cursory paragraph in the latest Popular Science magazine, or on the feeling of frustration they feel when accosted by fanboys. This article is about PRT, what it means, its history, what its designers say it can (if in the absense of real-world data) or actually does do, and contradictory evidence. Opinions, especially in the face of academic research and simulations, aren't evidence. --JJLatWiki (talk) 17:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

The thing is, the NU opinions in current form are a subsection of Opposition and Controversy, and so it's the right place for them. Therefore, retaining NU becomes a question of what comments are substantive. Removing them opens up the question of where you draw the line -- one could argue that VV's comments are superficial, or Cottrell's are about the literature, not the technology. In addition, I have a feeling some would argue about the difference between opinion and research, and whether informed opinion (depending on what 'informed' means) is as good as research.
How about making New Urbanists into a new section about Sustainability (and put Energy under that too)? We could describe how PRT is being tried as a tool in sustainable urban planning (e.g. Masdar), and then say how Calthorpe supports this because compact multi-use communities need circulation transit. We'd then need to find a NUist who disagrees because of (fill in substantive reason). --Mr Grant (talk) 21:34, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I see what you're saying. I suppose I am also opposed to the O&C section as a place to hold simple opinions. LRT and buses don't have such sections, surely they've had opposition and controversies. LRT has a "Pros and Cons" section, which could be value-adding because we can show research about technical feasability or regulatory hurdles. Opposition and Controversies should, if kept, be well documented as such, like the Cottrell's research of research definciencies and those covered in the study commissioned by OKI. It seems that Kunstler was asked off-the-cuff something like, "Hey, so what do you think of all this PRT stuff?" And he tossed out a glib comment and insult. There's no value in that. Maybe you use it as an example of the misunderstanding people have of PRT or the misdirection the anti-PRT people use to build opposition, but then is THAT actually the case or is that original research?
I will say that at least the other two didn't seem to be reacting emotionally. But still, their comments seem more in keeping with PRT brochures than an encyclopedia article, while Kunstler's belongs on some anti-PRT blog.
If Calthorpe supports it because it can do "X", then he's just stuck against the same wall of "doesn't exist, and this guy says it can't do 'X'". It's becoming a viscious cycle of finding just one guy more who says he likes PRT than Avidor can find saying it sucks. --JJLatWiki (talk) 00:21, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I may be coming to agree with you insofar as NU does not belong under Oppo-Contro, because Calthorpe, Hall and JHK aren't addressing PRT technology, but implementation situations. The options to remedy this in the article are: (a) expand the opening section to include implementation situations that are being studied, such as circulator (e.g. Santa Cruz), train station feeder (Hofors, Uppsala Bolanderna), and network (Masdar, future Heathrow). Pro and con views from the broad field of sustainability would comment on each scenario; (b) create a PRT section in an NU article. It occurs to me that (a) might be interesting to try, because it might go to answering the implicit question, why bother to develop a new mode of transit? --Mr Grant (talk) 04:25, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I think that at the moment, while the comments of Hall and Calthorpe are certainly notable, they're probably a bit sparse to justify an entire section in a NU article. And I don't think that a dedicated NU section is appropriate for this article either, given that some of the most notable urban-planning interest in PRT (Al Masdar) is not really classifiable as "New Urbanist". (It's certainly new, and certainly urban, but NU is one of those general-sounding terms that is annoyingly specific, in much the same way that, say, "Modernism" refers to a period from the mid-1920s through the early 1970s, rather than, you know, anything modern...). I do like the idea of having a generalized urban planning section, and including Hall's and Calthorpe's (and Kunstler's) comments in there.
As far as Kunstler's comments go -- while I have no interest in defending their content, per se, I continue to think that they warrant inclusion. Not because such comments are uniquely notable in and of themselves, but because they are representative of a controversy that we simply must acknowledge and document in this article. The fact is that PRT, relative to other transit modes, is in many respects still mostly an idea. Yes, there have been some great prototypes built, and there's the system at Heathrow that's nearing completion, and others in the pipeline at Daventry and Al Masdar. But still, relative to what proponents believe that PRT can become, the idea:reality ratio is still something like 80:20. If we're going to cover any more than the fairly minimal present-day empirical reality of PRT, then we're necessarily getting into the realm of ideas, attitudes, and opinions. As NPOV editors, it's not our place to decide which opinions are "informed" and which aren't; all we can do is provide a well-balanced representation of how the debate actually looks.
Now personally, I think that Kunstler's comments are deeply ignorant and misinformed -- but I also think that statements like his, whatever their merit, are sufficiently commonplace features of that debate they simply have to be represented. I simply don't see any honest way to excise those sort of comments without eliminating all statements of a speculative nature from the article, which would be unfortunate. Skybum (talk) 00:59, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
The core of the question before us is JHK. The only reason we're hashing this over is because someone thought JHK's 'comments' should be included because they are anti-PRT. But now we're considering keeping them, and the pro argument seems to be 'because they exist' and balance two opinions that are pro-PRT.
My only remaining problem with an NU section is that any expert opinions should reflect professional, scholarly attitudes. These flip, pod-cast comments by JHK are IMO prima facie unprofessional and unscholarly. Calthorpe's comments are from a professional journal available to urban planner members only, so his comments are well-considered. Hall's are from a scholarly text, correct? Both have encyclopedic gravitas.
I agree the article should keep NU content, and I don't mind if it contains negative opinions -- but they should be encyclopedic. Surely there is a recognized NUist who has a made a negative judgment about PRT that reflects the level scholarship and professionalism of Calthorpe's and Hall's opinions? --Mr Grant (talk) 02:10, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I personally like Mr Grant's idea of expanding on "implementation studies and proposals" and I would be interested in seeing and helping that along. I think it needs to be tightly constrained to minimize opining from either side. On the other hand, Mr Grant also said such work "might go to answering the implicit question". I'm not sure an encyclopedia is supposed to answer "implicit" questions because it gets very close to, if not entirely, original research. And the question of "why bother to develop a new mode of transit?" seems much more philosophical and problematic because the answers are myriad will return us to the debates of old over capacity, LRT rivalries, inventor idealism, etc. So, from the pro-PRT NU's, is their opinion based on a studied conclusion that PRT can do what it claims, or is their opinion based on the conditional restriction that if PRT can do what it claim? The basis for their opinion could make them meaningful or irrelevant, and thus the due weight applied to this article. --JJLatWiki (talk) 16:47, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I have an idea. I observe that Calthorpe and Hall are talking about New Urban situations suited to PRT. I next notice that there is a table of PRT Networks, which are examples of implementations. My idea is that there be a paragraph introducing this table, on the subject of the general types of situations PRT is proposed to be useful. There are basically three: local circulator, collector-distributor, and network. Calthorpe and Hall might be mentioned as support for the rationale. Each Project in the table could then be identified as one of the three types. --Mr Grant (talk) 06:23, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Lessons from baggage handling

"More recently however there have also been some significant success stories in this area ...." citing ""Terminal 5 at Heathrow", London." as an example.

Ummm... that's the Terminal 5 that became a byword for disorganised chaos due to the spectacular failure of the baggage handling system, right? (some of the references from London Heathrow Terminal 5): Baggage halted at new £4.3bn T5 28,000 bags caught in T5 foul-up T5 was 'national embarrassment' Air travel: Terminal 5 still losing 900 bags every day

Citing T5 as a "significant success story" for baggage handling doesn't seem to me like a NPOV. Indeed it would seem like an example of the opposite - the spectacular failure modes that a PRT system might easily experience, and which systems must try to avoid (my opinion, so OR unless a similar opinion exists in a reliable source). I also note that the comments about this being a success story don't currently cite any sources for this opinion. (talk) 11:10, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it, there are no longer baggage handling issues at terminal 5 ([31]), but I do agree that the section is OR and probably should be either sourced or removed. ATren (talk) 13:49, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Disputed: Daventry system planned?

I tried to find information on the Daventry UK system. The reference-link goes to a page with unaccesable links. The only thing i eventually found was this: So, what is actually happening is that there is a people panel formed to discuss the pilot scheme that will be 5km. I suggest a move of the Daventry entry to section: "proposed". (talk) 14:04, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

The Daventry PRT system is a lot further along than that. The Daventry District Council has commissioned two major studies on implementing PRT in Daventry -- one to study the basic feasibility, and one to examine the feasibility in detail. Here is a link to the latter, which runs to about 400 pages, and here is a brief synopsis of it. Following the acceptance of that report by the Daventry District Council, a citizen's panel was formed to provide input into the procument process (see the news story [[32]]. From these sources and many others, you can see that the Daventry District Council is very serious about building a PRT system there, and has already committed substantial resources to planning such a system. The vendor selection and procurement process has not yet begun, but is expected to occur this year.
Does this address your concerns? Skybum (talk) 09:31, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Feasbility studies is not planning. The link to the daventrytoday you submitted is broken. When I go into and search for PRT I see a lot of articles, but none about a planning stage for a full system. I think you should provide us with a document proving that the system is planned before we remove the disputed status of this entry. (talk) 09:48, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Actually, just a minor point, Skybum's links now work, the addresses were just linked wrong. Simply south not SS, sorry 09:58, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Disputed: Masdar City planned?

I have tried to find information concerning planning of the Masdar City PRT. The only page i found is: "As potential transportation solutions Masdar is considering the light rail transit (LRT), personal rapid transit (PRT), car parking (at the edge of Masdar City), and associated logistics." They are looking for partners to found these ideas. There are no plans whatsoever to start building a PRT. I suggest a move of the Masdar City entry to section: "proposed". (talk) 09:21, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Your Google skills evidently need improving, and I don't have the time to do it for you. The Masdar PRT has been procured, is under construction, and is planned to open later this year! Skybum (talk) 09:33, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, you obviously have time to edit here, and if you know the system is opening later this year, you shouldn't have any problem verifying that. The entry is still disputed. (talk) 09:50, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

[33] ATren (talk) 13:48, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Very well. From the article: "He declined to disclose the number of pod cars planned for construction, but added that passengers next year would be able to decide their route inside the pod cars to navigate around the first completed phase of Masdar, travelling from the gateway to the university and back."

"He estimated the longest trip would be 3 kilometres."

I'll edit the entry according to that. (talk) 16:33, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

The longest trip would be 3 kilometers; since this is a network with multiple paths, the actual amount of guideway built will be much larger than 3km. Also, there are other reliable sources that give the number of vehicles and stations, e.g. [34] - note that this network is already planned, not just proposed, that is the exact phrase from the source. What you read about is phase one of that plan which is actually under construction and will open as a small network later this year, but the larger plan is still there. It is my understanding that they will continue to build even as they open phase 1.
I will update the numbers based on the CNN/Fortun article cited above (and in the article) ATren (talk) 18:51, 13 January 2009 (UTC)