Personal Mass Transit?

from the keep-to-yourself dept

More than three years ago, we wrote about the idea for a transit system called RUF, standing for “Rapid, Urban, Flexible”. It involved simple electric cars that could work as regular cars (with limitations) on regular roads, but could also hook up to a public transport system and zip you wherever you wanted to go. It was a cross between cars and public transportation. There was talk about setting up such a system in Europe. However, Americans don’t want to have to go out and buy an additional dinky electric car, so over here we came up with yet another transportation system named PERTS for Personal Electric Rapid Transit System – that would let you keep your existing car. However, when you wanted to travel longer distances, you would simply drive your car into a pod and program where you wanted to go. These sounded like great ideas, but it looks like we’re actually taking a step backwards with what is being looked into lately. Over in Minnesota, they’ve announced interest in setting up a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) monorail system. Basically, it’s a monorail with a bunch of separate cars on the tracks. You’d go to the station, get in an available car and tell it where to go. This seems a lot less useful than just using your own car as part of the system. It also seems fairly limiting if the PRT monorail system doesn’t go where you need it to go. Not everyone is happy about the system. They think it’s a waste of money and might be ugly. They’re probably right. The current system sounds like it’s only a tiny bit more useful than current mass transit systems in that you have a little bit more flexibility. However, it doesn’t have the same level of usefulness/flexibility as those earlier systems we described. The one area where this could be useful is in urban situations where cars are almost completely unnecessary – such as NYC. But, the subway system there is already pretty effective.

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Comments on “Personal Mass Transit?”

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dorpus says:

Re: Re: On behalf of the Midwest

Sorry buddy, I’ve got a full scholarship and stipend. I’ll get to keep my part-time job in California too, working remotely. I’m going to have a new job looking up your regional family history of medical problems and predicting your chances of death.

hahahaha California ahahahahahah

Mark says:

Personal mass transit.

Speaking as someone who spent a lot of time on the elevated trains in Chicago, and who now rides the bus in Seattle, I can say that the one thing that really sucks about mass transit is the guy sitting next to you. He’s fat, he smells, he’s yelling into his cell phone, and he has no sense of personal space. The genius of this system is that you’re only sitting next to people you choose to sit next to. I love it already.

Mr_Blog says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Personal mass transit.

People who are open to considering new transportation ideas will be interested in a new video animation of what PRT would look like if implemented as a corporate campus shuttle. The setting is Microsoft HQ in Redmond. The video and related information are on a new URL set up by the Seattle PRT group at

Someone mentioned to me the narrator sure sounds like Patricia
, but I think the odds of that are 99.999% against.

Scott Beherrell (profile) says:

Personal Mass Transit is a market for US to sell globally

Naturally in today’s world the car is transporttation of choose.I have a concept that that would incorporate lightweight, ultra high-speed(200MPH+), on demand, modular interstructure and grid system. This technology could be powder with “Green” sources.
The PRT is is based on over 200 year old technology, it time to dump the train track. I hope the US will grab the newer PMT (Personal Mass Transit) and market it globlally to places like China or India.

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