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  • Simon Norton
    Scooters and the like may be personal and rapid but they are hardly transit . I believe that the following are essential requirements for an adequate
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2011
      Scooters and the like may be "personal" and "rapid" but they are hardly

      I believe that the following are essential requirements for an adequate
      transport system.

      1. No dependence on individual vehicle ownership.

      2. No dependence on travellers being able to drive safely.

      3. Vehicles must not obtrude on the use of public space to more than a limited

      4. The system must be energy efficient and not too polluting.

      5. The system must cater for people's travel needs, though possibly not as well
      as they might like (which is probably impossible).

      A car based system is based on the principle of prioritising 5 over all the
      others. It does not seem to me that a scooter based system would score much
      better. Bicycles are much better -- they don't serve 5 so well, but serve 3 and
      4 much better, and a Velib type system can satisfy 1 as well. But 2 seems to me
      to be much harder.

      Conventional public transport can satisfy all 5 requirements -- even if no 5 is
      served less well than by a car based system. So can PRT in theory, but it is
      unproven technology and belongs with multi-modal vehicles (road railers,
      amphibious buses etc.) and airships in the realm of ideas that should be filed
      away for possible future use when their practical problems have been ironed out.

      I have encountered PRT advocates who seem to think that there is no need to
      consider any other solution to our transport problems. I believe that they are
      being completely unrealistic, but I don't think that means that PRT itself
      should be dismissed as something that can never work.

      Simon Norton
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