Under Construction: World's First Personal Rapid Transit
By EV World
The long-labored dream of personal rapid transit or PRT is about to be born at London's Hearthrow Airport, considered the busiest airport in the world. Advanced Transport Systems Ltd. and its allied contractors are constructing the system, which will be operated by BAA and is scheduled for completion the spring of 2009.
Phase one of the £25m project will consist of 18 battery-powered, driverless shuttles vehicles operating on a 3.8km guide way linking the Business car park to Terminal 5, as depicted this BBC television report.
But the concept has much wider potential application beyond airport shuttle services. Proponents of PRT systems see them operating on business campuses and in urban settings, relieving street level congestion and air pollution, as well offering improved convenience and reduced dependence on fossil fuels.
As with any transit system, cost is always the issue and its impact on business during construction and after have to be weighed, but the idea of door-to-door convenience and not having to find a place to park a car has a lot of appeal.
More videos and photos of the program are available on the company web site.
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