We were passing through Morgantown, West Virginia last week. I did not know that Morgantown had something called ‘Personal Rapid Transit’, built in the 1970s as part of a government project. I was thoroughly impressed with this system. I’ve included a photo of the cute little car that goes along the track.
I understand that the system cost the government millions at the time of construction, but also that the reliability of this form of transit has been excellent, that it is used by many people and that it has operated for many years. Also from what I read I understand that if the fares were increased, that this form of transit could also be profitable.
How was it that this type of transportation didn’t catch on elsewhere? Sure, capital costs are high, but we can’t just look at financial costs anymore. We must look at the true environmental economic costs of not using something like this (e.g. externalities related to burning fossil fuels in vehicles, etc.).
Here’s the link to the Wikipedia page about the PRT.
- Would You Use Transit if it Mimicked Cars? (socialinnovationmn.com)