Saturday, September 23, 2006

PRT Presentation in Ottawa

As a candidate for mayor I invite you to see an example of PRT, JPods in Ottawa. What we can get for 1 Billion Dollars?
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) Open House in October at University of Ottawa, Carleton University and on front of our Parliament.
Ottawa is the largest geographically city in Canada.
To build roads network in such city a lot of time and money is required.
97% of trips in North America are made by car.
Car is the right size, just the wrong mass and randomness of behaviour.
PRT is a technology developed in 1960s.
1970s, West Virginia University constructed a PRT system with 8.7 miles of roadway and 5 stations for 126 million USD, about 319 million USD today adjusted for inflation. This figure of about 89 million USD per-route mile
In 1990 PRT was proposed in Illinois, 3.5 mile triple-looping layout with about 8 stations and 40 cars. In 1998, however, problems began to surface as costs began to soar above the initial estimates of USD 23 million/mile.
Since then many different countries assign limited funds to do analysis, feasibility study, ergonomic, reliability and many other tests, but no one so far decided to run it, even though all results are amazing.
Albert Charlier had built the "schwebe bicycle" in 1895.

There are different approaches to this technology and some of them are already applied in countries such as Australia, US, Germany, England and few others.
However, all these systems work more like APM (automatic people mover) not as a PRT.
At this moment no finished and working PRT system exists on the World, but such system is presently build in 6 places around the World.
At London's Heathrow Airport, starting in summer of 2008, 19-computer steered electric cars will go into operation. The automated taxis will be used to connect Heathrow's Terminal 5 with a parking lot. The technology, which has been named "ULTra," has been developed by the British firm ATS and is already being tested. The driverless vehicles pick up passengers after they are ordered and deliver them to their destination. Magnets or sensors on the ground direct the vehicles along their route

Here is a short description of driverless projects which will be implemented in Rome, Italy and in Castellón, Spain.
In Rome, special driverless 'cybercars' will take visitors between a new exhibition centre, the car park and nearby railway station. In Castellón, special buses that can run either with or without a driver, depending on the traffic conditions, will operate in the town centre.
And as writes the Spiegel, "that's only the beginning." Sources: Spiegel Online, September 7, 2006.

PRT is like car, can take us whenever and wherever we want.
This is in the nature of a network exactly like emails.
The real value PRT is that they are inexpensive enough to build networks. Point-to-point.
For 1 km of multilevel intersection we can build 20 km of PRT
Cost of 1 km metro equal to 12 km PRT
Cost of 1 km LRT or 1 km of 6 lane H-wy equal to 6 km of PRT

Did you ever ride a rollercoaster?
So you know how PRT works, just with a better comfort, safer, and much slower.
Instead of moving 45 tons (empty) LRT we move only people.
Instead of using huge kinetic energy 20 times (each station) we use small kinetic energy and only once.
One PRT cabin requires the same energy as your home hair dryer.
We can save 80% energy on transportation.

One-rail railway car can take curves with a radius as small as 8 meters, while ordinary double railway cars cannot handle curves with less than 250 meters' radius.
There are 2 different mono-rail types of PRT.
One of them is on top and another is below the track, known as suspended.
I will concentrate only at suspended solutions, that using gravity force always keep vertical position, reduces winter road maintenance and cleaning expenses.
It is proofed that suspended system is the safest on the world.
In Germany, suspended Wuppertall system exists 105 years, commuted 1.6 billion people and had only one accident (human error) where 5 people died.
Rollercoaster technology is proven and is 9000 times safer than cars. There were in total 34 deaths in 26 years rollercoaster history.
Comparing to the car, in America there are 14 deaths for every 100 000 cars, in Ottawa we have had more than 30 traffic deaths a year.

Presently we have 3 different designs of suspended PRT technology:
JPODS Minnesota, MISTER in Poland, and SkyTrain in California.
I have called all 3 designers and presently I have close contact with them.
Two first uses wheels/rolls and electric engine, where the third one uses only magnetic field to hold and move the cabin (none movable parts). Solar battery and braking to retract the energy can be used.

In March 6, 1971. A ROMAG test vehicle was successfully tested. It was the first time in the U.S. that a person rode a vehicle supported and moved by magnetic forces (neither wheels nor electric engine was used).

In my possession is video 34 years old showing suspended system working between 2 hospitals. It was build in 1972 in Germany and still is used to transport patients and personnel, to deliver food and medicine. It uses simple electric motor.

What these PRTs have common is that all are suspended, use electricity, computers, wireless communication, are cheap, safe, and fast to build without traffic interruption. In opposition to the others public transportation methods, the PRT is profitable.
There are no major technical problems with PRT, but it social, economical, and political implications are too great to predict.

My proposition for Ottawa is to make a very small PRT project as a city attraction for tourists, students and pedestrians in the downtown core. This investment will return to the investor in max 2 years. I would first connect a few main and famous places in town such as the War Museum, Spark St., Ridau Canal, Market, Civilization Museum, Casino de Hull, or connect both Universities. This tiny project, working in a real environment will proof that this is a right technology. For the pessimists, if this system would require additional time for adjustment or even modification because of diverse climate conditions, there will be not a problem to stop its operation for few days. Later on, when all of us will see just advantage of it, we can expand PRT network without stopping its operation, simply adding a stations and tracks going deeper in entire city (building 30-40 km./year).

It will deliver more people closer to their destination for smaller fees, much cheaper than LRT, can be extended or removed any time very easy and fast.
Having alternative in PRT many seniors would leave their houses, drunk drivers will disappear from our streets and we all will have another chance marketing Ottawa as a technology center.
Ottawa missed the chance “to make itself visible as a city at the forefront of technology.

Ottawans, Lets Do It, Give Job to Canadians and do not miss again the chance making Ottawa visible as a city at the forefront of technology.

I invite all Ottawans to PRT Open House, where they would be able to see and ride on a real scale JPODS model suspended on the track. In the middle of October Mr. Bill James from Minnesota will bring his prototype to Ottawa.

Now I like to plant PRT in your imagination.
Low capitol cost • Low operating cost • No waiting • No Pollution • No Noise • Non-stop journeys • Guaranteed journey times • Unobtrusive guide ways • Extendable without service interruption • Safety critical automatic control system • Small-scale off-line stations • 4+ seater vehicles - air conditioned or heated• Segregated elevated guide ways • Travel with companions of your choice • Direct from origin to destination.

The money city will invest in this project will be invested in project it self, research groups, Ottawa’s Universities, engineering and architectural offices here in Ottawa. All contractor will be local as well. If we act quickly, we can create a lot of jobs in Ottawa.
We are approaching economic and environmental cul-de-suc.
The ethic should not let us think only about our selves and only about today.
We have to sacrifice today to benefit the future.
The need in for individual transit, there are 1.08 people per car in rush hour(s).
The average American worker loses a workweek per year to congestion.
5 billion gallons of gas are wasted yearly in congestion (ASCE).
Rush hour gets longer and slower every year.
Since 2000 price of oil tripled, every year we lose 5% of oil and experts predict that in 2009 a gallon of gas will cost USD 9.
Our society cannot afford to pay $2/liter of gas to get to work.
Each time a hurricane or terrorist’s attack happens, we are afraid that our economy will collapse.
It is important today to know how our kids will get to work in the future and be not oil dependent.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ottawa can be the first city in the World implementing new transportation method PRT.

Img. SkyTran UniModal PRT

How can we improve our city if we do not listen to all the candidates for Mayor?
Why, no one except me, was thinking or considering alternatives to LRT.
Why others were infinitely talking only about different ‘street car’ solutions (diesel vs. electric, one track vs. two tracks, go to Airport vs. Barrhaven).
HELLO…. There are other transportation solutions!!!
For example PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) or H2 (hydrogen) Fuelled Buses if we worry only about the environment ***
MISTER Illustration: Artur Kriaga Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow under direction of prof. Maria Dziedzic

I have fresh ideas but no one was interested to talk to me about them before the LRT decision was made. Since the beginning of June I proposed another solution to LRT, and no TV, Radio, Ottawa Citizen, or Ottawa Sun have mentioned anything about it.
I see that for our local Media not fresh ideas or new faces are important, but the old names repeated again and again. A hundred times I have heard about 3 candidates for Mayor, but I did not hear about 3 other candidates and their ideas.
SHAME for manipulating the public and wasting taxpayers’ money. This is a dis-service to the voters of Ottawa by not allowing them to see all their options for Mayor and fresh new ideas.

This section of my platform I dedicate to PRT (Personal Rapid Transit), the modest, pollution and accident free, most efficient way of public transportation, that I would like to build next year in the downtown of our city. Because PRT technology is still new, I am suggesting to build a pilot project as a tourist attraction for Ottawa visitors and eventually later expand it. This initial project can be built in one about year from the moment we say YES. It will be the first such solution in the World and will attract a lot of attention. It will be a city investment that will be returned to the city coffers in a maximum of 2 years, and for the future years it will create profit that the city can use for other necessities.
MISTER Illustration: Michał Kracik Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow under direction of prof. Maria Dziedzic

If this project satisfies us with its reliability and expectations, after one year we can easily extend it in any direction to use as a public transportation. In this case, in 3 years from now, our commuter problem will be solved without increasing our taxes a penny and without huge construction cost and inconvenience.
Moreover, as the first city that accepts and builds this system, we will have a lot of privileges from the developer, and a huge advantage compared to other popular cities from a tourists point of view.
If we do not accept PRT as a solution to our traffic problem, PRT will stay as a city attraction and downtown transportation, that will add continuously money to the city budget.

BUT…, first we have to accept the fact that driverless vehicles above and on city streets are no longer science fiction, as auto guidance and driving systems have been making rapid advances.

Around the World, there are many different solutions for PRT (Personal Rapid Transit). I have already contacted a few companies in Europe, Asia, and America, which have designed different PRT models. I have exchanged information with inventors in Europe and Asia. After comparing all designs, I have chosen MISTER (Metropolitan Individual System of Transportation on an Elevated Rail), which I think is the best and modest solution. At the end of July I was in Warsaw (Poland) where the first MISTER prototype will be probably build soon. I talked there with the inventor of this unique system Mr. Olgierd Mikosza.
At the end of this document I’ll list links to a few other PRT projects for you to compare and link to the Demo of similar project proposed to Microsoft main campus in Silicon Valley.

MISTER combines the best ideas from other systems and adds its own innovations. This project was awarded with a prestigious research grant from Warsaw Technology University.
Here are some facts that I liked the most about MISTER (for more information please visit:

MISTER Illustration: Michal Golinski (Huston)

MISTER’s cabin (weight with approximately 4 passengers is 500-600kg.) uses small electric engines which require only 0.5-2 KW for cruising (the same energy uses hair dryer); therefore, energy cost per passenger-km is around $0.01.
FANTASY??? NOT, it is Today’s REALITY.
"If at first, the idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

MISTER is comparable to Metro in capacity, because is capable to moving from 5000 up to 32 000 passengers per hour in each direction on double track. It can actually deliver more people than subway or any other transit system.
Great Brains thought that flying something that is heavier than air was impossible.

MISTER generates ZERO air pollution and minimum noise.
"Human being never will visit a moon, regardless the future inventions" -- Dr. DeForest, TV developer 1926

MISTER causes NO collisions or free passage.
"640 KB RAM should be enough for everyone" -- Bill Gates, 1981

MISTER is 10-20 times less expensive and 10 times faster to build (30-40km/year) than subway.
“The only failure is not to try” - Bill Cullen (self made Irish multimillionaire)

MISTER 4km. Ottawa downtown entire project (from War Museum, through Albert St., Slater St., Rideau Canal, University of Ottawa, Market, up to Museum of Civilization) will cost in total only about $25 million.
Invention is possible only, if we are not afraid to do what other people are afraid.

MISTER pylons that hold its tracks can replace the street lamps’ masts and will serve still as lamps. The only disadvantage I see would be a small rail support system 10-15 m above the ground, which would create a tiny shadow or distraction. But somehow nobody really complains, when we build road/rail estacades or flyovers, which are 100 times more intrusive. Such infrastructure is taken for granted, because it “helps” to improve traffic problems. Why then not a hardly visible and quiet truss rail system above the streets?.
Eiffel Tower was almost disassembled 20 years after it was build, because was ugly for the Paris.MISTER has only one problem: No one else has installed it yet.
Even though, the concepts and assumptions of MISTER have been verified and confirmed as feasible by a number of neutral parties, including senior university researchers, suppliers, and project bureaus.
"Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which the problems were created" - Albert Einstein

According to the conservative estimates, the following are the maximum costs of a 1 km, two directional, MISTER system (in millions of USD)
50 pylons and 2 rails (steel, concrete, land and labor) $1 M / km.
200 vehicles / km (this is maximum density, which we won’t need) $2 M / km
Single vehicle will cost around $10 K (this is production cost for a small volume vehicle factory, which despite simplicity will increase costs)
Automation, sensors and computer control $1 M /km
4-6 stations (small structures with 1 bay for 5-10 vehicles) $1 M /km
Total Maximum Cost p/km (including rolling stock) $5 M/km

Nevertheless, it shows that the MISTER innovative transportation system is a self-financing, seamlessly scalable, environment friendly, and sustainable transportation for governments and affordable, comfortable, safe, secure and convenience for commuters. It is definitely a very good alternative for private car commuting.

Now LTR deal is done. So,…
We have a democratic system in Canada; therefore, we elect our Mayor, who should talk to us, listen to us, and make the right and the best decisions for us. If we do not agree, we may vote in a new leader when the time comes. But as long he/she is our leader, it is up to him/her to make a final decision.
I repeat, I am against present LRT solution to our transportation problem, but if the councillors with the support of the mayor have decided to proceed with it, I will not negate their decision. However, this will not stop me to propose to the city another transportation project, to improve our quality of life in Ottawa. The city needs pedestrians to boost business. In Ottawa there are 2.5 cars per family. We need to convince people to leave their cars at home. To do it we have to offer them better public transportation. If we go with LRT, then I am for some modifications such as underground tunnel in downtown. Cost of such tunnel will be 50% higher than building LRT on the ground, but if we add loses related to the construction of rail lines and the accompanying disruption in city life, we will get probably the same SUM. To cover costs related to drill a tunnel, I have a few propositions/ways to get necessary funds without digging into the taxpayer’s pocket.
Please remember that international studies show that all large cities have not been able to solve their transport problems using only surface transportation systems. Such cities need a high-capacity Metro system to serve their people and provide a smooth, reliable and fast moving means of transport.

MISTER Illustration: Michal Golinski (Huston)

PRT is not a new concept. It has been deliberated over the past 40 years or so but it is only now that the time is ripe to build it. Today, all the necessary components are easily available, like computers, software and wireless broadband for seamless communication between cabins and control stations. These components are now cheaper, safer and more efficient than ever before.
PRT is a low cost, yet high capacity transportation system; it is scalable and flexible
to build, a system which will save Governments billions of dollars and it will be able to provide highly efficient and affordable transportation to the people.
The cost of building the stations can be charged to for example hotel owners if they would like it to be at their building block, which will help reduce operations costs for the PRT system operators.
PRT stations can be build on top of existing bus stations or can be attached to the buildings (or even inside of them), where platform for passengers can be built instead of windows.
PRT again is unique as empty cabins are NOT required to move continuously.

Construction versus operations: Two factors make up the cost of a transit system: the total cost for construction and the operating costs. Usually if the upfront costs are low, there is high operating cost, and vice versa. But PRT is different.
Construction: PRT can be installed for less than the cost of other rail systems. There is no requirement to purchase kilometers of expensive right of way. The only rights of way that are required are for the small metal poles, which can generally be placed on public land at no cost. And even when PRT crosses private property, only air rights are needed.
Operations: PRT also has low costs of operations. By automating the system, this high cost present in most bus and rail systems is eliminated. And since the system is designed for ease of maintenance and repair, we will avoid the high costs often associated with automated systems.
Revenue: Many systems don’t talk about their revenue figures. Fare box revenue is often a drop in the bucket. But PRT is different. The high level of service will allow this system to carry many more riders than other modes. This will also increase revenues many times. Advertising can also be a significant stream in a personal system like this.

MISTER Illustration: Michal Golinski (Huston)

Would’t it be amazing if we could build PRT along Ridau Canal, in the middle of Carling Ave. or connect Alqonquin College with Barrhaven, i.e. in many places where traffic is always heavy? During construction, traffic would not have to be stopped for even one minute! This system is very flexible and doesn’t require the system operation to be stopped in the case of route extension or the building of additional stations.

Each cabin will be heated or air conditioned, and can be equipped with TV or an advertising screen. MISTER can be used to remove garbage during night hours, or to deliver goods and food to stores and restaurants. Only MISTER keeps cabin always in the horizontal position, so it is safe and convenient for wheelchairs and cargo loads.
Transport plays a great role in the development of a nation, economically and socially and it is considered to be a main Base of the growth of any country.
Therefore, in Ottawa we should:
First step – build an attraction for tourists (one year)
Second step – expand it to PRT network (two years)

MISTER and Other PRT Concepts

Here is a link to download a Demo. This project was proposed for the Microsoft main campus in Sillicon Valley, California:
Here are a few other PRT systems:

MonicPRT - Singapore

Morgantown - US

Taxi2000 - US

APGM - Finland

Vectus - Korea-Sweeden-UK

ULTra – England

COASTER – Austria

SKYCAB - Sweden

MISTER – Poland

*** A Hydrogen vehicle is an automobile which uses hydrogen as its primary source of power for locomotion. These vehicles generally use the hydrogen in one of two methods: combustion or fuel-cell conversion. In combustion, the hydrogen is "burned" in engines in fundamentally the same method as traditional gasoline cars. In fuel-cell conversion, the hydrogen is turned into electricity through fuel cells which then power electric motors. A primary benefit of using pure hydrogen as a power source would be that it uses oxygen from the air to produce water vapor as exhaust.
London is taking part in a pioneering project to reduce air pollution and noise by testing the first generation of zero-emission fuel cell buses. This important initiative is a key part of the London Mayor's Transport and Air Quality strategies, which are designed to help give Londoners a cleaner and healthier future.
Not only is the fuel cell bus trial a significant step towards achieving that goal, it also demonstrates that London is leading the way in alternative forms of public transport.

Perth, Australia
In this photograph the first bus is unloaded from the ship. Pure steam can be seen rising from its exhaust pipe which is visible at the rear.