The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Getting Personal About Personal Rapid Transit

Home of More Transit Links Than You can Possibly Check(tm), Unless you have no life other than websurfing

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity: and I'm not so sure about the universe. Einstein

From the Cabalmaster:

We here at the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal hold Personal Rapid Transit (PRT to you) in the same high regard as we do monorail.

No foolin’. If PRT could accomplish just a fraction of what its supporters claim, we’d be on board in an instant. All of us, from hither and yon (we are, after all, a worldwide cabal). But it cain’t, so we ain’t.

"’Personal Rapid Transit’ is totally ridiculous...a real hoot." That’s the opening salvo fired into cyberspace by a real hoot of a site, “PRT IS A JOKE!” See

“Now you can link to this web page instead of wasting your time arguing with pie-in-the-sky PRT fanatics.”

(Indeed . . . if you can stop laughing long enough to enter the proper keystrokes!)

“Folks, I'm sorry, But I'm going to have to have to break the news to you that PRT is a red herring, a clever distraction meant to muddy the debate in communities that are trying to decide whether to try non-automobile based transit systems or expand their existing dangerous and expensive automobile infrastructure. The PRT people are ALWAYS knocking rail and bus transit, rarely saying anything negative about automobiles.”

(Interesting . . .)

"When I first went to a meeting about LRT (light rail transit) way back in the 1980's, there was some PRT fanatic in the audience bad-mouthing trains, calling them ‘an old technology.’ He also said that automobiles were wonderful because you could choose who you wanted to ride with. I thought the guy was a total nut. After all cars were invented about the time as electric trollies..but, anyways... years later, a man interrupted a workshop my wife and I were giving at Macalaster College, shouted that ‘PRT was the only transportation solution,’ threw some ‘Taxi 2000’ brochures at us and stormed out.

"Fast forward to 2004. Some very dedicated transit advocates including myself are trying to stop the "35W Access Project", a highway expansion project. All of a sudden PRT fanatics are all over the place talking about how cars are great and transit sucks and that we have to wait until they can attach the so-called ‘advantages’ of automobiles onto a mass transit system using the glue of millions of taxpayer dollars.


(Oh, NO! Could it be that PRT is not a joke, but a scam???)

We thought we’d reproduce the “table of contents” to give an idea of what this site contains.

1) PRT-The Old Shell Game.

2) Who Do You Believe?

3) The PRT Experience in Other Cities

4) Making it Up as They Go:

5) 1001 Reasons PRT is a Joke.

6) Picture PRT...

7) Comments

8) Contact

(The site is a great mixture of entertainment and education. Consider the following excerpts from "1001 Reasons PRT is a Joke.")

"Pigeons would just LOVE all that PRT infrastructure.

"...and so would graffiti ‘taggers.’

"Hookers would use the PRT pods as their private ‘office.’

"...and so would drug dealers.

"Terrorists could use PRT pods as a guided missile. Just park a bomb on the seat and away it goes...right into the second floor of a downtown building."

(If this is beginning to sound like something written by one of Your Favorite Transit Pundits . . . maybe it WAS! We are, after all, a secret cabal!)

(And, with reference to one of the items above, make sure you scroll down and check out the two cartoons, especially the second. Just how “personal” might things get aboard "Personal Rapid Transit.")

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