Thursday, February 25, 2010

Personal Rapid Transit in Daventry? - An Update

Daventry Town Council page on the pods:

Following our Annual Town Meeting in April when over 100 residents attended and voiced their opposition to the proposed POD transport system, the Town council resolved to hold a Public Meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to allow members of the public to raise questions and receive information on how Daventry District Council’s proposed PRT plans would benefit the residents of Daventry.

However, following a recent statement by the DDC confirming that proposals for a futuristic Personal Rapid Transport System have been put on hold, the Town Council agreed this negates a need for a public meeting and resolved to defer holding a Public Meeting at this time.

The Town Council have further resolved to work in partnership with the DDC, NCC and WNDC and be actively involved in discussions on future public transport options for Daventry Town.

Further details will be available in the Autumn edition of our newsletter.

Daventry District Council Town Crier, October 2009 (PDF)

People Power Puts Pods on Hold?

Following our Annual Town Meeting in April when over 100 residents turned up to voice their opposition to the proposed pod transport system, it was agreed at full council to hold a Public Meeting to allow members of the public to raise questions and receive information on how the DDC’s proposed PRT plans are likely impact on the Daventry community. It was subsequently decided to broaden the scope of the meeting, allowing both public and council representatives to open up the debate by discussing the future transport needs for Daventry in the wider sense. With DDC refusing to participate, and publicly stating in the press that proposals for PRT are now on hold, this raises the question of the need, or timing of such a meeting, and as organisers we must ask what we expect to achieve by holding such a Public Meeting at this time.

It must be noted that DDC continues to promote PRT on their website; in fact there are no changes in the text or mention of any change in their position – the official line from DDC on their website is: “Plans for a pioneering driverless public vehicle system in the heart of Daventry are being developed.” The DDC have also now disbanded the PRT public advisory panel of which we had two members. The Daventry Town Council feels it would be useful, timely and informative to meet with the DDC and Northamptonshire County Council to discuss all public transport options for Daventry. We will keep you updated on the latest news from these talks whenever we can and we will tell you more in the next issue of The Town Crier.

As is usually the case when the PRT hucksters come to town, the public process is minimal or non-existent:

The town council has decided it will organise its own meeting on the personal rapid transport (PRT) system, also known as the pods, after DDC said it would not hold one in the near future.

DDC instead said it will consult with the public once proposals are sufficiently detailed to give people ‘meaningful information’ including the commercial viability of whatever transport scheme is chosen.

At a meeting on Tuesday last week town councillors unanimously agreed to reject the PRT proposals and pilot scheme saying it is ‘inappropriate for and unacceptable to the people of Daventry’ and to hold their own public meeting where officers and councillors from DDC will be invited to give townspeople the opportunity to ask questions on the PRT proposals.

Lynne Taylor, leader of the town council, said: “A lot of comments we received from the public show they believe they’ve not been informed and they don’t know what a PRT system would mean for the town and they are getting more entrenched in their views.

“The district council said there’s not plans out there yet and that it hasn’t looked into the system it would use.

“Our decision was unanimous because we felt that the public isn’t being listened to.”

More about the Daventry pod fiasco here.

Comments on PRT from the Daventry Town Council website:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PRT & Stadiums - Boondoggle Buddies

UPDATE: Major league sports and pods cross paths yet again when CPRT board member Dick Gronning claims Vikings Football Hall of Famer Carl Eller said he was hoping to build a pod project in South Minneapolis.

This is a proposal for a combined PRT/Stadium boondoggle on the Minnesota Legislature website (PDF).

Minnesota has several choices regarding stadiums. We can do nothing. We can be among the last to build the “latest” generation of stadiums or we can be first to build the next generation of stadiums. We believe Minnesota should lead.

The technology that enables this leadership is Personal Rapid Transit. This technology is the lowest cost alternative of all potential transit solutions. It is flexible, fast, and rider-friendly. It can make a significant contribution to the economic success of stadia to which it is integrated. Placed in the right location, the inclusion of this technology is very low risk. For stadium economics, it can only help and can’t hurt.

Here's another proposal for a combined PRT & stadium boondoggle on the legislature's website(PDF):

Transit is critical to sports due the nature of large crowds coming and going simultaneously and in large groups. Transportation will depend on the integration of several modes. A true inter-modal transit system, to include automobile, conventional transit, PRT, and perhaps LRT, will be required. The Center for Transportation Studies at the University would lead and coordinate the efforts of the Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council to develop a transit model for this project.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Does Senator John Marty Still Support Personal Rapid Transit?

"To the Point!" Apple Pie Alliance, March 20, 2000:

$30 million for Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). This is a very promising, but still untested Minnesota technology that would be much less expensive to build and operate than LRT, while delivering passengers to their destinations faster. $6 million would be used for final engineering studies and development of a prototype of PRT. After completion of the engineering study, the state would be able to invest the remaining $24 million to construct one or more local PRT systems. (PDF):

Stongest Supporters in the Minnesota Legislature
Rep. Torrey Westrom
Rep. Ray Vandeveer
Rep. Bruce Anderson
Rep. Peggy Leppik
Sen. John Marty
Sen. Roy Terwilliger

Margaret Anderson Kelliher in Session Weekly. April 23, 2004 (PDF):

I have a great concern about the PRT project - the word "boondoggle comes to mind.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

City Pages Blotter Post About the Pods

Hart Van Denburg has a post about the pods on the City Pages Blotter.

Peter "PRT Guru" Muller showed up in the comments to say the Morgantown PRT is wonderful.

That's not the opinion of WVU students who made not one, but TWO You Tube Hitler-parodies of the WVU PRT.

Here's one titled "Hitler mad at WVU's PRT":

A sample of the comments on the video:


I love this video. I totally forgot about this until my professor talked about it a few weeks ago. It's hilarious and accurate. It sucks waiting on the PRT in freezing weather freshman year when you have no other transportation. Thank God I have my car up here now.


ROFLMAO....exactly why 7 of my 8 semesters I avoided the PRT like the plague. My dad rode it when it was new and back then they referred to it as the Perfectly Rancid Transit system.


Very well done! Piece of junk just stranded me in Evansdale yesterday (right, immediately after the piece-of-junk bus left), and was down for a couple HOURS on gameday a week and a half ago, must to the dismay of all those alumni and fans.

Should honestly scrap the damned thing and admit failure...

Pod people admit failure? Never!!!

Revealed - ULTra PRT's Dorky Golf Cart Wheels

The 30+ year story of PRT is a lot like the plot of the Mel Brooks movie "The Producers". In order for PRT do its job as a stalking horse for bashing rail transit, it cannot ever be built. The moment PRT attempts to leave the shiny, futuristic computer animations and attempts to become a real, live transportation system, its flaws become obvious... and with its little wheels that look like they came off of a golf cart, PRT looks downright dorky.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The dorky wheels that must be never be revealed:

We were just outside Boston, Massachusetts at the Raytheon world headquarters. Raytheon, a big producer of hi tech military weapons and air traffic control systems, was working on the PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) project. Several energetic images were needed to promote the new system worldwide, with instructions that we were not to reveal the rubber tires under the vehicle in any of the final photos.

In a recent BBC puff-piece about ULTra, we get a glimpse of the undercarriage of the glorified golf cart... and its dorky wheels:

Uppsala Green Party Backing Away From the Spårbilslobbyn (PRT Lobby)?

MP Maria Gardfjell (Google Translation):

There are many interesting opportunities with driverless rail cars. But when there are no practical tests in an urban environment, it is actually not possible in current situation to support a major expansion of the PRT in Uppsala. Therefore, the Green Party has taken the position that there are trams that must be the main effort in Uppsala.

Monday, February 15, 2010

ULTra PRT Heathrow Debut Delayed a Third Time?

UPDATE: ULTra PRT Heathrow Debut Postponed a Fourth Time.

U of M CTS Report:

Steve Raney, a principal with ATS ULTra, gave an overview of current PRT technology and discussed ULTra’s recently completed PRT project for London’s Heathrow airport.

The ULTra circulator runs on an elevated guideway to connect Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 to a remote parking lot. Its on-demand nature was particularly useful for this destination. “PRT was the only practical solution for (the British Airport Authority),” Raney said. “It had a 60 percent travel time savings and 40 percent operating costs savings” over other modes. Construction on the project is currently complete, with revenue service scheduled to begin this spring.

According to a presentation by Martin Lowson (available at the ATRA website) the new launch window is in "Mid 2010":

That would make it three times the debut of the glorified golf carts have been postponed. How many chances do these PRT guys get?

Public Transit had this comment after the second postponement:

It seems that the opening of the Ultra PRT system constructed at Heathrow Airport outside London, England, has been delayed again, by issues that remain unidentified.

During some intense debate earlier this year involving this website and the engineering team behind the Ultra PRT at Heathrow, it was stated that the system would open for revenue service in the "4th quarter" of 2009, e.g., sometime between October 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009.

In recent British press reports (for example, ), the system now reportedly will open "sometime next year." To wit:

The bubble-shaped, driverless cars with black, bug-eyed windows are his solution to the problems of urban travel. He began working on the system in 1995 and NEXT YEAR [2010] they are due to start operating at Heathrow, carrying passengers from car parks to Terminal 5 [emphasis added].

So what gives? Did the concerns raised here a few months ago sink in, and perhaps produce more "due diligence." Of course, I'm not going to hold my breath for any explanation from Mr. Lowenson et al regarding up to another year of delay.

Also, displaying the Ultra PRT vehicles alongside Stephenson's Rocket is highly presumptuous until PRT is actually proven for several years in revenue service, which it still has to show.

Steve Raney had this to say after the first postponement,
"I've certainly been in situations where the people I'm communicating with really hate PRT."


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Would-Be PRT Vendors' Creepy Comments on Gays, Bicycling, Portland, Guns and Muslims

Jerry Roane at the Transportation Innovators forum on the ATRA website:

Sun, 2010/02/14 - 6:40am

I did some more study on why Portland has an affinity for little bicycles and why they resonate with Washington DC money givers. There seems to be a naked bike ride they do and they had the first openly homosexual (male on male) mayor. This money is being passed out to the constituents. It has very little to do with mobility. The naked bike ride looks more like a men's locker room than 800 randomly chosen citizens. Portland is not even a metropolitan city. It is in a metropolitan area but the city is only 1/2 million.

Jerry Roane

Jerry Roane is the "inventor" of the TriTrack PRT.

Roane Inventions Incorporated of Georgetown, Texas is one of the would-be PRT vendors listed on the City of San Jose website.

Also on that list is Jack Slade who has some creepy things to say on another topic in that same forum on the ATRA site:

Terrorism and Transportation Choice
Thu, 2010/02/04 - 12:00am

Dennis, we went through the whole buildup of aviation mostly in the years 1945 to 2000 without having to restrict firearms on aircraft.

During thise years, can you name me one problem that ever occurred, or one persin that was ever injured? If you can, it certainly did not ever get published in the aircraft accident and incident reports that I was reading constantly during that period.

Lesser of 2 evils....which would you prefer,(1) a trained, armed, passenger or (2) a terrorist who has total freedom to kill everybody on board? If you really want to put the fear of Allah into these terrorists, you should make it be known that ALL your bullets have been dipped in pig blood. All the Military bullets, too.

Jack Slade

Keep it klassy, PRT dudes!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

PRT and the "Minnesota Drearies"

Transit Pulse, Vol. XXIV, No. 5 January/February 2007 (PDF)

Minnesota Drearies

The Santa Cruzans for Responsibly Planning (see page 2) started as a Citizens for PRT organization somewhat modeled after a group in Minnesota that started up in 1995. According to Dick Gronning of the Minnesota group, activities are dwindling and membership is down. The Minnesota Sierra Club and other environmental groups are pro-LRT, judging their Hiawatha Line as a great success and often dismissing PRT as a right-wing conspiracy.

Jeral Poskey has left Taxi 2000 and relocated back to the Silicon Valley. Taxi 2000 is busy but quite. Ed Anderson also remains quiet these days. A pro-PRT Republican legislator who bucked the Democrat landslide last month is in trouble over charges of domestic abuse.

Gronning thinks that Minnesotans, following their offshoot friends in Santa Cruz, should refocus on a multi-modal approach.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Uppsala Green Party and the Spårbilslobbyn (PRT Lobby)

Comment on article - "Decision on spårbilar (PRT) postponed" (Google translation):

Risk Project

Agree with previous writers in the trams and trolley buses are a better system of Uppsala. It needed an upgrade of the public transport system!

Unfortunately, this systematic delays of the PRT lobby with Niclas Malmberg at the forefront. Malmberg has damaged both the Green Party and Uppsala with his passion for an untested system that is now at risk of cold Swedish state of 700 million.

Friend of order to question whether it is right that the state pays a private company's development costs.

By: Eric Thärnström,

A blog post at YIMBY by Eric Thärnström (also Google translation):

The Green Party's Niclas Malmberg has long pursued the PRT in Uppsala. We have a test track from Vectus, we have received several suggestions on PRT in the media, and trace the taxi has now picked up in Floorplan 2010th Malmberg has also pushed for a full-scale test facility in Boländerna. But now, suddenly changing the MP side.

MP, in its opinion to the Master plan in 2010 chose to say no to the PRT, and we can thank the new President Mary Gardfjell for. The opposition makes common cause, and believe that PRT should certainly be tested but that there should be Uppsala's future public transport. Thus says the opposition Christian Democrats, together with definite no to the PRT, and definitely yes to the trams. Hopefully, it will accelerate efforts to upgrade the city's public transport when the choice of system is already clear.

In retrospect, one wonders what would have happened if the tram instead received the same attention as the taxi track. Trams are relatively uncontroversial and in discussions about how it would affect the urban environment is a lot to get in Uppsala's history. It is clear that we did not have a "decisions concerning the selection of systems" as late as the 2015th Now, instead of up to officials if we get an upgrade of public transport or not. It would not hurt if they were equally clear that the opposition is now.

By upgrading to the trams, we can hope for a denser urban construction in our existing neighborhoods so that we can improve services, access to quality green space and conditions for new and interesting meetings.

The post links to this video.

What's with the Greens and the Spårbilslobbyn?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Route for the Winona Personal Rapid Transit

A few comments on today's Winona Daily News article:

While it's not clear how this PRT/RTP scheme would answer many questions about how such a system would function in a densely populated urban environment, it does demonstrate how one person's wasteful pork spending can be another's wise use of economic stimulus funds.


This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayers' money, especially when it fails like others before this one. We need our roads fixed so we can use own personal transport vehicles to get where ever we want to go in safety and comfort. Hwy 61 crumbles while we use tax money for this!


All the pork should be cut. Start with this as Troller said. Take care of the infrastructure we have (roads, rail, river) first. $25M may not be much to a progressive, but it's a heck of a lot to little ole me. Just think 'only 27.7M per mile,WOW.

By the way, we already have PERSONAL transport, I drive to work in/on it every day. Guess what, I can drive wherever I want and even go further than .9 miles too!

The article also has new (late January 2010) plans. There is nothing on the plans to indicate who prepared the plans.

Click on the images to make them bigger.

Uppsala - "Decision on track cars (spårbilar) postponed"

Upsala Nya Tidning: Beslut om spårbilar sköts upp

Google Translation:

The decision on Uppsala's PRT effort was postponed by the Municipal Bureau on Monday.

The politicians wanted a clearer statement to the effect that the state should pay 100 percent of the investment cost. The letter of intent which the government requires the municipality to participate in a project could, in certain respects be interpreted as that the municipality would account for part of the financing, all parties agree, however, that the City of Uppsala to say yes to the PRT project. A decision is expected later this week.

From the Eskilstuna Courier (Google translation):

Eskilstuna is re-opening race for track cars (spårbilar)

Eskilstuna - If the government wants us to do a pilot municipality so they may well do so. But we have no own resources to stop in, "says Jimmy Jansson (S).

Eskilstuna Municipality would again take up the fight on a pioneering path to track cars. But the alliance, in addition to the Center Party, rejects the whole idea of rail cars in Eskilstuna.

Some time ago four municipalities singled out as potential candidates to become pioneers of the effort the PRT tracks.


No, but stop now! Again comes the nonsense PRT debate up again as it has done occasionally in the last 10-15 years. Why have track cars at all? Requires an infrastructure that ugly urban environment, and it can not be trace on every street in town? No, instead favoring electric cars are starting to come now. Add money on parking spaces with charging socket for them instead!


Pure idiocy! Stop burning tax money on a bunch of shit that do not provide society anything.


But that's typical activists governing this municipality, ideas miles distant from reality and exorbitant fees for everything that may have the least connection to the environment. Is simply to take money into cover behind environmental issues, not to promote it.


On the municipal website, I found some time ago a paper with a proposal for spårbilsnät in Eskilstuna. There was a ring around the city center as well as a detour from the ring to Fristad Square. Can anyone imagine Fristad Square cluttered with bärpelare and bärbalkar both lengthwise and crosswise and one or more hanging platforms with associated lifts and other things. One or more technologies happy at the municipality can actually there. How divorced from reality may be responsible in the municipality.

Here is a visual from the proposal:

Winona Daily News - "Leaders line up to support PRT"

Winona Daily News:

The city of Winona has formally requested nearly $25 million in federal funding to test a futuristic transit technology, a proposal that has already garnered support from local businesses and colleges, state transportation officials and a major California metropolitan area.

Skip to the bottom....

Some of that support may be impacted by the new, shorter route. A preliminary layout shown to Winona City Council members last month showed the elevated guideway would loop through the East End near Hwy. 61, with planned stops at Southeast Tech and Winona Health and near Target and Fleet Farm. The shorter route has only three stops, including Southeast Tech. But it only briefly crosses onto the north side of Hwy. 61, no longer venturing as far as Target, Fleet Farm or Winona Health, which submitted a letter of support.

This is the former route:

The city would administer the grant funding, including project bidding, the application states. The matching grant for the federal funding would be $5 million in preliminary work already completed by Taxi 2000, a Fridley, Minn., firm the city has been working with on the proposal.

If the funding is approved, construction would begin in September 2011, the application states. The lab would be on line in March 2013.

The lab, once online, will be owned and managed by the Partnership Center, which will have three staff members, including a director, and a board of directors with private, public and institutional members, the application states.

The entire proposal is contingent on the large infusion of federal funding, however. The city should learn in April if the project will receive the requested grant.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MnDOT Request for Interest: Personal Rapid Transit


Mn/DOT Request for Interest: Personal Rapid Transit
This RFI will gather information about the viability and benefits of personal rapid transit in Minnesota. Responses must be submitted by 2:00 on May 4, 2010.

Will MnDOT be taking this PRT plan into consideration?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Keep it Klassy, PRT Guys

Ian Bicking:

PRT has succeeded in attracting a small number of trolls, Ken Avidor (the first poster here) foremost among them.

Small number? Yeah, right.

"I've certainly been in situations where the people I'm communicating with really hate PRT." - Steve Raney:

UPDATE: Ian Bicking tweets:

A chip off the old block:

Winona Daily News LTE - "PRT is a Farce"

Winona Daily News:

Larry Ellis Reed: PRT is a farce

Winona is a test bed for what may quickly become a "white elephant" of a transportation concept: Personal Rapid Transit will be nothing more than a farce. Winona is too working-class a community to afford the luxury even if tax dollars - our tax dollars - are being used on this noble experiment.

It is also little more than a sick joke at Gov. Tim Pawlenty's expense, what with his desire to make our beloved Minnesota all the more a technology leader with low tax rates for political reasons.

As a friend of mine put it, we already have pod-based transit - it's called buses.

So why waste money on a concept that may work well in a theme park while so many are all the more unable to find work yet are being asked to keep trying, only to meet repeated rejection?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Excerpts From Old Star Tribune Articles About Personal Rapid Transit

You can look them up with a search engine, but sorry, no direct links.

Professor still touts personal transit idea - His big dream is to get a model working for all the doubters to see

Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities - Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Author: Doug Grow; Staff Writer

In our culture, when ideas that once were bold get old, people begin to view them negatively. Anderson, once a winner of federal grants and an expert in demand all over the world, frequently hears people say, "If your idea is so good, why hasn't it been developed yet?"

State Senate Transportation Committee Chairwoman Carol Flynn, DFL-Minneapolis, recently stung him with such a remark when he was at the state Capitol seeking support for PRT.

"She wondered why the state should support this when nothing's happened after so many years," Anderson said. "I tried to explain to her that there are many ways to do this thing wrong, but there are only few ways to do it right. It does take a long time."

Said Flynn: "Ed's a great person. The University of Minnesota has a patent on his work. He's persevered, and that should never be ignored.

"But my observation is that right now it's a crazy combination of right-wing Republicans and the guys who were hanging from trees on the Hwy. 55 project who are behind him. Both those groups want to kill [light rail]. If they can kill LRT with PRT they'd be happy. My point is, I'd rather invest in something that's possible than in something that's never been applied anywhere."

Indeed, Anderson's strongest political support now comes from conservative House members who oppose light rail. State Rep. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake, wanted to put significant funding for PRT in the transportation bill. He was convinced to back off until next session - and has put forward a modest $500,000 proposal for PRT in this session.

"I don't think our transportation should be based on 150-year-old technology," said Vandeveer, speaking of LRT. "But my reason for pursuing [PRT] is I think we should get one working. That's the biggest setback to his idea now. There's not a working model. Let's get a look."

That's Anderson's dream. Get a model working for all the doubters to see. He hopes that a 2.5-mile system can be built for about $25 million to connect the hospitals at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. City and hospital officials have expressed some support.

The University of Minnesota still owns the PRT technology, known as Taxi 2000, and would collect royalties if Anderson's corporation and PRT took off. It is agonizingly close to taking off, Anderson says. All the technology is available. There are manufacturers in Minnesota who could build the guideways and the cars. But his corporation needs investors, and PRT needs political support - and Anderson isn't as hot as he used to be.

Two years later, another Strib article:

Will rapid transit get personal ? - An elevated system offering privacy still awaits first test

Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) - Thursday, February 21, 2002

Author: Laurie Blake; Staff Writer

RSEC: Former University of Minnesota professor Ed Anderson has designed a futuristic automated transportation system, and he has a clear vision of how well it would work.

But selling Minnesota and the world on his personal rapid transit system, or PRT as it's nicknamed, has taken 30 years and counting.

At 74, after a 50-year career in the design of complex engineering systems, Anderson is still looking for the money and sponsorship necessary to build a PRT test track. Without that backing he won't be able to demonstrate what some think could be a transportation breakthrough on the order of the steam locomotive, the automobile or the airplane.

What he proposes is an electric-powered, automated system with small private cabs riding on an elevated track. The cabs would be roughly the size of a gondola car and would carry one, two or three people in quiet and privacy. The cars would travel at 20 to 40 miles per hour. Riders would get on at a station and take a non-stop ride to the station at their destination.

The elevated track might provide quick movement on a college campus, at a state fair, at a national park, in a commercial area or through a downtown, according to Anderson.

Raising the tracks above ground means that PRT cabs would not be held up by traffic, Anderson said. It also means that PRT would be an alternative that could reduce traffic congestion and environmental disruption, he said.

Because it's an untested vision, it's hard to imagine how it would work or that it could work at all.

That, says Anderson, has been one of the chief stumbling blocks to bringing his idea to life. People who like the idea want to see it before they invest in it. And manufacturers want to be sure they have a market for the system before they build it. And so it has gone since the late 1960s when he began developing PRT.

But Anderson perseveres. He and his firm, known as Taxi 2000, now have a place to build a test track on private land in Blaine. Accomplished engineers have signed on to support PRT's development. Two manufacturing firms in Minnesota have expressed an interest in building the tracks. And Anderson has hired Padilla Speer Beardsley, a lobbying and public relations firm, to build support for a demonstration.

Anderson said he needs about $10 million to get a test track up and running.

Several legislators are discussing how to get the state involved in Anderson's idea.

``I think it's something we should look at,'' said Sen. Mark Ourada, R-Buffalo. ``You can continue to go along with the old ways and say let's build light-rail transit because everyone else has or you can hop on the next generation of transit . We could be the leader here.''

The drawback to transit for most people is that they have to give up the privacy and convenience of their car, Ourada said. ``In this system you aren't hopping on a big rail car or a big bus. You've got some privacy.''

In the House, Rep. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo Township*, and Rep. Mark Olson, R-Big Lake, are the keepers of the PRT flame. Like Ourada, they like the idea that PRT promises to pay its own operating costs.

True - here's a 2001 press release from the House GOP Caucus:

(ST. PAUL) Representative Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township), Representative Mark Olson (R-Big Lake) and Senator Mark Ourada (R-Buffalo) will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, March 20 to discuss transportation issues for Wright and Sherburne counties. The meeting will be held in the Big Lake High School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Informal questions will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Among those attending the meeting will be Dr. Lynn Woodward and Dr. J. Edward Anderson, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota from 1963 to 1986. Dr. Anderson will address the transportation option known as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT).

"We want to keep area residents informed as to the technological developments of transportation systems," said Rep. Olson. "The public should be made aware so that all options are considered. I hope many citizens will turn out for this important informational meeting."

Here's the money quote from that old Laurie Blake article:

Other cities and countries are studying prospects for PRT, which was developed by Anderson at the University of Minnesota. It would be a state embarrassment if it were built elsewhere while ``we put our heads in the sand,'' Olson

Yeah... an embarrassment.