Tuesday, August 17, 2010

CPRT Board Member: "Politicians Were Screaming" at MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel

Richard Gronning, described on his Linkedin page as an "advisor, coordinator at PRT Partners LLC" and "Board Member at Citizens for PRT" (more about the CPRT in the previous post) made this startling statement on the Transport Innovators Google forum today:

1. It was Tom Sorel that organized the PRT Symposium in Rochester, MN.

2. It was Tom Sorel that chose Mukhtar Thakur as MN DOT'S PRT coordinator because he has the reputation of getting things done.

3. Think about it! PRT is the most advanced form of ITS.

4. MN DOT has to think about and include ALL types of solutions or the (Luddite) politicians will be all over Tom.

5. Tom Sorel already has had to defend MN DOT and his office over the 1st PRT event. I've heard stories where a few of the politicians were screaming at him in the hall of the MN Gov./DOT building. I've been told that he soothed the situation and made his point very well.

I always find it odd that PRT promoters gossip about public officials openly on the world-wide web. Gronning and his pals recently trashed Rep. Tim Walz for refusing to sponsor an earmark for the Winona PRT project.

The following is the purpose for the MnDOT-sponsored workshop scheduled for tomorrow:

Updated Purpose: The purpose of this workshop is to share responses to Mn/DOT’s request for PRT information and to allow participants to understand PRT benefits and barriers to its implementation. Workshop participants will also discuss next steps in exploring the viability of PRT in Minnesota, including principles to guide PRT service implementation, financing options, and organizational and governance approaches.

Seems to me one of the "barriers" to public-funding of PRT is self-inflicted; if the PRT promoters want public officials to give them money, they shouldn't trash them on the internet.

Once again, here's a list of recent pod flops and fiascos:

Taxi 2000 lobbyist and Bachmann pal Ed Cain also lobbied for the phony U.S. Navy Veterans Association charity.

ULTra PRT Heathrow Debut Postponed a Fourth Time.

No $25 million earmark for PRT pork project in Winona, Minnesota.

The Swedish/Korean PRT prototype malfunctioned recently in front of the media.

The Masdar PRT (actually computer-guided golf carts that follow magnets imbedded in the roadway) has been scaled way back, This setback got a mention in the NY Times and confirmed in this Bloomberg article.

The so-called Morgantown PRT (it's a mundane people-mover) was the subject of a student newspaper editorial after a malfunction created a "fireball" and filled a vehicle with smoke. The cost of fixing the Morgantown boondoggle is $93 million.

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