Sunday, August 22, 2010

MnDOT Personal Rapid Transit Workshop Was a Flop

The MnDOT PRT Workshop on the 18th was disappointing for Skytrax inventor Jack Slade:

There was one disappointment at the meeting: I expected to meet a lot of you guys that I have been talking to, for 15 years, here on this list. Peter Muller, Richard Gronning, and Myself....I really expected to see more familiar nametags. Ed Anderson was there, but I didn't get much of a chance to talk to him. I wish it had beern set up as a Convention, with a Hospitality Room where we could all meet and talk. Maybe next time...

Peter "PRT Guru" Muller was there and posted his recollection of the dismal affair on his blog. The bottom line for the few PRTistas who bothered to show up; No money from the Minnesota Legislature:

Senator David Senjem, MN State Legislature, said he does not think PRT has a champion in Minnesota. Every cause needs a champion. The legislative process is not analytical. This is new to the legislature and they will need a lot of education. Start by selling it locally then request the State match local funds. A demonstration project is absolutely vital.

.... and...

Representative Frank Hornstein, MN State Legislature, said he is a PRT skeptic and will stick to demonstrated successful systems until PRT is demonstrated to be successful. He agrees that transportation policy has to focus on reduction in dependence on oil.

The PRTistas discussed "impediments to PRT implementation" during the "Facilitated Group Discussions" part of the workshop. Muller quotes one of the participants:

Dean Zimmerman said people love cars because they wait for you, go directly to your destination and keep you out of the weather. PRT satisfies all three and erases the negatives associated with cars.

Dean Zimmermann?

UPDATE: Confirmation from J.E. Anderson:

In the discussion session, former Minneapolis City Councilman Dean Zimmerman, a Green Party Member who displayed the PRT network he developed for a portion of Minneapolis, commented that PRT provides what people want.

The pod people complain about "impediments to PRT implementation" and when a disgraced public official convicted of taking bribes (they claim Zimmermann was "set up" by the FBI) shows up at the workshop, they proudly quote his inane statement ... keep it KLASSY PRT guys!

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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