Saturday, April 30, 2011

Should Cities Give PRT Companies Right-of-Way?

PRT promoters will tell you something like this:

"We don't want any taxpayer money to build our Personal Rapid Transit system... just give us the rights-of-way."

Sounds good, right? Conventional transit is costly to build and maintain... and at a time when governments at all levels are cutting budgets. ... and these nice PRT fellows are offering a much-needed public transit system... for free!

Caution; Any city that gives their right-of-way to the PRT hucksters could be taken to the cleaners.

Here's how;

Once the PRT company is granted the right-of-way, they could turn around and sue the city/state. Why? The PRT company will be in a position to claim they are unable to raise capital to build the pod system because existing transit is subsidized and is therefore unfair competition.

The court could then order the city/state to cease subsidizing its existing transit or agree to pay damages to the pod company and buy back the right-of-way.


Consider H.F. No. 1366, one of several PRT bills then-Representative, now-pod lobbyist Mark Olson introduced in the MN Legislature in 2004/5 that would establish a commission that would "regulate "transit to provide transit service "exclusive of direct competition from any publicly subsidized transit services". In other words, a commission that would allow only transit that could pay for itself out of the farebox. And since public transit could not be affordable for many riders unless fares were subsidized, it would effectively dismantle existing public transit systems and could prevent planning for future transit expansion.

So the next time a pod huckster tells you he only wants your right of way, hold on to your wallet and count your rings.

More news about the ongoing, worldwide pod boondoggle:

Petulant PRT promoters acting up again.

Skytran in Detroit? Meet Skytran CEO,

Another Crackpot Personal Rapid Transit Proposal Bites the Dust (Almelo)

Strange Minnesota industry - 3 Proposed PRT Projects, 6 PRT Companies and 2 PRT Lobbyists.

Former Rep. Mark Olson Returns to Capitol as a lobbyist for would-be PRT vendor proposing $100 million pod project in Coon Rapids.

The CPRT table at U of M Jobs Fair. Convicted felon is spokesman for the CPRT.

Daventry citizens say "Pods Off" to PRT TWICE!

Duluth News Tribune article about Taxi 2000 trying to restart Duluth pod project - hilarious comments.

The Pawlenty administration wasted thousands of taxpayers' dollars promoting personal rapid transit .

PRT is so not happening at Heathrow.

Pod people invade Newport News ( the article quotes retired professor Vukan Vuchic)

Bizarre hearing for wacky Jpods proposal for Hull, Massachusetts. Video: Bill James Pitches Jpods Resolution to Hennepin County.

Taxi 2000 Corporation spent nearly $80K on lobbying in Minnesota in 5 years. Taxi 2000 lobbyist and Bachmann pal Ed Cain also lobbied for the phony U.S. Navy Veterans Association charity.

Federal Funding Nixed for Winona Personal Rapid Transit Project

The Swedish/Korean PRT prototype malfunctioned 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. New post-mortem: "Masdar City Abandons Transportation System of the Future".

The so-called Morgantown PRT (not a true PRT system) 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. Twitter Reveals Morgantown WVU Personal Rapid Transit's Frequent Breakdowns.

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