A personal rapid transit/airport automated people mover comparison.
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A personal rapid transit/airport automated people mover comparison.

Filetype[PDF-303.79 KB]

  • English

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    • Abstract:
      Airport automated people movers (AAPM) typically consist of driverless trains with

      up to about four cars each capable of carrying 20 to 100 passengers who are mostly

      standing. They have been successfully used for surface transportation in airports for

      over thirty years. A new category of automated people mover called personal rapid

      transit (PRT) is being implemented at London’s Heathrow International Airport.

      Although the Heathrow system will replace shuttle buses, it may be more pertinent to

      examine the differences between PRT and traditional AAPM.

      PRT uses small (3 to 4 passenger) vehicles (transportation pods or T-Pods) to

      automatically transport passengers and their luggage non-stop to their destinations

      along designated guideways. Trips are typically on-demand and T-Pods are often

      waiting at stations prior to the arrival of passengers. The resulting short wait and trip

      times combine with seated travel to provide an exceptionally high level of service.

      This paper compares AAPM systems to PRT systems similar to the type being

      installed at Heathrow Airport. Items compared include infrastructure items such as

      stations, guideways and tunnels; level of service items such as waiting, standing and

      trip times; cost items such as capital and operating costs; as well as safety and

      security issues. The paper discusses PRT viability and concludes with a brief

      discussion of the ability of PRT to facilitate solutions to common airport issues such

      as in-concourse transportation and curbside congestion.

      PRT is found to have many advantages over AAPM for transporting passengers and

      their luggage on airports. It is suggested that PRT alternatives should be included in

      airport planning projects.

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