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Advanced Transit Policy for the Seattle region       


The Network Advantage

Cities and suburbs that matured or were founded during the automobile era have land use patterns largely determined by a road network. The network allowed residential and business districts to spring up anywhere and everywhere-- they still do.

The pattern of where people live, work and play is therefore also a network. Trains and buses cannot serve this network efficiently: railbeds and massive monorail guideways are too expensive and disruptive and cannot reach many locations. Buses can reach more areas, but are slow because they stop too often and get stuck in traffic. Until now, transit systems have tried to overlap train corridors and bus routes to form crude networks-- but moving around the network requires frequent stops and transfers-- both extremely time-consuming.

Personal Rapid Transit is a network mass transit system that has been designed to serve automobile-dependent communities:

  • a large fleet of inexpensive, computer-controlled vehicles.
  • slender elevated guideway with a low cost per mile.
  • a network of small, low cost stations.
  • a station always within walking distance of you-- AND your destination.
  • non-stop travel with no transfers.

    Corridor (L) vs. Network (R). Suppose you want to travel between the red dots. This is difficult using a train in a corridor, even one with more than 2 legs. With a network, move the dots anywhere and they can still be easily reached.

    Spread-out communities need a transit NETWORK. PRT is the most logical and cost-effective way to achieve this goal.


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