Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Normal PRTS: If only . . .

Imagine an elevated track with smallish cars (each holding 20 people) that zip from point to point without stopping. Now, imagine that track up and around Normal (and Bloomington, if they say "please"), moving people easily from place to place. There is actually such a system at West Virginia University: the only U.S. personal rapid transit system.  It was developed and built by Boeing with federal money and is still being used.

Ok, so this area isn't quite so sprawling and rural (not as rural as it used to be, anyway). But it would still be a great way to transport people (not just ISU students) without using streets. The West Virginia system has a way to keep the cars moving in ice and snow, so that's no problem. But it's probably too late to integrate an elevated track around here because of all the buildings in the way (not that we have many tall ones).

It's odd that we've come back to thinking about rails again after concentrating on streets for so long. I guess everyone has given up on those flying cars of the "future."

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