Monday, August 11, 2008

Infrastructure cost of MRT and PRT

I suspect that the infrastructure cost to build a MRT is much higher than a PRT, to transport the same number of passengers. The PRT is modular and appears to be a more efficient system.

I think that there are studies on the relative infrastructure cost. I will be looking into it. But, the experts promoting the PRT are likely to be able to locate the answer for me.

1 comment:

  1. A Transportation EnthusiastAugust 12, 2008 at 8:58 PM

    I believe ULTra has quoted around $15M per unidirectional mile, including stations and vehicles. That would be $30M per mile for both directions. Skyweb Express was somewhat more I think, maybe $40-60M per bidirectional mile, but it is a theoretically higher capacity system.

    Street-level light rail systems are typically $30-60M per mile (bidirectional), and they typically have capacity similar to PRT (~3000 passengers per hour). Grade separated rail systems are much more, on the order of $100-$200M per mile, and provide higher capacity ($18k or more).

    I think, if the city is dense enough to support tens of thousands of passengers per hour, then a metro system is the best choice. But even here, PRT can play a role - if a parallel PRT system is built it could handle circulation during the day and also provide 100% of the off-peak service, allowing the trains to shut down when they're most inefficient (I alluded to this in an earlier comment).

    As for light rail, I think PRT is almost always a better choice than street-level light rail (the main exceptions being in aesthetically sensitive areas where a streetcar would be more visually pleasing). PRT guideway is pretty much comparable to light rail one-to-one in terms of capacity, it may cost a little less to build, and it provides much better service.

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