LoopWorks Incorporates to Deliver Milpitas PRT System
“People, planet and profit” sums up the priorities for the advanced transit project planned for Milpitas. In announcing its incorporation as a taxable non-profit mutual benefit corporation, LoopWorks took its next step in creating a transit system to serve the Metro Area around the BART transit hub using Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) technology. Because PRT complements the existing network of transportation options, PRT’s convenience and low cost are predicted to dramatically increase use of all alternative modes (see PRT Synergy, page 35, of the business plan).
People visiting, or living in, the Transit Area will be a short walk from one of a dozen PRT stations where a vehicle awaits to take them non-stop to any other station. Using small electric vehicles on elevated guideways, unobstructed by ground-level conditions, residents from 7 separate housing areas could easily access the BART transit hub – and all the transportation options available there. The dual-loop system includes stations serving the new elementary school, the Great Mall shopping center, Trader Joe’s, and three city parks. “Success in this project” says Rob Means, 40-year resident and project champion, “could lead to additional loops serving other parts of Milpitas – like City Hall/Senior Center, the Library, and even the education complex around Milpitas High School.”
At the planet level, Global Warming requires huge reductions in CO2 emissions. Running on renewable electricity addresses that environmental issue, but PRT also “will minimize use of land, material and energy, will minimize pollution of all kinds, and will provide an unparalleled level of service.” So says Dr. Ed Anderson, whose decades of experience in the field is distilled into the design chosen by LoopWorks – a design that is open source and available to the public on-line.
Profit, according to LoopWorks, is measured by increased local wealth, also known as the commonwealth. In addition to free fares that keeps money in people’s pockets, increases in personal time savings and business activity will grow the commonwealth. As a mutual benefit corporation that is highly transparent, LoopWorks will share the data and knowledge that results from this experimental project. That information will be invaluable to other communities seeking solutions to their own transportation problems. According to Eugene Nishinaga, President and CEO of Transit Control Solutions, “if properly developed and deployed, these systems can achieve a cost-benefit that is approximately four times better than what can be achieved by more conventional means.”
Estimated to cost about the same as Milpitas City Hall, $60M, LoopWorks anticipates that foundations, governments and private investors will find both the return on investment and the risk-reward ratio attractive enough to finance project construction. Once built, LoopWorks plans to cultivate add-on services to pay for ongoing costs of operation and maintenance.
For more information, visit MilpitasPRT.com or email info@MilpitasPRT.com.