<% @ LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" %> Eliminating windshield time is key to rural redevelopment through telecommuting. Regional Transit is one of the three components of the Distributed City Model
Personal Rapid Transit

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A PowerPoint presentation describing the Distributed City Model.

PRT Slide Show
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Tele-Commuter Resources, Inc. The principles of the Distributed City concept require that infrastructure investments be made that would benefit the economic region as a whole. Transportation is a key, and expensive, infrastructure. Given the goal of integrating all rural and urban communities, transportation obviously holds a key position. Any new technology should be deployed only if it can affordably be extended throughout the region. If a system is to be built for only a single segment of the region, that system should meet very stringent economic and social criteria.

With no preconception of fiscal performance, TCR built a fiscal model to examine the potential of the Distributed City Model using the calculations and values found in the Hiawatha Light Rail feasibility study for Minneapolis. That study demonstrated a $ .42 on the dollar Return on Investment (ROI). The Distributed City Model calculated a $ .94 for the rural system, $1.51 for the urban and a $1.18 combined ROI. Our studies identified the Personal Rapid Transit concept to be the ideal solution.

  • Affordable- fast installation, prefabricated components and a Minnesota industrial base ready to build a new international market
  • Computer controlled- non-stop, steady speed, operator independent
  • Multi-modal- passengers or light freight delivery
  • Responsive- departs on your schedule
  • Weather Impervious- mono-rail design isolates the impacts of weather
Applied to the Minneapolis-St Paul area, the DCM concept could integrate many extended economic regions. The following schematics illustrate how the transit network might function at.the regional, metro and neighborhood levels:

The Region
MN Hub and Spoke Transportation In looking at the Hub and Spoke system of the Mpls-St Paul region, it is clear that a very efficient system will be required to provide transit services throughout the region. Eliminating "windshield time" is one of the major tasks that must be accomplished if the region is to be integrated. Connecting the Rural communities to the Urban system was the initial task.

A high speed system such as the Cybertran was selected. Capable of 150 miles an hour and having high speed Internet access while on board uniquely allowed urban-rural integration.

The Metro Area
MN Hub and Spoke Transportation Upon the completion of the rural system it became obvious that there was no urban transit system into which you could integrate. As more and more finances were allocated to commuter service, the concept of having grandma catch a vehicle in her community and ride it to a station close to her destination was proving to be a impossible. Given the high cost of traditional urban systems, door-to-door transit was rapidly disappearing.

Applying the SkyWebExpress model as a collector for the smaller communities around a rural trade center, it was also used as a distributor within the trade center. When it became obvious that an urban model was also required, TCR designed a system using the Cybertran to link all of the shopping malls to the rural communities in a high speed network and the Skyweb Express again as a distributor to all major locations on an interconnected loop serving the mall location.

The Neighborhood
MN Hub and Spoke Transportation These neighborhood loops would have stops at all strip malls, employment centers, significant institutions and other locations as appropriate. Typically this would bring a station within 1-2 miles of every home. Local collector buses could then function like "Community Buses" with regular routes picking individuals up and carrying them to the local station. Obviously this proximity would make walking, biking, smart cars and other modes vastly more practical.

Circulator buses not only are much less expensive to operate than the traditional route bus but given their use in this concept, they would also facilitate neighbors actually meeting neighbors. Since you are accessing a system that would take you wherever you wanted to go and you are free to use your travel time for purposes other than driving, ridership would increase significantly.

MN Hub and Spoke Transportation

Tele-Commuter Resources, Inc.
E-mail: Info@telecommuter.org
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