It seems like a great system if you have: 1. Multiple destinations within a short distance 2. A large number of people to move 3. Constrained space for guideway
Airports being a prime example where you can connect: 1. The Terminals 2. The rental car counter(s) 3. Parking structures 4. Local light rail and/or mass transit 5. Hotels
The problems that I can see would be primarily system reliability. If a single car breaks down, the whole system shuts down. On the up side, you can get from your terminal to any of the available destinations via a direct ride in a pod by yourself or with several travel buddies. The small size of the vehicles makes it much easier to "shoehorn" the system into already constructed places, where bringing in something like the Green Line would be difficult, and the Green Line wouldn't stop at all the destinations that the PRT could.
Right now it looks like 1.2 miles from Terminal 5 to a couple of car parks. They may expand the system depending on how the trial works out:
Post by James Fujita on May 31, 2010 23:07:29 GMT -8
airports are absolutely and undeniably, by their very nature, perfect for such gadgetbahn trains such as monorails, maglev, people-movers, PRT, etc. etc. and even moving sidewalks that you rarely, hardly ever see outside of a terminal-to-hotel-to-parking scenario.
it helps that London is one of the world's most transit-friendly cities, with a subway train to the airport, an extensive bus system (with excellent buses to the airport) and which is currently upgrading its rail system for the 2012 Olympics, a roll-out-the-red-carpet international event if there ever was one.
LAX is a somewhat unique airport with a somewhat unique design, and sometimes what might work elsewhere might not work here (EIGHT terminals, a rarity)
Heathrow is also a non-linear setup, with multiple destinations and separated terminals, hard to serve with one straight rail line or loop. This may be one of the few places where PRT makes sense, and where the huge cost is acceptable.
LAX could be well served by a linear "people mover" (automated grade-separated rail cars or short trains) along Century Blvd and the terminal loop, with stops at parking garages and hotels as well. Does anyone know how far LAX has gotten with the planning for that people mover and the airport rebuild? A transfer to such a system at Century/Aviation makes more sense than having a 1/2 mile branch line to LAX for LRT (Green Line or Crenshaw line), unless the line continues north-west along Lincoln. And light rail would only be able to have one station; you still need a way to get between terminals.
Bus rapid transit or at-grade light rail would also work fine at LAX, if a lane was devoted entirely to the transit system