News

City OKs study on innovative transit line

After kicking the tires for a few years, Mountain View city leaders are now laying down money for what some might call a moonshot project to solve the area's traffic troubles.

Last month, the City Council commissioned a $250,000 study to look into building a newfangled transit line linking the city's downtown transit center and the bustling North Bayshore tech hub.

The study is officially investigating what is known as automated-guideway transit (AGT), a broad term that covers various driverless systems that usually move along guideways above the roadways. By their nature, these systems avoid much of the difficult property acquisition that hinders many transportation projects.

As part of the study, the San Francisco-based transportation firm Lea+Elliott will investigate potential routes for an initial AGT transit line as well as what kind of system would be most appropriate for the job.

The firm will also conduct a market study to find out whether passenger demand could eventually pay the costs of the transit line. The consultants are expected to deliver a final report to the city around fall of this year.

The City Council approved the AGT study in a 7-0 vote on the consent agenda at its Dec. 6 meeting.

Comments

30 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 10, 2017 at 11:39 am

I say, test the rail lines over the homes of the City Council members and see how they like the invasion of privacy of the pods and passengers going overhead.


3 people like this
Posted by Residentoo
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

The previous comment suggested the lines would run thru residential neighborhoods. The news story did not provide enough info for me to think that. Is that the case? My impression/guess was that vertical support beams would be built along major streets like Shoreline?


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Or possibly running from downtown through Stierlin Rd. to Shoreline which is mostly residential.


5 people like this
Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Newfangled? This one has been running since 1901...

Web Link


14 people like this
Posted by Residentthree
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

OMG I am not ready for this. Have you ever been to Chicago? They have some kind of train that runs overhead. It would be easier for all of us if a couple of the huge companies relocate. Even for them and their employees. Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Prunedale? Somewhere sparsely populated that can accommodate building a new community. Homes are less expensive there. It is not too far from everything. Somewhere where the air is fresh and clean, and the skies are not cloudy and grey.


10 people like this
Posted by Former resident
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:31 pm

This is nothing more than an enclosed ski lift. They are quiet and clean. They slow down at stations for easy entry/exit. It is a great solution for getting people, in any weather, from the train station to where they work. And, yes, they can be built over streets that are not residential. Moving work sites to sparsely populated areas will only increase auto traffic, and after a few years, just move the traffic mess to another place.


5 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Worth investigating. The one at Heathrow airport works well.

I am pleased that an outside body is investigating possible routes. I hope the routes will not be guided by invisible city boundaries but that these can be investigated into Palo Alto if not further afield. As local residents, we are all in this traffic mess together. Our commutes and regular lives take us beyond the invisible wall over San Antonio road and our transit must reflect this.

Please get a regional or at least a multi-city traffic committee liaising over this project.


4 people like this
Posted by Ross Heitkamp
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Great news! This seems to be the transit possibility with the most appeal to riders and residents alike. The system is separate from our roadways so street congestion won't slow it down like buses. Individual pods go point to point so passengers don't have to stop at everyone else's stops and they get to their destination faster. Cost of construction is lower than most anything else.

This is the future of public transportation more than self-driving cars. I am so happy to see my city finally taking a step into the future and leading the way.

Keep up your comments on concerns and fears - that will help these consultants know the questions they need to address.


18 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Many major airports have something like this already in place. At SFO, it is called AirTrain.

For decades, there have been similar transit systems at amusement parks. Disneyland ran the PeopleMover until 1995. The original Disneyland monorail which debuted in 1959 is still operational.

Neither the concept nor technology are new.


4 people like this
Posted by anthodyd
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:51 pm

About time! There is little or no room left for usual auto/bus trans solutions which become part of the problem within a very short usage time, say 2-3 years. As a "last-mile" option, it should do much to connect the CalTrain/LiteRail terminal with North Bayshore via Shoreline Blvd. by overpassing the Caltrain ROW and Highway 101 without resorting to 6-lane bridges. There is a reasonable prospect to link into the Whisman LiteRail terminal for increased utility; anything to reduce our reliance on automotive transportation.
There is a negative side to the utopian view of overhead tramways; very few of them in the past have been commercial successes- those few are internal transit for theme parks, where people are already on foot. I hope there is potential for a viable transit system that adequately answers our dire need for regular affordable personal transportation.
BTW, there was a suggestion some months ago for a railway tunnel from Burlingame to Mountain View that would solve in one swoop the issue of over/under passes along said route, minimize traffic disruptions and dividing cities in two. A further incentive would be the opportunity to develop the CalTrain ROW into residential real estate.


10 people like this
Posted by faster, cheaper, better
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Run a dedicated bus lane down Moffett, figure out a dedicated lane along 101 to get into NBS, connecting to the upcoming dedicated lane on Shoreline. As a bonus we can get to the business park by Lockheed/LinkedIn. Later the buses can be automated to reduce operating costs.

Please don't waste this money.


Like this comment
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I am for this project 100%. If this helps us local people get to our destinations quicker, then I am all for it.


8 people like this
Posted by Bill Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Old MV already has serious and growing parking and traffic problems --- approaching those of Palo Alto. Just imagine how bad it would become if many hundreds more folks per day could drive to Old MV, park, and catch a shuttle to Google Land? The N Bayshore gridlock would extended to Old MV!!! That is unacceptable. That gridlock belongs where it is --- where the jobs are and not where our homes are.

I humbly (Hah!) have a better idea. Rather than contracting with NASA Ames to build an unproven Star Wars Shuttle From Hell thru residential MV, why not do something really useful and sensible? Find a use for VTA's grossly underused and totally ill-conceived light rail money sink? NASA Ames is desperate for long-term funding and has lots of spare land. Contract with them to build a huge parking lot on NASA land at the Ellis St. gate and to allow VTA to build a spur to a bridge across Stevens Creek --- north of Bayshore where all disruption belongs.

Problem solved and downtown MV is saved from the City Council's political madness and techie do-gooders "whatever-they-dream-up" gross ignorance.


Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 10, 2017 at 6:16 pm

"find out whether passenger demand could eventually pay the costs of the transit line"

I guess the odds are npn-zero, but I'm not going to hold my breath for it to even cover operating expenses.


5 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm

It's really unfortunate that so many Baby Boomer home-owners, with Prop 13 protecting them from any downside to exploding and uncontrolled housing demand, can only complain about the world changing around them while trying to hold back any progress in this region which would benefit the generation after them. I'm ecstatic that we're the mecca of high-tech, well-paying jobs, and that there's so much opportunity around here for me and others of my generation. But rather than be happy that this area provides so many jobs for millennials, the Boomers do nothing but bemoan it. Rather than do what their parents, the Greatest Generation, did and invest heavily in housing and civic infrastructure so young-adult Boomers could have a place to live, the Baby Boomers of the Bay Area can only complain, think solely of themselves, and do everything in their power to freeze any progress. Your parents would consider it a travesty to constrain housing to the point that renting a studio costs $2000 a month, but all I hear from Boomers on here is "it's too high!", "my precious views!", and "it's changing the character of the neighborhood!".

You can't have Prop 13 protecting you while you yell at and drag down any attempt to build more housing to satiate demand. Be thankful that your property taxes don't reflect the real consequences of your impediments to new development and get out of the way so my generation can have a place to live, or give up Prop 13 and actually pay to have your walled garden.


8 people like this
Posted by Reside
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Don't complain about Prop 13, it helps all homeowners since it has a restriction in it that property tax can only increase by a certain percentage. So it helps all homeowners old and new. We have a legislative in Sacramento that thinks money grows on trees. Even the governor seems to realize right now that the tax money coming in is going down. And guess what, there is only so much room to build housing. Those companies need to expand elsewhere. You guys can't have it all, us older folks like to retire here. This is our home and you seem to want to ruin it.


11 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 10, 2017 at 10:18 pm

I will gladly complain about Prop 13. It completely imbalances the property tax burden onto newer home-owners who bear the full brunt of property tax on the current, real value of their home, driven to that level by value by constrained housing supply. It incentivizes homeowners in desirable areas to never build new housing, because without supply to meet demand, home values go up, but your taxes only increase a miniscule amount. So you buy a house and pull the ladder up with you as you shoot down further development and watch your home worth shoot straight up, while the next generation makes due with $2000 a month studios.

Look, you can't just plop down in one of the hottest economic hubs in the world and complain that we're ruining your retirement. Cities grow, things change, and you've managed to inflate your home value to such astronomical levels that if you're looking to move to a quiet, remote suburb and live like a king, you could. Don't keep good jobs and affordable housing in desirable locations from my generation just because you want Mountain View to be a sleepy retirement community. Be happy you have a home here at all.


4 people like this
Posted by Prop 13
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2017 at 1:32 am

The fact is that it has most resoundingly affected the property tax revenue from commercial property. The share paid by residential has gone WAY UP
despite the trend toward living in apartments, smaller houses and
condos. More and more jobs, increases in business space, etc., but despite that commercial pays a smaller share.


2 people like this
Posted by Tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

Hey Reside/Prop 13,

What's your property tax rate on the market value of your home?

I'm tired of freeloaders in our community not paying their fair share, then lecturing the rest of us how they're entitled to it.


5 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2017 at 11:28 am

@prop13. You got it right! The hugest problem with prop 13 is how commercial properties have been able to escape pYing their fair share. The shift to residential property owners is the real reason home taxes are so high. There are a number of loophiles that allow properties to escape getring reassessed. Time to fix that.
The logic of YIMBY escapes me. Longterm property owners dont cheer value increases they cant spend without paying exraordinary capital gains and still have no place else in their hometown to move to. We paid tons more than our neighbors when we bought our home. Why are you so special?
The fix to the problem is 2-fold: increse amount of housing supply, and require comercial property owners to pay their share of taxes.


3 people like this
Posted by Tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

@Tax. What's your property tax rate on the market value of your property? Proposition 13 is the loophole that allows properties to get reassessed.

Married couples pay no capital gains tax on the first $500K of gains on the sale of their primary residence. If you bought a house for $500K and sell it two years later at $1M, you owe zero capital gains tax. How is that extraordinary?

I'm really tired of having to subsidize the freeloaders in my community not paying their fair share, all while complaining how much of a burden they're shouldering.


2 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2017 at 12:46 pm

automated-guideway transit is also known as Personal Rapid Transit and you can find videos of several different concepts online.

Basically, it's a small monorail system with golf cart sized vehicles that carry 2-6 people. Since the vehicles are small the overhead beams are fairly small in the 2x3 ft range. This also means that the stations can be tiny since they only need to hold a couple of vehicles at a time making them about the size of a bus stop.

It'll be interesting to see what Lea+Elliott has to say about these local needs and what they feel would be a good solution for you.


1 person likes this
Posted by Taxes 2.0
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Taxes 2.0 is a registered user.

For many people in the area, the fact that you don't pay tax on a $500k gain as a couple (250 as a single) is not much of a help. Add to that paying 10-20% to the state, if high cost areas such as Silicon Valley, NYC, etc. had a larger amount shielded from tax, there would be a greater turnover of housing. I'm at the tale end of the baby boomers and certainly don't need as much house as an empty nester, but if I sold my house and downsized, I would have a huge tax bill.


3 people like this
Posted by Jerry Roane
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

We proposed TriTrack to the city of San Jose to take people from the airport to the valley as a PPP at no cost to the local governments. This offer was rejected in favor of spending more money on studies. These studies resulted in no action being taken as the study entity exaggerated the problem and did not offer any form of a solution. We would be happy to propose a no cost transportation solution to the region using our dual mode 100% clean vehicles powered by PV solar panels along the route. These solar panels can be located to block the view into backyards if requested. We drill a 17' hole every 60 feet along the path where it would be easy to build landscaped bike trails under much of the elevated guideway. Our speed is much higher than the competition and our energy use is less allowing the solar panel area to be affordable.


8 people like this
Posted by Tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

@Taxes 2.0

In what world is getting half a million dollars tax-free "not much of a help"?

What's your effective property tax rate on the market value of your house?


2 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 11, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Instead of throwing $250,000 away on a study, put that money into the dedicated bus lane to "north bayshore" project and see if that actually gets enough passengers.


12 people like this
Posted by Tilting at windmills
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Tax: - "Married couples pay no capital gains tax on the first $500K of gains on the sale of their primary residence. If you bought a house for $500K and sell it two years later at $1M, you owe zero capital gains tax. How is that extraordinary?" -

I suppose if one is up for relocating every 24 months and has the kind of money or credit to swing the loans, then investing, flipping & moving every 24 months - assuming 100% appreciation in that time - wouldn't be such a bad gig...but, are you REALLY assuming that there are an exceptional number of homeowners who are hedging their bets in this manner? To do so would be betting the come every time. And it's ridiculous to assume 100% appreciation in 2 years on any investment, especially in perpetuity.

We are homeowners and have been here for many years. We remodeled extensively both inside and out. We thought we would be here for decades, but it's not going to work out that way. We have done the number crunching and even with the full exemption and the capital improvements deductions, we are looking at a capital gains tax bill of nearly $200K (when the surtax is added in)...that sure seems like lot of money to be paying to the Feds on top of the nearly $15K we already pay annually in property taxes.

Prior to today, I have never discussed my property taxes on an online forum (or any other forum) and I am not complaining about the amount we paying property taxes -- it is what it is. Although, I am not looking forward to paying the huge capital gains bill when we sell, but barring some unforeseen change in the tax code, that is what it is as well.

As an aside, we are paying nearly $15K annually in property taxes, and I am sure there are thousands of other residents in Mountain View paying their "fair share" as well, and to have supposed 'neighbors' on forums like this say things like, "I'm really tired of having to subsidize the freeloaders in my community not paying their fair share, all while complaining how much of a burden they're shouldering." -- well, it sounds like someone simply taking a gratuitous swipe.

It's a gross mischaracterization to imply that homeowners in Mountain View are "freeloaders" and "not paying their fair share".

Knock it off.


2 people like this
Posted by Tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm

@Tilting at windmills,

I said two years because you can only claim the deduction if you've been in the house that long.

You owe $200K in capital gains tax? That would mean that you sold the property for ~$1.8M more than you bought it for ($500K exclusion + $200K/0.15). Even if you bought that property for $0, it would mean your effective property tax rate has been less than 1% ($15K / $1.8M = 0.83%). The nominal rate in Santa Clara county is ~1.2%, so you've been subsidized by your neighbors to the tune of about $6600 / year, under some pretty generous assumptions. Correct me if I'm wrong on the math here.

Are you sure about these numbers? Maybe consult an accountant and tax lawyer, since, to be honest, if the numbers above are correct, you have not been paying your fair share and have been getting quite the free ride from your neighbors.


10 people like this
Posted by Tilting at windmills
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm

I understand why you used the two year figure.

My point is that in order to flip a home every 24 months and realize such a gain would require one be in residence in that home for the entire 24 months, as well as having the money or credit to swing the loans, then investing, flipping & moving every 24 months - with the underlying assumption being 100% appreciation on a $500K investment in that time - which wouldn't be such a bad gig, But again, are you REALLY assuming that there are an exceptional number of homeowners who are hedging their bets in this manner? To do so would be betting the come every time. And it's ridiculous to assume 100% appreciation in 2 years on any investment, especially in perpetuity. (BTW, where in Mountain View can you purchase a residence of any type for $500K?)


My numbers are correct. We have not sold the home yet, we are planning for the future. We have done extensive remodeling which included adding to the a large amount of square footage. I have consulted with tax law specialists. A 1031 exchange was considered at one point, but I'm not sure if I'm up for the the long drawn out process that would require. Sure it would save the entire capital gains tax, but it would also require property transactions and requirements with those properties that I'm not sure I want to deal with.

Quit with the "free ride" crap, it's unseemly and untrue.




4 people like this
Posted by Tax
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:54 pm

@Tilting at windmills

So you're not disputing my numbers, which means you're paying at least $6000 per year less than your fair share, and on top of that are complaining about $200K that you'll need to pay out of the proceeds of selling your multi-million dollar home?

This is exactly what I'm talking about, thanks to Proposition 13, you're vastly underpaying your fair share of property taxes, while at the very same time lamenting the burden of walking away with over a million dollars.


10 people like this
Posted by Tilting at windmills
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm



@Tax

You're wrong on multiple levels. Have fun playing your games. I'm done here.


Peace out.


1 person likes this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:44 pm

I can't believe what I am reading here.

10 years ago Steve Jobs introduced his Iphone. Critics said that people wouldn't be willing to pay $499 for a phone that could do what their PCs could do. He was right and his critics were wrong. Steve understood design and innovation. Is this really the way Silicon Valley people think? Or are they more like Steve Jobs willing to look outside the box.

I wonder what Steve would think of this idea?

BTW there was a news report on this on KTVU. People are watching this idea.


7 people like this
Posted by IVG
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 11, 2017 at 9:40 pm

OK. For those of us who are still interested in the actual subject of this article...

Since we're in the Bay Area, I feel compelled to point out that the proposal is an elevated cable car. And if you want to see one without traveling to Wuppertal, head up to Oakland and check out the little train that goes to the airport there.

The problem is cost. The Oakland Airport Connector cost $500 million to build for 3.2 miles of track and two stations.


Like this comment
Posted by Eric
a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2017 at 7:56 am

IVG,
The Oakland Airport Connector is also designed to handle 1900 people per direction per hour. This concept would not need to be anywhere near that capacity thus allowing for much smaller vehicles, which means a much smaller overhead structure, which means a much cheaper system. If we assume a 3 mile long system at $20 Million per mile we could be looking at a $60 Million project for comparisons sake.


41 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2017 at 10:46 am

Who is going to pay for the "pod cars?"

I hope it is not the taxpayers. Over the last several elections, voters in Santa Clara County have passed multiple tax and fee increases including VTA's 2000 Measure A 1/2-cent and 2008 measure B 1/4-cent and the recent 2016 Measure B sales taxes, Santa Clara County's Measure A 1/8 cent sales tax, the state prop 30 income tax and the 2010 Measure B Vehicle Registration Fee of $10. Additionally, we are on the hook to pay back numerous state bond issues including high speed rail, a Proposition 1 water bond and the infrastructure bonds of 2006. Let the grossly-misnamed "Silicon Valley Leadership Group" get its fat cat members to pony up to pay for the PRT.

And of course "pod cars" only seem to get built in niche areas, such as airports or planned communities with car restrictions.

This topic has been discussed at length. I recommend a couple of articles on the Light Rail Now website.

First, there's "Let's Get Real About Personal Rapid Transit" by Ken Avidor Web Link. He points out that, "PRT has a solid 30-year record of failure. Its main purpose in recent years seems to have been to provide a cover enabling its proponents to spread disinformation about real, workable transit systems. Except for the occasional laboratory-scale prototype, PRT actually "exists" largely in computerized drawings, in promotional brochures, and in cute, ever-successful animated simulations on the internet."

"The unsubstantiated claims of PRT proponents are always presented in the present tense as if the system is a proven success ... which, of course, it certainly is not. Promoters never seem to fail to bash real transit, such as light rail (LRT), as "old fashioned technology". Sadly, the media rarely check the veracity of PRT publicity and propaganda."

A longer, more technical article is "Personal Rapid Transit – Cyberspace Dream Keeps Colliding With Reality." Web Link The authors write "Despite the persistent and fervent claims of its promoters, repeated attempts to implement a working PRT system, even in very small-scale scenarios, have invariably failed. Not a single PRT plan, during these promotional efforts over the past 40 years or more, has seen successful implementation even in a small test application, much less a major, heavy-duty, citywide rapid transit application. Early would-be PRT installations, such as the AirTrans system at Dallas-Ft. Worth Regional Airport, and the PRT at West Virginia University at Morgantown, eschewed any attempt to provide true PRT-style, small-vehicle, customized origin-destination service, and were implemented in effect as line-haul automated guideway transit (AGT) peoplemover systems with some innovative features (such as offline stations)."

And finally, the good folks at Light Rail Now have put up a helpful list of links to various Monorail, PRT, AGT, and "Gadget Transit" Analyses at Web Link

A good article by Setty and Demery points out that "In our view, it is a big waste of time advocating such "gee-whiz" options, given the severe limits of monorails and similar technologies such as PRT, when U.S. transportation problems are almost always sociopolitical and economic not technical“ in nature." See Web Link

Mountain View should beware this solution looking for a problem.


4 people like this
Posted by Driver
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm

I remember pod car were shown in front of SF city hall in mid 1970. The great idea at that time was the following. This system would run all over town with main lines and feeder lines thru neighborhoods, you got on and it took you to your destination. Well the transportation planners at that time thought it would be the best thing on earth. But it never went anywhere, people want their cars. And don't come up with: millennials don't want cars. They will buy cars when they have a family and need to get there kids to school, soccer, baseball, ballet etc. The study that's long overdue: how many extra trip are being generated by Ueber, Lyft; since most pickup and delivery take two trips.


1 person likes this
Posted by IVG
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 12, 2017 at 9:27 pm

@Eric:
"The Oakland Airport Connector is also designed to handle 1900 people per direction per hour."
Is it? Current actual traffic is more like 2000 people per day, per direction. 1900 people per hour would be close to the entire passenger throughput of the airport. That's a fine goal, but everyone knows it's not realistic.

"This concept would not need to be anywhere near that capacity..."
I'm not so sure. Suppose we end up with 30,000 workers and 20,000 residents in North Bayshore, which I think is quite possible given what Google wants to build. Now suppose that just 30% of them want to take this transit line, that's about 17,000 people. If they all go during a 3-hour commute period, that's 6,000 people per hour! (That's total for both directions.)


10 people like this
Posted by IVG
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 12, 2017 at 9:34 pm

@Driver:
"And don't come up with: millennials don't want cars. They will buy cars when they have a family and need to get there kids to school, soccer, baseball, ballet etc."
That may be true, but there are still plenty of commuters who don't have children living at home.

Also, are there no children in San Francisco, where many residents actually don't own cars? How do they get to school?

"The study that's long overdue: how many extra trip are being generated by Ueber, Lyft; since most pickup and delivery take two trips."
I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who gets all of their rides from Uber and Lyft. These services can "fill the gaps" for someone who normally takes transit and once in a while wants to make a trip that isn't convenient on transit.


24 people like this
Posted by Shiny New Things
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

Yes, yes, this is why we can't have green bike lanes with barriers on Rengstorff and Shoreline! We need a hyper loop and Jetson cars!

When Seattle killed their Bike Share program, they sank the $$ into an improved bike/ped network.
Web Link

But for flat, sunny, small Mountain View that would be boring. That's been done.


Like this comment
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jan 16, 2017 at 8:33 am

SRB is a registered user.

IVG wrote: "Also, are there no children in San Francisco, where many residents actually don't own cars? How do they get to school?"

Actually according to a November 2016 study, it would seem that many San Francisco children are driven to school.

Web Link

From the report:

"How do parents get elementary school children to and from school and after school programs?

Most parents drive their children to school and after school programs—57% of total respondents drive their children to school, 52% drive to pick their children up at the school bell, and 70% drive to pick their children up from after school programs."


4 people like this
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jan 17, 2017 at 8:40 am

So many Naysayers. Geez. Let's get this system in place and begin using it up and down Shoreline Blvd., to the movie theaters, etc. Yes let's get this system up and running.


20 people like this
Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2017 at 12:55 pm

A problem with PRT is that it combines the worst aspects of transit, expensive fixed guideway and stations, with the worst aspects of automobiles, low capacity. Mountain View could save lots of money by not proceeding with PRT/AGT and encouraging driverless cars. Web Link


Multiple points - everywhere, almost - will have access to driverless, taxi-like services for trips rarely over five miles.

It’s PRT without the spaghetti!


21 people like this
Posted by Hugh Jardonn
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jan 18, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Lawrence J. Fabian, Trans.21 and Stan Young, NREL write Web Link "PRT promoters speak in the conjectural tones of 'could' and 'would.' Or 'can' and 'will.' After 50 years of such conversations, we cannot truthfully state in the present tense: PRT satisfies urban transport needs. At best, we can point to West Virginia University, which is served by a USDOT demo from the 1970s and a few recent shuttles overseas."

one of those overseas shuttles is the Masdar City project in Abu Dhabhi, referred to by Gökçe Günel as "an expensive toy." Web Link

Julie Rodwell wrote that "Perhaps the future of suburban (and urban) travel lies with driverless cars managed by Uber, Lyft and similar operations. Or, given the massive changes in transportation of the past 120 years, perhaps with technologies we cannot yet imagine."
Web Link

Mountain View will spend millions studying this all over again.


18 people like this
Posted by Not again
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 23, 2017 at 9:16 am

Seems like we have to restudy PRT every decade or so in order to re-learn the same lessons. Meanwhile, driverless car research promises to change the way we get around while using existing infrastructure.


12 people like this
Posted by never ending discussion
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2017 at 8:55 am

It's less than 10 years that we rehashed PRT. Here's a discussion from 2013. Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jan 27, 2017 at 10:46 am

Love this comment in that earlier thread:
--
I used to get stoned and daydream of things like cool little self driving science fiction pod cars. But then I grew up and stopped smoking dope. Little did I realize that I could have had a leadership role in city government.
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