Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Death of a Talking Point

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

Taxi 2000 v. Anderson Lawsuit Settled

(12/21) J. Edward Anderson announced today that he and Taxi 2000 Corporation have settled their differences over issues involving intellectual property, and Taxi 2000 has agreed to end its lawsuit filed against him. "Both Taxi 2000 and I will and can continue to pursue our mutual goal of the wider development and deployment of Personal Rapid Transit systems without fear of further law suits," Anderson wrote in an e-mail. The suit was filed in April of this year after Anderson, former Taxi 2000 CEO, left to form his own company, PRT International, LLC.


That What? Who Cares? [12.22.05 12:12 am]

From the Do Your Own Research Files: *** clutters up some poor guy's LiveJournal post about Cabinentaxi.

Gee, What Happened to That PRT Resolution, Mr. Gow?
2005-12-22 05:30 pm UTC
ht tp: // ww w. twin cities .com/ mld/pioneerpress/news/loc al/13445077 . htm

Source Dead Link

(Whups, really sorry about that, dsign.)


Friday, December 09, 2005

He LeapFROGs to the wrong conclusion

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

****** is currently obsessed with FROG. Not the amphibian, but the wayfinding system known as Free Ranging On Grid. As usual there's a very high quotient of Bizarre.

It all started when ATS announced its contract with BAA for a PRT at Heathrow Airport. It threw *** into a tizzy.

One of his main Talking Points is that PRT doesn't exist. How would he cope with the Heathrow news? What he settled on is the Egyptian River strategy: denial. Unfortunately for him, the river is flowing through his house of cards.

It goes like this: He noticed that the Dutch company FROG is mentioned in a number of places as providing its eponymously named FROG vehicle navigation and control ("navcon") system for use in ULTra.

Then he noticed that a unit of FROG, 2getthere, makes automated peoplemovers. Naturally, these APMs use the FROG navcon system.

He also keenly observes that 2gt's APMs and ATS's ULTra share some common characteristics: size, doors and four wheels (10/28/05). He erroneously concludes that ULTra must be a copy of 2gt's vehicle.

The "***clusion"? He claims ULTra and FROG are the same! (The Screed, 10/23/05)

Next he claimed that "PRT" cannot be found on the FROG website (#897863).

The ***clusion? ULTra must not be PRT. Therefore PRT must not exist, QED.

There are two problems with this "theory":

The obvious one: FROG is a navcon component, not a vehicle. Having FROG in common does not make ULTra and 2gt the same.

The second one: "PRT" is mentioned on frog.nl.

For FROG, PRT is a mode. They advertise their Cybercab APM as having a PRT mode.

There is also a third, bigger problem for ***. ATS doesn't use FROG in ULTra anymore, and hasn't for two years. ATS developed the current navcon system in-house, which has operated ULTra test vehicles for the past two years with no failures. It was this configuration of ULTra that was approved by the UK rail safety agency, and is now being prepared for installation at Heathrow Airport.

*** could have avoided jumping to yet another embarrassing, erroneous conclusion. He could have done what I did. He could have just asked them.

So to sum up:

FROG-- a company; a navigation/control system
Cybercab-- an APM with PRT mode
ULTra-- PRT; not FROG; used to use FROG; now uses a navcon system of its own design.
PRT-- exists.
Te-- a drink with jam and bread.
Which brings us back to...

"PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke!

Details: gPRT's ULTra intel


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Congestion T[r]olls

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

Remember *** ******'s insistence that PRT is really a front for the Anti-Transit Boogeyman? Well it seems PRT can't win no matter which end of the transportation spectrum is doing the judging.

J.F. Scott, who regularly brightens up the transport-policy Yahoo Group with his pro-automobile views, is a new member of ATRA's tranport-innovators discussion list. He has this to say:

PRT advocates tend to neglect transport mode choice. Part of this reflects an underlying animosity to auto use, part of it reflects the idea the PRT, once in place, will be so attractive that motorists will forsake their cars to use it. When you don't like cars, you tend not to compare the the benefits they provide to their users with whatever you offer as a substitute.

Somewhere between Scott and ****** is a middle position, where PRT is seen to be combining the best features of trains and taxicabs. PRT supporters aim to attract more types of trips that previously would have been done by car. But we recognize that cars will still be the preferred mode choice for some trips (cargo, long road trips, emergencies, etc.). Individuals will calculate this choice based on their unique circumstances: not because they are selfish, or lazy, or anti-social.

His Magic 8-Ball must be broken

You-Know-Who predicted:
the fine print in the BAA press release says that the project depends on "agreed milestones being achieved." It is highly unlikely that ULTra-as-PRT will pass these milestones. Source

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Are You Exsmearienced?

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

"Yes it is!"
"No it isn't!"

--Monty Python

*** ******, who also calls himself "PRTSkeptic" online, hates roads. That's fine, at times they annoy me to. *** hates the Minneapolis 35W Access Project in particular. He calls it the Excess Project, which it may very well be.

But he hates everything connected to it. For instance, he even hates the project's designer, the engineering firm Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH-- they also design other things, including transit operations, but we'll ignore that for now, as *** does). That SEH was at one time working with the Taxi 2000 Corp. on its PRT program, for which it needed the services of construction engineers, became "evidence" in ***'s eyes that Taxi 2000 is part of the big bad Secret Highway Cabal. And for some time he has made the most of it, one of his Talking Points on many occasions.

Let's review ***'s logic:

The Road Conspiracy: Bad
SEH: designs roads
SEH is therefore Bad and part of the Road Conspiracy
Taxi 2000: Bad and partnered with SEH
Taxi 2000 and PRT are therefore part of the Road Conspiracy

I never said it was logical logic, anymore than his attempt to label PRT a right-wing conspiracy simply because some of its supporters are Republican.

Which was how he spent a good part of the recent Thanksgiving weekend. Getting smeared on the website of my hometown newspaper is a holiday memory I'll treasure. Some lowlights:

Daytime*** ****** said:
11/251:58pPRT is all about bashing rail transit.
11/253:55pThere is no technology to discuss...PRT doesn't exist [ellipses in original]
11/255:25pExcuses, excuses... [ellipses in original] that's part of what PRT is about-- it gives die-hard car-lovers an excuse not to use mass transit or ride a bike
11:258:05pThe PRTers can... Remove the links to LRT-haters like Emory Bundy... [ellipses in original] but you won't because PRT is just a stalking horse for the anti-LRT bunch.
11/266:24aIn Minnesota, the PRT/gadgetbahning-promoting elected officials are right-wing theocrats
11/268:51aDemocrat Jim Huhtala is running against Rep. Mark Olson in 2006 (Take a look at the picture of Jim Huhtala standing in front of the Hiawatha Light Rail... It's a clear choice for liberals. Nuff said. [man, now THAT's single-issue voting. I've since read some about Huhtala and found him a fine candidate; but ya gotta be more choosy than just a photo with a train]
11/276:54aMr. Gow, will the CPRT which lists you as their Seattle contact ask its members to help Mark Olson's [R] campaign in 2006 like the CPRT did for Dean Zimmermann in 2005?
11/2711:05aI can't find the acronym PRT on FROG's web site [oh really?]
11/2711:05aI would also like to to know whether Mr. Gow personally supports PRTers Michele Bachmann [very R] and Mark Olson or... their Democratic opponents... So Mr. Gow, who do you support? [response, #898390]
11/275:44pWow, Mr. Gow...SOME LIBERAL YOU ARE!!! Mr. Gow won't say whether or not he or the CPRT favors pro-NRA, Pro-highway, pro-war, pro-Bush, anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, pro-intelligent design Michele Bachmann and Mark Olson in the 2006 election... big surprise. That's how fanatical these PRTers are... [response, #899249]
11/283:38aSo Mr. Gow, what about Bachmann? She's running for Congress... Are you supporting her or Elwyn Tinklenberg? You probably don't like Tinklenberg... Elwyn and Jesse were big boosters of the Hiawatha LRT. [ellipses in original] [response, #899799]

Evidently, ***'s transit must fit his test of political purity, and PRT has picked up Resmuglican cooties. GOP chocolate is on PRT's peanut butter. Resmuglican green beans touched PRT Jell-o.

There were a lot more smears, vociferous ones, by two other posters, "terrorist" and "Sacs not swelled on Toad Worriers." *** claims those are not him using other identities, but come ON. ***, terrorist and Shawls not shed for Over Coats all use the exact same epithet-laden prose style.

Look closely at anything connected with *** ****** and you'll find humor and irony. In this case it is that he refuses to admit that his Light Rail Transit is itself covered in GOP and highway cooties! Not only are major Light Rail contractors like Parsons, Herzog and Kiewit also involved in highway projects, but their soft money contributions are overwhelmingly weighted toward Resmuglicans (see Finally, the experts take charge, Nov. 3).

Now I personally don't have a problem with that. They're civil engineers; it's natural they could do both road and transit projects, and they can donate to whomever they choose. My point is that it's the PRTSkeptic's litmus test, and he applies it only to PRT.

What's more, I looked up SEH's PAC contributions, and guess what? SEH gives more to Democrats! Noteworthy:
$2500, 2006 cycle, James Oberstar
$3000, 2004, John Hickenlooper, Mayor of Denver
$2000, 2004, Tom Daschle
$1000, 2004, James Oberstar

In the past cycle (2004) only $750 total went to Resmuglicans.

Using *** logic, doesn't that make SEH, and therefore PRT, the "clear choice for liberals"? Let me emphasize lest I be taken out of context: I don't think transit is inherently political, in the main support crosses political lines. Again, it's ***'s litmus test. I'm only asking why he isn't consistent.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

PRT Field Guide

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

"So, to be part of the PRT cult, do you go through some kind of re-education process that demands you only speak of this wacky idea as if it exists? Is that how you kooks suck in more snake oil salesmen? Through deception?
Once again, notice how the PRT cult is always focused on road-based non solutions to mass transit." Source

This sounds like the call of the extremely rare, wild-eyed Minnesota loon (mentalium Asteriskus). It is both fascinated by and aggressive toward that which it fears. Behavior: Attracted to vomit and bad animation. When challenged, it ruffles the few feathers on its small head and emits a high-pitched scream that extends into the ultrasonic spectrum. Markings: Black ink-like smudges and jarring primary colors on wingtips. Natural enemies include eagles, gray wolves and figments. Mating call: "bo-GUS... bo-GUS..." Often sighted in vicinity of Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater). Conservation status: Endangered

Erratum: 11,278 visitors


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Our biggest fan

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

*** has visited gPRT 25 times so far this month.

Erratum: 10924 visitors

Monday, November 14, 2005

We tell him, but he doesn't listen

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

An error in the Middle East Economic Digest story about the Dubai PRT project gave 1.2 km as the planned length of PRT guideway, rather than the length of the area PRT is to serve.

But that hasn't stopped *** from repeating the error:

Oct 22:

A 1.2 kilometer "network" (yawn) Source

Oct. 23:
Wow!!!... that works out to US $100 million for the 1.2 kilometers Source

People have tried to tell him he's wrong (comment 1), so by knowingly repeating the error he has converted the mistake into a lie. Not really a surprise.


Monday, November 07, 2005

See Him Flail Wildly

Originally published ©2005 Get On Board! PRT

"Now it can be told"

The lead up to, and confirmation of, announcement of two groundbreaking PRT projects set off a flurry of denial and self-delusion in the anti-progress mini-community.

In September, this site passed on advanced word, gleaned from our sources, that official announcement of a PRT system at Heathrow Airport was imminent, and also that a contract would also be announced soon for PRT in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). At the same time we linked to an interesting article, originally found in a cached page on Google, of a Kuwaiti article that quoted aParsons Brinckerhoff representative promoting PRT as a potential option for Kuwait City.

The Minnesota anti-PRT activist immediately sprang into a frenzy of inaccurate research:
Sept. 18, 2005:
I've checked with Parsons Brinckerhoff and they do not have a PRT project in Dubai and they do not know of any PRT project in Dubai.   Source
Who at PB? You gotta write these things down. Anyway, he got his arab countries confused. The PB rep, Glen Thorn, was talking about Kuwait, not Dubai:
"Kuwait is now reaching the trigger point," said Thorn. ...One solution Parsons Brinkerhoff has for this is the futuristic Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). ..."Kuwait is the ideal candidate for this type of system due to the compact nature of its city center," said Thorn. Source
The subject of Dubai only arose at the beginning of the report, in a "Kuwait-too" style of introduction: "Kuwait may shortly join Dubai to start on urban rail projects..." The Minnesota anti-PRT activist did not stop at this misrepresentation. He then decided to go with the Hail Mary play:
There is no PRT project in Dubai.
And there is no PRT project at London's Heathrow airport either.
The desperation-play failed. In fact it was a clean interception, for within days the Advanced Transit Association announced:
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), in United Arab Emirates, is expected to issue in November a tender for a contract to design and build a personal rapid transit (PRT) system within the complex. Source
The story was originally reported in the Middle East Economic Digest. Then, on Oct. 20, the really big news:
Advanced Transport Systems Ltd (ATS) announced today that BAA had chosen their innovative ULTra Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, to provide better access to its terminals at Heathrow. The agreement between BAA and ATS also includes an investment of £7.5million in the company in return for 25% of the equity. Source
(This was followed by two British news stories, one from the mainstream press: Driverless pods to get airport users off to a flying startBAA sees future in electric driverless taxis)

What was the Minnesota anti-PRT activist's response? Those expecting anything but attack and ridicule were disappointed (but probably not much):
Oct. 21:
Watch the silly videos on the new ULTra PRT website and have a good laugh at this cheap and crummy "Revolution in Public Transportation". Source
Oct. 22:
A 1.2 kilometer "network" (yawn).
Sounds like it's inside the complex... they won't have to worry about the lack of air conditioning in the pods.Source (see also See How He Makes It Up)
Also Oct. 22: he alleges "a transit expert" wrote to him:
The system itself proves "PRT is a joke". US$100 million for 1.2 km comes to about $83 million/km or $134 million/mile - for a system with minuscule capacity. Source
The "1.2 km" reference comes from the MEED report. Our sources inform us the reporter got that wrong: 1.2 km is the width of the area to be served. The Minnesota anti-PRT activist didn't bother to check into this.
Oct. 23: he implies ULTra isn't new or PRT:
Computer-guided vehicles are nothing new. A company called Frog makes them and Frog is mentioned in the ATRA announcement about the Dubai PRT  proposal.  
Clearly, ULTra has taken the Frog computer-guided, 4-wheeled electric buggy concept and stuck in [sic] on a roadway, not a slim guideway Source
Actually, there's nothing clear about this bizarre line of reasoning. The ATRA (MEED) announcement merely mentioned Frog as a company that supplies PRT technology. There is nothing that says ULTra=Frog. ULTra merely uses a proven navigation system made by Frog. ULTra's 25 mph vehicle is not the same as Frog's much slower vehicle, which is not even strictly PRT (while it can run on a guideway, it is designed to be able to run in a nonexclusive area, such as a parking lot).

Oct. 24: he attempts to link PRT to the egregious Rep. Tom DeLay, through selective use of the {snip}:
"The Metropolitan Transit Authority is holding this week's Advanced Transportation Technology Forum at the behest of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land...
"Unfortunately our transportation policy, and spending in particular, is still governed by an outdated vision," DeLay told the audience of about 100. "This past year, the city of Houston - after a long, hard struggle - installed the same oldmass-transit system that was installed in Calgary, Canada, the year I was born: 1947.
"It seems to me Houston can do better..."
"This is important work you are doing, and I look forward to helping you do it in the future."
"Personal rapid transit : Running on narrow overhead guideways, a fleet of small, individual pods are computer-dispatched to stations when requested by passengers." Source (Houston Chronicle, via Houston Architecture Info Forum)
Seems like words about PRT came out of Tom DeLay's mouth, right? Wrong. Everything after the {snip} came from a sidebar/box, added by the newspaper, a list of 11 transit modes that were presented at the MTA forum. So there's a good chance that Hot Tub Tom doesn't even know what PRT is. And we bet he would never act against the long term interests of light rail, seeing as how rail consultants and contractors direct most of theirdonations to Republicans-- examples:
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Ch2M Hill
Booz-Allen Hamilton
Herzog Contracting
Now it can be told: the Minnesota anti-PRT activist wants to give billions of tax dollars to Republican megacorporations, in order to keep building transit systems that don't reduce congestion.

Oct 25: he attacks a seminar on PRT being held way way far away in Sweden:
The IST/Podcar homepage uses an ancient picture from the Raytheon PRT project. It's hilarious that they chose Raytheon as an example of PRT since it was a huge, expensive flop Source
Raytheon? They made critical but solvable mistakes. Old, old news. As he himself wrote, "ancient." Never mind that the forum's objective is "large scale light PRTs ("Podcars") as a sustainable road away from congestions, accidents, environment problems", or that its agenda included "The car is dead." Now this can be told: the Minnesota anti-PRT activist opposes sustainable alternatives to cars, congestion, accidents and environmental problems.

Oct 25: He derides innovation as "gadgetbahn" (a term originated by anti-progress rail supporters and applied to any innovative transit technology):
Gadgetbahn projects never die... they live forever in a state of suspended animation on the internet.
Here's a partial list of undead gadgetbahn projects.
Whatever happened to Ford's "Prism" PRT program? Source
He's so blind to facts that he doesn't even realize that Prism is not PRT. Prism was a dual mode concept--road vehicles drivable on an 'automated highway.' He just sees a new technology and reflexively hates it.

Oct. 26: See him be derivative. In response to a pro-PRT Sex Pistols parody, posted at "PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke, the Minnesota anti-PRT activist felt he had to try his hand at parody as well. But he doesn't have the talent for it, as one commenter observed:
Hey bozo, an observation: it's not parody if you leave intact half the original material.
Oh, and "Oh we're so pretty"- 5 syllables.
"Oh we're so PRT"- 6 syllables. Source (Comment 1)
Oct. 28: Back to the Frog subject, the Minnesota anti-PRT activist posted pictures of the Frog 'Phileas' peoplemover and an ULTra PRT vehicle. Horrors! They both seem to have doors and four wheels! Maybe that's why he thinks innovative technologies are no better than automobiles. At any rate, he fails to mention the fact that Phileas, while not yet suitable for urban rapid transit, works.
Oct. 29:
For a real time-waster, read the silly announcement about Dubai and Heathrow on the Planetizen websiteSource
Yes, real silly: the article reports that Peter Calthorpe (only the head of the Congress for New Urbanism"recently advised Dubai and has also called for new transit circulation technology "that offers fundamentally different choices in mobility and access" as a complement to existing smart growth tools." Now it can also be told: the Minnesota anti-PRT activist is against progressive New Urbanism/"smart growth" policies.

Nov. 5: Back to the start of this history: the Kuwaiti article that featured Glen Thorn and Parsons Brinckerhoff. The Minnesota anti-PRT activist claims that Thorn told him "I am not aware of any PRT system being designed or built in Dubai." Well, why should he? The article itself reports Dubai's team is led by Mitsubishi, not Parsons. Interesting that the Minnesota anti-PRT activist mentions nothing about what Thorn said about PRT as an option for Kuwait. If the article is wrong/false, why no blanket denial from Thorn that PB is doing any PRT work, rather than a very narrow statement on Dubai? Are we to believe he asked Thorn nothing on that subject? The Minnesota anti-PRT activist did report he had difficulty in doing research:
I could not find a direct link to this particular story to the Arab Times web site. Adding further intrigue to this snarky tale of PRT disinformation is the fact that the Arab Times's mailing address is a post office box in Houston Texas. Source
As though there can only be one Arab Times. There's at least one other, in Kuwait, which would explain why the article was about transit in Kuwait City. And I'll give the Minnesota anti-PRT activist credit for reporting his own embarrassment:
"dear sir[,] arab times (houston , tx ) has nothing to do with the arabtimesonline which is published in kuwait."
Maybe Mr. Gow can find a direct link for this story and share it with us. Source
We don't ordinarily do research for the opposition, but in this case we'll disclose that the original Arab Times story is quite easy to find, and can be purchased here. So undo the padlock on your coin purse! (Or follow the new link at the end of GTF's copy.)

Also Nov. 5: he casts aspersions on the construction industry news site ITP, and reporter Zoe Naylor:
...see if you can verify the facts in this story:

Sunday, 9 October, 2005 Up the Creek: Extending Dubai’s trading hub to build a new CBD
"Business Bay itself looks set to be well-served in terms of transport. In addition to the Creek extension (which is likely to promote the use of water taxis), the provision of a Public Rapid Transport (PRT) system is being considered within the masterplan." 

I contacted the editor of this web site and he said the reporter, Zoe Naylor would contact me and verify the stuff about PRT in the article. Zoe Naylor never sent me an e-mail.
Just for fun, Google "Zoe Naylor" [link]
Strange place Dubai... lot's [sic] of weird stuff happens there [linkSource
Again, it's so flattering for the opposition to ask us to do their research for them. Like arab news organizations, more than one person can have the same name too. Apparently there's an attractiveAustralian actress named Zoe Naylor. While it's certainly possible she is also a business reporter, I'm guessing that the ITP story was written by a different Zoe Naylor.

But what is really at issue here is that the Minnesota anti-PRT activist is questioning the veracity of reporter-Naylor's work, merely because she wrote about PRT. And he's trying to use Google to associate her with cheesecake photos of actress-Naylor. That's a denigration of reporter-Naylor's professionalism, not to mention anti-feminist. Maybe that's why reporter-Naylor hasn't gotten back to him. Now it can also be told: the Minnesota anti-PRT activist has no problem smearing anyone who writes about PRT, even those who merely report.
Search Zoe Naylor articles at ITP

He should have continued quoting Naylor's article:
"Part of our vision is to be environmentally friendly," says Mohammed Al Dabal, Business Bay Development, Creek Extension, Dubai Properties, "and this means introducing a transport system that reduces car usage." Source
Research shows there is a Creek Extension project, and that it is going to look like this (and it's not the same thing as the DIFC, which means the Minnesota anti-PRT activist can freak out about TWO Dubai PRT projects). But the Minnesota anti-PRT activist is not particularly good at research, as already established.
Any other problems he has with Dubai (such as the borderline-xenophobic remark about "weird stuff"), he needs to take up with Mohammed Al Dabal.

And the purpose of the veritable snowstorm (snow job?) of denial and self-delusion? Probably to buryhis hugely embarrassing claim:
"There is no PRT project in Dubai. And there is no PRT project at London's Heathrow airport either."Minnesota anti-PRT activist
Thank goodness for permalinks. 

Friday, November 04, 2005

Trouble in Paree-dise

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.


Hundreds of cars torched
in French riots

Mysterious tourist from Minnesota sought for questioning
Witnesses heard chants of "death to the highway lobby," "No plus Ultra," "Transit riders do it en masse," "PRTers support Polish plumbers"
Unknown "Kenz Army" claims responsibility

Interpol perplexed by Latin pun

Blast (of warm or cool air) from the past

Remember ***'s bizarre claim that PRT doesn't have heaters or air conditioning, seemingly unable to believe it could even be possible?

Well check out the new picture at SoundPRT. Scroll down and put your cursor on the picture of the silver-gray ULTra PRT vehicle. Look under the passenger seat. Why, those look like HVAC vents, don't they!? And look at this photo of the Skyweb interior. Right there, near the floor: another vent!

*** ******'s response to this post is laughably car-based in its thinking: "passengers would get a hotfoot," he writes, because "the heater in a car needs to blast hot air not only at the passengers, but at the windscreen to keep the moisture from condensing and freezing on the surface. A vent placed only at floor level would be very uncomfortable to say the least."

As one commenter observed (comment 3), you don't need to blast hot air at PRT windows, since being able to see out is not a requirement of an automated vehicle. Merely heating the air in the vehicle to 70 or so degrees keeps passengers comfortable; the warmed air will defog the insides of the windows, and keep the outsides defrosted as well.

And why are PRT vents near the floor? Heat rises. Maybe because he can't see air, warmed or otherwise, *** doesn't believe in it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Finally, the experts take charge

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

A message from the President of the United States.

My fellow 'mericans.

I come before you this eve'nin' to announce a major new in-I-tia-tive that will change the way your gov-er-mint does bidness.

Some have crit-i-sized our Administration for some of our appointments to policy and leadership pos-I-tions.

Without admittin' any MIS-steps, liability, criminal wrongdoin', high crime or MIS-demean-er, I want to assure the 'merican People that, as Prez'dint, I accept full responsibility for mistakes that were made by Michael Brown, Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, David Safavian, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, John Bolton, Patrick Rhode, Brooks Altshuler, David Addington, Michael Chert-off, Harriet Miers, Julie Myers--well, I could go on all night.

It's in order to clean house and rebuild your trust in gov-er-mint that I announce the followin' reorganization of the highest levels of the Fed'ral gov-er-mint and the Cabinet. Startin' today, I am accepting the resignations of the Vice-Prez'dint, all appointed non-judicial Fed'ral officials and Cabinet members. Taking their places will be capable individg-als who I am selecting from a group long-underrepresented in gov-er-mint: professional cartoonists.

That's right. Cartoonists. Cartoonists have much exper-tise to offer our nation, and because they are so creative on a day-to-day basis, I know they will bring that crea-TIV-ity to the impordant job of gov-er-nance.

My first three appointments I will announce right now. For Secretary of State: Bruce Tinsley. Mr. Tinsley's Mallard Fillmore comic strip always makes me laugh. But he makes me think, too. An' that's what's impordant, because a mind- what a turrible thing it is, to waste- can't get fooled again.

For White House domestic policy advisor: Mr. *** ****** of Minneapolis, Minnehaha. He is a tireless champion of logic and common sense. He has been a staunch defender of mass transit projects in his home state of Minnehaha. Such projects are impordant sources of opportunities that help small, strugglin' businesses I care about, like Bechtel, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ch2M Hill, Kiewit, Booz-Allen Hamilton, and Herzog Contracting.

For Secretary of Transportation: Andy Singer. He is a true artist, whose No Exit cartoon has given him the specialized technical knowledge that he can use to keep Americans moving. His skepticism toward Personal Rapid Transit, which is something I can't git my mind around, convinced me it is a lib'ral, radical enviro-mintalist scam. I have looked into his heart, and let me assure you he deserves this appointment. His critics say he hasn't done his homework, but that's what you would call an exagger-A-tion.

These have been difficult times. But I know that in the days ahead, I can count on 35% of you for support.

Thank you, and God bless 'merica and King Features Syndicate.

Erratum: 10226 visitors


Monday, October 31, 2005


Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

That's milestone, not 'millstone.' A milestone is something like

"Over 10,000 visitors since July 25, 2005"

Whereas an example of a millstone is *** ******.

Erratum: 10070 visitors since July 25, 2005


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Never Mind The ***, Here's PRT

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

A Mr. Jonathan Rotten of the United Kingdom (actually reader Ryan Kennedy) contributes these lyrics, to the tune of everyone's favorite punk anthem (sorry, certain bad words are BLEEPed):

PRT in the UK

Rrright.... NOWWW! hahahaha,

He thinks it's the anti-christ.
He thinks it's anti-trans-iite
He thinks it's all a bunch of sh-iite.

He don't know what he wants but he knows it ain't gadgetbahn
He wanna DESTROY passer-by.

But I..... I wanna be... PRT
In the city!

PRT for the UK, it's coming sometime maybe
Get there the wrong time it don't stop the traffic line... unlike LRT
Your future dream is a beam above the street
Cos I...

I wanna beeee PRT!
In the city!
It's the only way to be!

How many ways to get where you want?
I use the best,
BLEEPuse's the rest that's second best.
I use
BLEEP's enemy, I use... P! R! T! cos I.....

I wanna BE... PRT
In the city!
Follow me!

Is this the ATRA?
Or is this the U.L.T.R.A.?
Or is this the T2C?
I thought it was the UK, or just....
another country.....
another council tendency

And III wanna beee....PRT!
And IIII wanna beeeeeee......PRT!
And IIIIIII wanna beeeeeee........PRT!
It's the only way to be!

And I wanna beeee gadgetist!
Get this? Employ!

original lyrics


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Huge Embarassment for ***

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

"And there is no PRT project at London's Heathrow airport either.
The PRTers are always saying there's a PRT project in the works somewhere. It's all bogus.

I suspect this recent batch of PRT misinformation is being put out there to help Dean Zimmermann."
-***, 10/18/2005

Check it out:

Advanced Transport Systems announces deal with UK airports agency for Heathrow PRT

Driverless pods to get airport users off to a flying start

Well ***, I hope you enjoyed your losing battle to forestall the future.

Erratum: 9507 visitors


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Because PRT has air conditioning!

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

*** is fond of bandying about a study performed by Parsons Brinckerhoff for OKI (Cincinnati), "proving" that PRT is unsound from an engineering standpoint. Nevermind that Parsons's study was itself unsound (2nd item in table).

So you gotta laugh your ass off at this article, published last June in the Arab Times, in which a Parsons rep promotes PRT as a transit solution for Kuwait City. All is forgiven, PB-- kiss kiss.

More: Transit's high frontier
Background: *** claims PRT doesn't have AC

Errata: 8218 visitors
Fun with Google Images
Is this ***?


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Let's Be Disruptive!

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

One of *** ******'s Talking Points is that PRT is

an excuse by pro-highway/anti-transit Republicans... to block funding for [conventional transit]. This is why, perhaps, Taxi 2000/Skyweb Corporation's leader, Ed Anderson, refers to PRT as a "disruptive technology". Source
He thinks "disruptive" means destructive. But it's been well documented, here and elsewhere, how *** doesn't understand what the term means -- basically, enter the market at a low level, then move 'up'.

And here's another example of someone who DOES understand it: National Geographic--

If prices continued to drop, solar cells might change the whole idea of energy by making it cheap and easy for individuals to gather for themselves. That's what techies call a "disruptive technology."

"Automobiles were disruptive to the horse and buggy business," [PowerLight Corp.'s] Dan Shugar says. "PCs were disruptive to the typewriter industry. We believe solar electric systems will be disruptive to the energy industry."
Source: "Future Power," National Geographic, Aug. 2005

We can find a parallel in ***'s position in Google. He's been so busy cruising the internet, posting links to his own web pages in blogs and discussion forums, that if you Google "PRT," *** is in the first page of results. That is a strong 'market' position. So, PRT supporters, let's practice some disruption of our own, and move the targets of ***'s hate 'up market.' Do it by visiting these PRT-friendly sites and URLs as much as you can, every day:

:: "PRT Is a Joke" Is a Joke!
:: Skyweb Express
:: Citizens For PRT
:: ULTra
:: Councilman Dean Zimmermann
:: Dean Zimmermann Fact Sheet
:: Dean Zimmermann on Minnesota Public Radio
:: Interview with David Tilsen of Zimmermann For Justice (.rm)
:: Get There Fast Seattle PRT site
:: Get On Board! PRT Seattle PRT site

Erratum: 7004 visitors

Friday, September 30, 2005


Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

A civil, issue-oriented reader forum, accompanying a Seattle P-I op-ed on BUS Rapid Transit, was disrupted today by a poster going by the name "Soul not sold to road warriors." "Soul"'s comments bear an intriguing similarity to those of ***:

Soul not sold, 9/30/2005 (#2481 & 2488)Known ***-ism
"for more on the BRT scam""for more on the PRT scam"
"VERY VERY wrong (and borderline fringe) for over three decades""PRT has a solid 30-year record of failure"
"Harkness' mad scientist / academic mayhem""pathetic Ed Anderson" "refers to PRT as a disruptive technology"
"absolutely loony and cult-like PRT""PRT is a modern Cargo Cult"

Well OF COURSE "Soul" is ***, all the signs are there:

:: No one mentioned PRT, he brought it up.
:: He immediately goes to the personal attack.

Erratum: 6277 visitors

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Framed like a picture at Aaron Brothers

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

Posted in the "Mpls" newsgroup, 9/22/2005:

It looks like US attorney, Tom Hefflefinger is attempting to frame up and assassinate the character of Minneapolis City Council Member Dean Zimmermann. Hefflefinger obtained a search warrant and was poised to move forward with a grand jury investigation on the basis of fabricated evidence that was released to the public and accompanied by a sensational mid-afternoon raid just days before the 2005 primary election.

The linchpin [sic] of the Hefflefinger's [sic] case against Zimmermann is an audio-video tape recording of Dean Zimmermann allegedly being asked what he wanted, to which Dean allegedly replied "Money, money, money." The US attorney has refused to release that audio tape. However, the date of that alleged meeting between Zimmermann and the FBI's cooperating witness coincides with the date of a well publicized birthday party for Dean Z. In an interview with Minneapolis issues list member Wizard Marks ..., Dean Zimmermann reportedly admitted saying that he wanted "Money, money, money," in response to the question, "What do you want for your birthday, Dean?" which was shouted across the room in the presence of about 100 witnesses, according to Dean Z and his wife, Jenny Heiser.

Update: Pulse commentator's blog debunks allegations

The Pulse


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

And the winner is

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

Coinciding with the Emmys, we awarded the first ever Golden Polygraph, or "Polly," to The Gomezticator, a blogger who wrote about Monorail. PRT was mentioned, and so 2 days later he received an anonymous comment from *** ******. But instead of just
taking *** at face value, The Gomezticator actually did his homework, drew his own conclusions, and proceeded to rip *** a new one:

...Everything else you linked just reeks of a mean-spirited, almost fanatical hatred for the [PRT] idea.

The fact that there is a website devoted entirely to slamming the proposal at length based on two failed proposals in two cities and indiscretions involved with those proposals is more telling than anything else. I love all the mean spirited photoshops and flash. Real stand-up, mature effort there. It comes off like something out of Craigslist Rants and Raves. Why such a fervent hatred?... Your obvious fear of this system is irrational, especially if it's as unviable as you claim it to be.

What flaws were found in the Cincinnati study? Why did [*** ******] decline to mention the flaws and cite particular items in the study? Because they might have been correctible?

Erratum: 4773 visitors


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fed up

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

Reader "R" is tired of *** and his propaganda:

I find it weird/amusing that *** acts like PRT is some 800 lb gorilla, a dire threat to transit funding. In reality, the other transit options (LRT, Monorail, bus) run circles around PRT as far as public funding goes. He belly-aches about $625,000 planning studies, calling them outrageous wastes of money. $625,000 is a lot of money to an individual, but it is chump change to govts. Govts routinely spend tons of money on studies, some of which they never use to actually build anything.

...big states could easily fund a pilot PRT system. Even if it were a total flop, they could handle it.

He acts like PRT is derailing other transit projects left & right. In reality they just built a huge LRT line in Minneapolis for hundreds of millions of dollars. The best reaction I get when I talk to policy makers is, "That's interesting, but we need to go with existing systems. Come back when another city has a successful working system."

Erratum: 4450 visitors


Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

A letter to a Minneapolis newspaper bears striking similarity to a typical ****** disinformation piece.

June 3, 2005
"Investigate PRT"
by Barb Lickness
May 27, 2005
"What About Transportation?"
by ******

Highway expansion will be an important issue in the upcoming 6th Ward Council election.

There can be no greater contrast in Councilmember Robert Lilligren's and Councilmember Dean Zimmermann's solutions to this vital issue.

Robert Lilligren supports conventional, proven transit solutions and Dean Zimmermann wants to try an unproven and untested "system" called PRT or Personal Rapid Transit.

Robert Lilligren should not be expected to debate Dean Zimmermann on PRT. Robert Lilligren doesn't know very much about PRT, nor should he; there is not a single successful, large-scale PRT system like the one Zimmermann proposes anywhere in the world.

The Southwest Journal needs to do an investigative article explaining exactly what the PRT "system" is and whether it is feasible. It should also investigate PRT's 30-year history of failure and controversy. The article should get the opinions of transportation professionals and skeptics as well as PRT proponents.

Readers should also know that the would-be PRT vendor, Taxi 2000 Corporation is currently suing its founder and former CEO in Hennepin District Court. They should also know that outspoken opponents of light rail transit promote PRT. Readers should also know that the proponents are selling the taxpayers a "certification test facility," not a viable, full-fledged system. MnDOT has no authority to "certify" PRT. Even PRT proponents will admit that they are at least 10 years from delivering a product [sic] assuming their research and development is successful.

There is plenty to suggest that
the Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit will be promoting Zimmermann's PRT plan for the 6th Ward between now and the election. The voters of the 6th Ward need an independent and unbiased evaluation of Zimmermann's PRT plan. Without an investigative article on PRT, the electorate will no doubt be confused
on this crucial issue.

Barb Lickness

The DFL needs to do a better job opposing highway expansion which leads to more sprawl and more suburbs and destruction of urban communities.
As Scott Russell pointed out in the article on MnDOT's plans for the Downtown Commons, highway expansion will likely be an important issue in the upcoming 6th Ward Council election.

Robert Lilligren should not be expected to debate Dean Zimmermann on PRT. Robert Lilligren doesn't know much about PRT and nor should he... There is not a single successful, large-scale PRT system like the one Zimmermann proposes anywhere in the world. Lilligren would look SILLY debating PRT with Zimmermann

The Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit will be promoting Zimmermann's PRT plan for the 6th Ward between now and the election. The voters of the 6th Ward need an independant and unbiased evaluation of Zimmermann's PRT plan. Without an investigative article on PRT soon, the voters will no doubt be confused on the real transportation issues that matter most to the 6th Ward.

Please contact the Star Tribune, the Southwest Journal and the Skyway News and ask for an article on PRT now.

Also, the would-be PRT vendor who would benefit from the tax breaks and subsidies in the PRT bills, Taxi 2000 Corporation is in Hennepin District Court, suing its founder and former CEO, J. Edward Anderson.

To learn more about the PRT scam:
Personal Rapid Transit - Cyberspace Dream Keeps Colliding With Reality

"The Road Less Traveled: The pros and cons of personal rapid transit. " by Troy Pieper

Minnesota PRT Skeptic Web site

Two questions come to mind: First, who is Barb Lickness? Turns out, she ran against Zimmerman in 2001. And second, has anyone ever seen Lickness and ****** in the same place at the same time?

Monday, September 12, 2005

What did *** know & when did he know it?

Originally published at "PRT Is A Joke" IS A JOKE v.1
Words written with wildcards (***, !!!, etc.) was the way we originally wrote
Ken Avidor, Ken, and Avidor.

Dean Zimmerman, a pro-PRT member of the Minneapolis City Council, is being investigated by the FBI.

Regardless of whether one supports Zimmerman or his policies, the timing of the search of Zimmerman's home, 5 days before the primary election, is clearly political.

We have to remember not only that these are only accusations against Zimmerman, but also that PRT does not equal one person, as *** seems to think. PRT was invented long before Zimmerman came along. Zimmerman also supports education and the environment, but we wouldn't say his problems mean "the end of the education/environment scam in Minnesota."

A more interesting question is how *** seemed to already know about the investigation on Sept. 4. Think about it: a hack cartoonist, not working for a news organization, knowing about a criminal investigation. In fact, he was hinting as early as Aug. 23 (see "8/23/05 6:31 p.m.") that he was sitting on interesting news.1

It's rather unlikely that a cartoonist has a pipeline into the FBI. Much more likely: *** has a first or secondhand connection to a DFL2 or Resmuglican official or campaign. Politicians knowing ahead of time, and telling a hack like *** ******, helps validate suspicions of a smear.

*** associated with a smear; what are the odds of that?

Erratum: 4247 visitors

1. The interesting news was not his accusation that Citizens for PRT violated its nonprofit status (see "H&R Blockhead," Sept. 6): *** had already gone public with that on Aug. 14.

2. Here's someone who knew: "Also Friday, Council Vice President Robert Lilligren, who faces Zimmermann in Tuesday's nonpartisan municipal primary election because the redistricting placed the two incumbents in the same ward, said he was interviewed by [FBI Special Agent David] Kukura." Source