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

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

See How He Makes It Up

Originally published ©2005 Get On Board! PRT

Some especially weak anti-PRT propaganda

(Updated 7/20/2006) That Minnesota anti-PRT activist (who gets upset when I don't use his name, so I won't) doesn't just distort PRT information and repeat it ad nauseous. He also just makes stuff up out of whole cloth. A prime example:
He Claims:The Facts:
In a recent Star Tribune article by Laurie Blake, she reported that Dubai is considering a PRT system, but I can find no information on this on the web. I have found stories about Dubai investing in a $3 billion light rail system.
I think it's highly dubious that Dubai would invest in an unproven system that doesn't even have air conditioners. If the ULTra system did have air conditioning, it would suck the batteries ULTra runs on after a few minutes in the 100-plus degrees summer heat.
1. I have seen the RFP, it exists. The Emirate of Dubai obviously feels no need to post it for all the world to see.

2. From Skyloop.org documents listing the quantities and weights of Taxi 2000 (Skyweb) components:
"Compressor with motor for Air Conditioner (Delphi Auto)... 10.9 [lbs.]
Ventilation system... 1... 9 [lbs.]
Electric heater... 1... 3 [lbs.]
Air conditioner... 1... 25.6 [lbs.]"
Caught, he decides to pick nits:The Reality:
tell me, for instance where ULTra or Taxi 2000 installed air conditioners in their prototype pictures
A source with access to the Skywebproject reports that the red prototype vehicle has air vents and a place to mount a compressor. Whether the prototype, which is located indoors at Taxi 2000's offices, has a compressor mounted in it right nowis immaterial: that is not the idea theMinnesota anti-PRT activist meant to plant in readers' minds when he wrote "doesn't even have air conditioners"
Martin Lowson of ULTra has provided us with this information:
"[It is not installed in the Cardiff demonstrators, because unlike Dubai] we can meet cooling needs here by ventilation [outside air through vents].
     Air conditioning [for places like Dubai] will be available on our production vehicle. We will use standard automotive components for this. These are of pretty small size and can be located anywhere you like. We will probably locate the heat exchange unit [for places like Minnesota] below at the front as in a car, but we are still considering the possibility of a system in the roof.
     We will minimize the power [for AC] required by parking the vehicles in the shade [e.g. in stations]. This means a power load which is less than 1kW."

The ULTra team has considered battery charge life and recharging—obvious variables, why theMinnesota anti-PRT activist would think no one would plan for them is anyone's guess. ULTra found that the battery can be topped-off in just 1 minute after a typical two-mile trip.
Distortion. Uninformed speculation. And now fabrication.

There are many people who oppose PRT. But they understand the basics of PRT, and have evaluated it on its merits. Their opposition is derived from the way they rank PRT's performance on transit service factors, relative to such other factors as perceived social benefits and stimulus of urban redevelopment. How pro- and anti-PRT sides rank the various priorities differ, but the differences are mostly subjective.

At least the majority of the opponents attempt to characterize PRT accurately when they evaluate it. The Minnesota anti-PRT activist is not one of those.

"If God had wanted me in the subway, he would have made it air conditioned. And it's not. The trains are, every once in a while. But the platform? No baby! There is no air in there!"

Randi Rhodes
The Randi Rhodes Show
July 20, 2006

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