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

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Innovative ideas from an unlikely source

The biggest skeptic of Personal Rapid Transit has done the technology a favor, and his actions are winning praise from PRTistas and gadgetbahners everywhere.

Mr. Len Humidor, the PRT critic from Minneapolis, read recent coverage in The Times of London about ATS Limited's Heathrow PRT project, and he noticed something amiss. The story describes the PRT as traveling on elevated guideways and, in later phases, "along ground-level routes separated from other traffic by 8ft walls."

The reference to 8 foot walls grabbed Mr. Humidor's attention. In his blog, he commented:

... so if your battery-powered, glorified PRT golf cart breaks down, you'll either be up in the air or trapped between 8-ft walls. Source

This observation quickly spread like wildfire across the World Wide Web, and made its way to ATS. Company CEO Marvin Polson knows a genius when he encounters one, and he soon had his design team taking up Humidor's challenge.

"It seemed obvious what he was telling us," Polson said. "And that was that if we use walls to separate on-ground guideway from traffic and pedestrians, we need to put doors in the walls."

"Len Humidor is like some kind of modern-day Einstein," continued Polson. "I mean, my team and I have cumulatively hundreds of years of advanced engineering experience. We would never have thought of something so advanced as putting doors in walls, so PRT riders can get out of the vehicles and off the guideway in an emergency."

K. Bedford Andreson, engineer and foremost PRT thinker, slapped his forehead when he heard of the innovative door proposal. "Good lord, we have to remember to put doors on the vehicles as well," Andreson exclaimed.

"Leave it to a cartoonist to be the true expert in technology innovation," said Barry Mabian, treasurer of the PRTista Advanced Transit Association. "I've been critical in the past of Humidor and his tactics, but PRT owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude for pointing out this serious design flaw," Mabian said.

"Truly, Len Humidor shall henceforth be known as the man to whom PRT owes its success. In my book, Len Humidor is from this day forward a gadgetbahner," said Mabian.

Ken Avidor - some kinda freakin' genius

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