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

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tick tock

Almost like clockwork, Ben Humidor the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist has grasped a straw of apparent hope for his anti-innovation jihad. He's saying ATS Ltd.'s ULTra at Heathrow is delayed:

From the BAA 2005:
On successful completion of all the milestones a year long pilot scheme will be introduced at Heathrow airport in 2008.
From the BBC on Monday:
Heathrow Airport operator BAA said the guided vehicles should be up and running in 2009.
No mention in the article or at the ULtra [sic] site why the project has been delayed a year (of course). Source

Is Kenwood suggesting that no conventional transit project has ever fallen behind schedule? But is this even the case with ULTra? The key is: what does he think "introduce" means? Or "up and running"?

As usual, it's up to me to do his research for him. Two sources with the ULTra project say, first, there is no known schedule change and, second, that ULTra will begin its shakedown in 2008. Public service will be early/mid-2009.

How did I get this information? Unlike the Labridor, I ask people questions. Whereas what he does is guesswork from a distance.

In short -- it's a big project. It's a first; they have set fairly wide target windows for completing the various stages. They don't want it fast, they want it right -- pleasing one Minnesota cartoonist is not the objective. Parsing press articles to divine clues about 'problems' will always bear fruit, because the parser wants them to be there. It's just nitpicking.

What Kiln Ovendoor sounds like is nervous. The first modern Personal Rapid Transit is on its way (new BBC video - Real | WMP; and ITN video @CNN). ATS is poised for growth, with a new CEO with extensive rail industry experience. In Kenthorpe's future could be a hearty meal of crow, with a choice of two sides from a menu that includes complete & utter defeat, abject failure, shame, mockery, and humiliation.

The clock is ticking.

Recently: even proven technology needs testing

Dec. 24 -- Yup. Real nervous: 1, 2, 3 *

* Read our 2004 article Priming The Pump: why innovation doesn't threaten vital services; funding instruments provide a lot of protection against boondoggles (it's not perfect, but it's better than dictatorship-by-cartoonist). Ask yourself why the Propagandist wants Transit to continue to be the only economic sector that doesn't plan for innovation.

BOO! Why so nervous, Ken Avidor?

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