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

Friday, October 10, 2008


Slap the truth-cuffs on Kennel Ration the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist, another of his 'conjectures' has come up empty.

Back when the second Podcar City Conference was wrapping up, Labridor was making up all kinds of stuff about it not being a success (without attending in order to see for himself, natch):

"Podcar conference a bust," went one claim.

More guesswork: "I'm sure they also expected to see some national publicity come out about the conference. In the last few days... (crickets)." [ellipsis in original]

Is this supposed to mean "elitism"? "The Ithaca Podcar Conference Charging Students $60 (no food)"

And: "Only a handful of Ithacans showed up at the State Theater"

Well a photo record of the conference has finally been posted, and nothing refutes empty lies like some pictures:


Day 1

At the press lunch

These are students! (Maybe $60 was a lot when Humidor was a student, back in the Coolidge Administration)

And how about these for media coverage? Do these qualify?
Rep. Hinchey Visits C.U. For Podcar Convention 9-15-08
Can PRT, or Podcars, Replace the Automobile? 9-18-08
Ithaca takes a hard look at podcars 9-20-08 (NY Times)
Ithaca, NY, wants to be America's 1st podcar city 10-10-08 (AP, which is therefore picked up all over the place)

Far from a bust, then. Any comment, Kenwood? Kenwood? (crickets)

Also: "over 100 people" attended the State Theater event

Ken Avidor used to be Ken Weiner, but decided to give up his meat name


eflink said...

Have you noticed the rash of PRT articles in Internet media like Huffington Post, Autoblog Green & Treehugger recently?

Mr_Grant said...

I have! They are all copies of, or referring to, the AP's story. The reporter is supposed to be the guy at the press lunch wearing the dark tie.

eflink said...

Many of them are direct copies of the AP story referring to Jake Roberts, but several have added their own content, which is heartening - indicates some actual interest.

Couple of other news bits were of a City Councilwoman in San Rafael proposing PRT there & a blog item indicating PRT interest, a community feedback meeting in Portland & Oakland developer Phil Tagami proposing a PRT line from the old Oakland train station to Oakland Airport, potentially intersecting the Calthorpe-proposed Alameda line.

We seem to be hitting a time of increased interest - can I start throwing around the term "critical mass"?

Mr_Grant said...

I don't think we can use that term until we get at least two of these three things:

1. Citizens start advocating for PRT at transit strategic planning meetings across the country;

2. A transit agency assesses PRT for a planning process, and does not dismiss it as Not Proven/Low Capacity.

3. PRT is in next session's transportation bill in Congress, as proposed by Rep. Hinchey.

eflink said...

Hmmm ... item 3 there is pretty specific, anything you'd like to share?

Mr_Grant said...

Nothing secret. Dependable multi-year federal funding is necessary to stoke R&D of competing viable systems. There are also issues such as interoperability that could be achieved in a scheduled, planned way if there is a comprehensive development-funding plan up front.