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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH DIGEST

ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE

e-mail jsemmens@cox.net

NOVEMBER 2005

Assessment of a Personal Rapid Transit System within a University Campus and Surrounding Community by Wei He, E. Dean Landman, and Eugene R. Russell, Kansas State University, Dept of Civil Engineering; 2118 Fiedler Hall Manhattan, Kansas 66502 (Kansas Department of Transportation, Bureau of Materials and Research, 700 SW Harrison Street, Topeka, Kansas 66603-3754) (May 2005)

Highlights

a PRT as modeled in this study would relieve traffic congestion

a PRT system on the KSU main campus would save travel time for each traveler by an average of 10%

the radial PRT was found to improve the system mobility service much more than the loop PRT could

The main objective of this study was to develop a comprehensive, but relatively simple methodology to model and assess the impact on mobility that a PRT system would have on a university campus, and demonstrate the usefulness of the methodology on select campus transportation scenarios. Although the technical viability of PRT systems has been studied and debated ever since the PRT concept germinated in the late 1950s, before this study no significant effort has been made to develop appropriate modeling tools and analysis techniques, with data available from various university departments; to model multi modal travel demand within and around a university campus, including driving, walking, parking and riding PRT, and to assess the mobility impact of a PRT in this setting.

A multimodal, integrated transportation network was constructed to represent each of the transportation alternatives including the existing no-PRT transportation system and two PRT augmented transportation systems in the study area. This method of

network construction integrates various modal subsystems including roadway, sidewalks, PRT (in a PRT augmented system), and parking lots into a fully interconnected, multi modal network. Traditional transportation models usually represent roadway and public transit as separate networks whereas sidewalks and parking lots are rarely included in the network.

From the analysis of model results and formulation of a system metric for evaluating the mobility that each transportation alternative would provide on the KSU campus, the following conclusions can be made:

1) Person Miles of Travel (PMT) is an effective parameter for comparatively assessing the performance of roadway and sidewalks in different transportation scenarios. Significant reduction of PMT from roadway and sidewalks indicates that a PRT as modeled in this study would relieve traffic congestion and level of service of the two modal subsystems.

2) Analysis of Person Hours of Travel (PHT) shows that: (1) a PRT system on the KSU main campus would save travel time for each traveler by an average of 10%, and, (2) an appropriately designed and constructed PRT system has the potential to attract significant ridership. More than 18% of trips generated in the study area included PRT as part of the route. A PRT could attract an annual ridership of more than two million.

3) The radial-PRT scenario reduced total daily parking delay by 22%, with the total usage of parking-total number of vehicles

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