Higherway logo Requirements and Rationale

Higherway System Requirements

The system requirements are derived from the primary goals; for a metropolitan area: reduce traffic congestion, improve people's mobility, and make a profit for transit system owners. (If the owner is a non-profit or government organization the profit could be used to pay for paratransit or other service). A secondary goal is to gain >30% market share of commuters. Based on these goals, there is a general requirement that for at least 30% of commuters the transit system must provide a quicker, cheaper, safer, more reliable way of going where they want to go than any alternative mode of transportation they may have.

Means must be provided to clear the track of vehicles in case of accidents, power failures and other equipment breakdowns. Vehicles must be able to back up. Means must be provided for riders to leave the vehicles and return to ground level at any point along the track if the vehicles become immobile for more than a half hour due to accident or failure.

PAT systems planned for installation in the USA must comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act for demand-response operations of small vehicles. The system must be usable by blind and deaf people and it must give essentially the same level of service for a person in a wheelchair plus attendant or guide animal as it does for able-bodied people.

Personal automated transport can satisfy the above requirements. If implemented properly, an electrically-powered, computer-controlled, grade-separated, system with small, fast vehicles and off-line stops will be safer and more reliable than any of the present transit modes which compete with and collide with surface traffic. (Elevated monorail vehicles never bump into pedestrians, bicyclists, cars, trucks or buses.)

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This page last updated June 1, 2003