Ultra-style podcars fail all transport system objectives and have a number of fatal flaws

Submitted by john on Tue, 17/12/2019 - 15:41

Elevated two-way podcar tracks would have substantial and expensive structures, suitable only for a network of principal routes, 1,300km in length, similar to the Metropolitan route numbering system, on a 1.5km grid, with grade separation of cross routes, 4,000 elevated stops with lifts, and the “last mile” serviced by 700km of feeder modes such as local buses. Restricted vertical alignment dictates elevated stops. Vehicles will have small capacity, like cars, and similar track to cars, permitting personal routes within the coarse podcar network, but with change of mode to feeder routes. They will have off-line stops and turns, allowing high capacity and trip speed. The structures will reduce capacity of arterial roads. Supported podcars will be able to attract some people away from cars because of reliability and trip time, but because of vehicle weight and structure cost, their profitability is marginal.
As a result, Supported Podcars will:
* not reduce crashes, but will have few diverted trips;
* have no monitoring, have increased exposure during travel, at vehicle change, and when waiting, so will greatly increase assaults;
* not improve amenity by reducing car traffic, but will destroy any remaining amenity by increasing visual blight with oppressive structures, and not attract many people away from cars, so retaining pollution;
* not remove congestion, but make it much much worse by reducing capacity;
* not make trip times faster, but make congested trips much slower;
* not generate extra revenue, but may be able to recover costs;
* not create more jobs, but the massive costs required and the increased congestion created will forego and waste many more jobs, far in excess of the jobs created by construction;
* not create trip time reliability, but will increase the number of traffic incidents and void any possibility of managed traffic;
* not reduce CO2, but the increased congestion will reduce the benefits accruing from reduced emissions by cars;
* and it is not cheap enough to improve rural service.
In short, it fails all objectives, including badly on amenity and has fatal flaws of visual blight, reduced road capacity, and not enough mode change. It gives worse service.

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