March 20th, 2016
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Going by the latest information by NHAI, India could get its first Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) network. A personal rapid transit (PRT) network is made up of small automated vehicles running at close intervals on a guide-way with docking stations for passengers to get on and off. According to global standards, a pod could accommodate 2-6 person, the Indian pod is expected to accommodate 5 persons. The average speed of the pod is expected to be 60 KM/Hour. The stand out feature of the pod is, it could be hired by one person and it could bypass the stations and take you to the destination straight without having to stop in between.
The National Highways Authority of India will invite global bids for the project. The pilot project will span a 13 km stretch from the Gurgaon-Delhi border to Badshapur Mod on Sohna Road and is estimated to cost Rs 850 crore. For the pilot project route, 16 stations have been planned, starting near Ambience Mall. A senior NHAI official said the network would be built within a year of the contract being awarded. Investors are expected to recuperate the cost in a span of 25 years through ticketing.
Clearance & Cost
The NHAI official said land required for the project is already available with it and Haryana government agencies. The project does not need forest and environmental clearance. According to estimates prepared by the NHAI, while building a kilometer of Metro costs at least Rs 250 crore and of monorail Rs 200 crore, the Metrino system can be built with just Rs 70 crore. It’s lighter as well.
A sneak peek into the history and other locations of PRT
The world’s oldest and most extensive PRT system is in Morgantown, West Virginia. It has been in continuous operation since 1975. Some of the other famous locations where the PRT’s run are:
1. London Heathrow Airport
2. Masdar, UAE
3. Suncheon, South Korea
The Logical Indian congratulates the NHAI and the respective governments on the initiative, we wish them good luck on the implementation of the project. We also request the NHAI and the respective governments to look into the viability and feasibility of the projects given the fact that PRT has not been implemented in large scale anywhere. The question of whether PRT suits Indian traffic needs also needs to be made clear. If it is convincingly a good idea for India, we welcome it whole heartedly.