Personal Automated Transportation:
Status and Potential of Personal Rapid Transit, September 2002

A report by the Personal Rapid Transit Technical Committee of the Advanced Transit Association.

Read Executive Summary now, or see below for full distribution.


Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is defined as direct origin-to-destination service with no stops, using small fully automatic vehicles on a dedicated guideway. It promises a low cost way to provide service that is widely dispersed throughout a region. The Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) produced this report to encourage better understanding of PRT. The advantages in service and cost of PRT over mass transit are discussed. Design details and tradeoffs of PRT are enumerated. Fourteen of the PRT systems now under development are examined. At least $60M has been spent on engineering on these systems, including prototypes. Many evaluation points were considered for each system, including visual and geometric factors, market readiness, propulsion, switching, capacity, control, and cost. Nothing was found in the evaluations that would suggest that PRT is not viable in revenue operation. Approximate costs of a PRT system of $3.4 M/km ($5 M/mile) (one way) can be projected, based on a combination of actual prototype costs, bids, and several comprehensive costing studies. It is proposed that local governments update permitting requirements to legalize PRT, and follow rigorous planning and evaluation practices so that PRT systems are compared fairly with other systems on the basis of their ability to meet well-defined public goals. 224 pages in 5 volumes.


Bob Dunning, committee chair
Ian Ford, report editor

Committee Members:
Rob Bernstein
Catie Burke
Dennis Cannon
Jerry Kieffer
Dennis Manning
David Maymudes
Jeral Poskey
       Joe Shapiro
Markus Szillat
Göran Tegnér
Ron Thorstad
David Ward
Michael Weidler
William Wilde

Read/Download Contents Here

Introductory and summary material: Main report: Supplements:

Report distribution

The report may be obtained:

1. On this web site:

2. Printed copies are also available. Contact Bob Dunning at Printing and mailing costs for the complete report are $50, or $15 for the summary only.