Why can't People Movers break out of the Airport?

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Why can't People Movers break out of the Airport?
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:33 PM

The People mover concept was started as the Skybus in Pittsburgh which would have been a 200 mile system that was used as the escuse by PAT to dismantle most of the streetcar system since Skybus was going to be next big thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpS5ess9VNc  In the 1970s USDOT had a competition for a Fed Funded People mover Cleveland,Detroit and Miami applied and Detroit and Miami won the contract. Detroit people mover was under used as its downtown went into swift decay in the 1980s the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBl5YxHR89w. Jacksonville goes from one end of the river to the other but Jacksonville is the Pittsburgh Armpit of Florida and no one was on it when I was there. There are a few in Vegas for the hotels there. But as far as a actaul people mover that moves people in a downtown or a distance over 2 miles I cant think of one. Every Airport seems to have one but actauly extending the people mover as part of a larger system to get people to the airport from downtown is unthinkable.

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Posted by Ed Kyle on Thursday, May 24, 2018 9:08 AM

Some people movers connect to rapid transit systems, allowing users to reach "downtown" via. a connection.   At Newark airport, you can ride an actual monorail to reach a rail connection, for example.

People movers (I'm thinking about the automated, elevated, rubber wheel type) typically cost a lot per mile to build, probably have high operating and maintenance costs, aren't high speed, and aren't typically designed to handle big crowds of mass commuters.  The reason you don't see them much outside airports is probably simply due to the fact that there are cheaper, better mass transit alternatives.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, May 24, 2018 4:13 PM

I suspect as I have heard this before is that Airport $$$$$ comes from a diffrent pot then Rail $$$$$ and that highway money comes from a diffrenrt pot then Highway $$$$ and none of the 3 shall mix. Airport monorails comes from FAA and cant be used for transit outside the airport

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:14 PM

Morgantown West Virginia has a "Personal Rapid Transit". Back in the '70's I went to Pittsburgh and rode the Westinghouse test unit in the Park. On a later trip to Washington DC, I went through Morgantown and rode this system. It wasn't built by Westinghouse however. 

Not too impressive, with only five stations and 70 "vehicles. 

You can read about it here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgantown_Personal_Rapid_Transit

Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit.jpg

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:16 PM

That Morgantown System was built when People Movers were a vision of George Jetson and the Jimmy Carter Oil Embargo

 

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:45 PM

Ed Kyle
Some people movers connect to rapid transit systems, allowing users to reach "downtown" via. a connection.   At Newark airport, you can ride an actual monorail to reach a rail connection, for example. . . . 

Phoenix AZ (PHX) airport has a people mover that at it's east end connects to the light rail system, which is the way to get downtown.  

At PHL (Philadelphia) the peole mover to/ from the airport facilities and the SEPTA trains at the airport are those 2 things at the bottom of your legs . . . Mischief

- PDN. 

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, May 24, 2018 9:09 PM

Let's not forget that many airports are miles from downtown destinations.  

I would liken people movers to good old fashioned trolleys - they're how you get around once you get there (which was often by train).  And today, the people movers are connecting with other mass transit modes.

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Posted by Gramp on Thursday, May 24, 2018 9:33 PM

Very difficult to fend off established interests when trying to introduce a new technology in a political environment.  I spoke with Ed Anderson some years ago, who developed the Taxi 2000/Skyweb Express personal rapid transit system.  He wasn't able to get it off the ground, so to speak.  Competing, anti-type people would conduct disruptive smear campaigns whenever a city, etc. became interested in his system.

https://web.archive.org/web/20100520231941/http://www.prtnz.com/index2.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=46&Itemid=37

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, May 25, 2018 10:02 AM

Most, if not all, airport people movers do not involve a multiplicity of routes.  They usually run in a continuous loop and the only switches are for the equipment to get to and from the shop/storage area.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, May 25, 2018 12:25 PM

and there is the Indy.IN Hospital Monorail It also has pnumatic tubes for biological sample transfer

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Posted by ndbprr on Friday, May 25, 2018 5:42 PM
basically they are elevateds. Certainly not new technology and first you have to get to it. To be done correctly they should run to very remote parking lots and travel at very high speeds. Not gonna happen in my opinion.
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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Friday, May 25, 2018 7:39 PM

An airport "people mover" has a captive clientel, that are all going from the Terminal to the Boarding area (and/or the other way) and do they not stop at every corner and go up and down every side street... it is "Here" (where I am) to "There" (where I wanna be).

I tried to ride the city bus (closest thing to a "people mover" around here) to work one time.  Had to get up an hour earlier, walk 4 blocks to the bus stop, ride all over the neighborhoods in my quadrant of the city before arriving downtown... then I waited 20 minutes for the bus that would take me toward where I worked, and I rode all over the neighborhoods between the downtown and where I worked, and I walked another 4 blocks from the bus stop to the workplace.   An hour and 30 minutes, including the brisk walk of 8 blocks to get to work.

I walked it a couple of times before I retired... took only 45 minutes!  And I could sleep later and still get to work on-time by walking... (but I took my personal 'People Mover' [i.e.: my car] anyway, because my coworkers didn't like my being wet with sweat when I got to work! ... and I got to sleep even later!)

I'd love to ride a "people mover" if it would pick me up at my front porch, and take me to work, or grocery, or pharmacy, or hardware/lumber store, or Wally*Whorled, or well, wherever, (AND back!) without stopping at everybody else's front porch and all the useless places they are going.  And could carry all my groceries, meds, new sink and 3 sheets of plywood, winter coats and boots for the kids, and well... whatever.  And would do it on MY schedule.

If the airport People Mover went from the Terminal to the control tower, to the restaurant,  to the radar installation, to the gift shoppe, to the hangar, to the car rental, to the boarding area, and I had to transfer from one People Mover to another in the middle of all that... I think I would prefer to walk (I pack light and my luggage has wheels!)

 

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, May 26, 2018 2:53 PM

People movers are generally automated buses on a fixed guideway and as such can't do much that a bus can't other than reduce labor costs at the expense of pricy infrastructure.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, May 26, 2018 3:00 PM

Technology - ALL technology

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

         

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, May 26, 2018 3:44 PM

At MSP you can ride Blue Line LRT for free between Terminals 1 and 2.

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:37 PM

NorthWest
People movers are generally automated buses on a fixed guideway and as such can't do much that a bus can't other than reduce labor costs at the expense of pricy infrastructure.

When the Duesseldorf Airport in Germany was rebuilt after a desastrous fire it got a people mover to connect the railway station with parking lots and the main terminal: https://www.dus.com/en/arrival-and-departure/skytrain
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/D%C3%BCsseldorf_-_International_%28Rhein-Ruhr_-_Lohausen%29_%28DUS_-_EDDL%29_AN0361464.jpg
Siemens suffered software problems and the airport operator had to use busses for two years. They learned the economical disadvantages of bus service the hard way despite the high investments for the Sky train and the disadvantage of being part of the traffic congestion on the roads.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by runnerdude48 on Saturday, May 26, 2018 6:55 PM

Semper Vaporo, you did a very good job of explaining why the vast, vast majority of people prefer to drive their own vehicles rather than using mass transportation.  Thank you, I couldn't have said it any better myself.  One of the major reasons I went to college was so that I could get a good job to pay for a vehicle so I wouldn't have to take the bus downtown to work any more.  Now I could work in the suburbs where I lived and wanted to be.

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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:58 PM

runnerdude48

Semper Vaporo, you did a very good job of explaining why the vast, vast majority of people prefer to drive their own vehicles rather than using mass transportation.  Thank you, I couldn't have said it any better myself.  One of the major reasons I went to college was so that I could get a good job to pay for a vehicle so I wouldn't have to take the bus downtown to work any more.  Now I could work in the suburbs where I lived and wanted to be.

As I've come to understand them, most transit systems were hub and spoke - with the spokes radiating from a business core, be it corporate, retail, or industrial.

Some were built between the downtown areas and locales where developers owned land they hoped (and did) to subdivide into residential areas.

This worked fine as long as everyone lived in the 'burbs and worked in the city.  

As the suburbs turned into their own towns (with jobs to be had), there came a need to run across the spokes (think spiderweb).  Were it not for the advent of the automobile, I would opine that might have happened.  But the auto made it easy to get from point A to point B, no matter where those points were.

No one wants to have to travel 30 miles to reach a point five miles away.

It's a challenge modern transit systems face.  I'm sure those systems running buses analyze their ridership to see which routes are making sense.  And building the less flexible rail system requires a certain amount of faith that there are, and will continue to be, enough folks along the route that want to go where the rails go.

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Posted by Ed Kyle on Monday, May 28, 2018 6:46 PM

CandOforprogress2

and there is the Indy.IN Hospital Monorail It also has pnumatic tubes for biological sample transfer

 

The IU Health People Mover is an interesting system, but it is not, technically, a "monorail".  There are only a handful of true monorails in the U.S. (The Disney's, Seattle, Las Vegas, Tampa airport (hidden inside buildings), and Newark Airport.  Newark's, the only outdoor, elevated one that really works for a living that isn't a tourist attraction, is on the endagered list, with plans afoot to replace it in a few years.

 - Ed Kyle 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, May 28, 2018 7:12 PM

Why can't people-movers break out of the airport?

I don't know, but the last airport people-mover I was on was in Dallas-Fort Worth about 15 years ago.  That thing could never break out of the airport, it could barely get out of it's own way!  I can walk faster than that thing!

Rode it once, once was enough.

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, May 28, 2018 7:22 PM

Wayne, the closest thing the airport here had, in my experience, to a people mover is (was?) a moving belt between two terminals--and I could walk faster than it. 

I Have no idea what the new terminal will have between terminals; I have no plans to fly anywhere again.

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, May 28, 2018 8:04 PM

You and me both Johnny, flying's no damn fun anymore, for a variety of reasons, too many to go into here.  I'm not planning on flying anywhere again unless it's absolutely necessary.

It's a shame, I used to love flying.

Wayne

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:46 AM

Possibly better to answer the posted question with another question:

 

Wh should they?

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 3:25 PM

Jet Rail was a connection to from the Terminal to the Planes for defunct Braniff Airlines-

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, June 09, 2018 7:21 PM

The people mover at DFW Airport was paid for primarily by American Airlines.    They choose rubber tired vehicles because the ride was smoother and it was quieter and generated far less vibration that a rail based system.     It only circulates among the Airport Terminals because the airline paying for it does not see the need to extend it further as they are only interested in passengers making their connections and could care less about car parking or the rest of the overhead of the trip.....................which if they extended to those areas would increase the time it takes to circulate among all the terminals making it less likely that everyone would make their connection.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, June 09, 2018 7:30 PM

Firelock76

Why can't people-movers break out of the airport?

I don't know, but the last airport people-mover I was on was in Dallas-Fort Worth about 15 years ago.  That thing could never break out of the airport, it could barely get out of it's own way!  I can walk faster than that thing!

Rode it once, once was enough.

They replaced the trainsets, tracks and most of the stations entirely at DFW, the new one is faster and you really have to hold on while your standing when it accelerates.     It is not super fast either but faster then the old one.   

American Airlines paid for both systems and they are only concerned with people making their airline flight connections........the other stuff they could care less about and extending the people mover only makes the overall trip and circulation around the loop take longer, which will tick off passengers trying to make their cross-terminal connections more.

Dallas now has two light rail systems feeding into the Airport.   DART takes passengers from Terminal A to Downtown Dallas and beyond.   TexRail takes passengers from Terminal B to Downtown Fort Worth and beyond (operational by this December) in Stadler Self Propelled Rail Cars.     DFW also has a shuttle bus to Trinity Rail Express station South of the Airport which will connect you with Amtrak at either Dallas Union Station or Fort Worth Intermodal Station (former Rock Island RR trackage), it is a cross train platform connection to Amtrak at both locations.

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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 5:07 PM

I was just at DFW a month ago. The new system is nice.

I remember the system at Atlanta some years ago, Man, that was FAST. Pepole would yell. no idea if still like that.

Rich

N

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, June 10, 2018 9:30 PM

Is the DFW people mover convenient for getting DART passengers to Terminal B, and Tex-Rail passengers to Terminal A, or is their some other arrangement?

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Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:37 PM

MidlandMike

Is the DFW people mover convenient for getting DART passengers to Terminal B, and Tex-Rail passengers to Terminal A, or is their some other arrangement?

I fly into DFW a couple of times a year from south Texas. 

DART's Orange Line serves Termina A.  Getting from or to any of the terminals from Terminal A on the People Mover is a snap.  Tex-Rail, which will begin service in late 2018, will serve Terminal B.  

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:48 PM

 

From 1972-1980 a number of citys had put people movers in there plans and the UMTA had money to match to build these projects The GAO office in 1980 then did a invetigation of using people movers as opposed to other modes in downtown areas and concluded that people movers had no avantage over other modes. But remember this was the Reagan Era and Reagan was cutting everything that was not a MX Missile. see-

The Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA), which provides financial and technical aid to develop and improve urban mass transportation, believes that downtown people movers could help solve the problems of increasing transit deficits, traffic congestion, and associated air pollution. In April 1976, UMTA announced its program to demonstrate the benefits of people mover systems in urban downtown areas. The objectives of this program are to test the operating cost savings automated guideway transit systems might deliver and to assess their economic impacts on central cities. In 1976, four cities were selected as demonstration cities. UMTA estimated that $220 million in Federal funds would be required to implement people mover systems in the four cities. UMTA also stated that three other cities would be permitted to develop people movers if they could do so with existing grant commitments. In 1977, Congress told UMTA to consider four more cities; UMTA also added another city to the list. A review of the program was undertaken, because the announced $220 million commitment for four new demonstration projects was to be funded from the UMTA discretionary capital grant resources, and because of the probability that the commitment would increase as project cost estimates and the number of projects increased. The review efforts were concentrated on the UMTA rationale for the program, the need for multiple projects, program goals, and proposed project evaluations.

UMTA had spent about $14.4 million on the nine projects through fiscal year 1979, and the May 1980 estimated Federal share of the projects was $675 million. UMTA has not adequately shown why each of the presently planned projects is needed to meet program objectives. UMTA officials believe that multiple projects are necessary to: (1) assure that at least one project is implemented; (2) test different technologies; (3) minimize the risk of failure to meet project expectations; and (4) reflect local differences such as climate and economic conditions which might affect project results. GAO did not believe these arguments justified the potential $675 million Federal investment in the demonstration projects. UMTA intends to compare people mover performances and impacts with selected alternatives such as bus and rail. These comparisons may not be conclusive because the operating data of the transit alternatives will not reflect potential actions to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. Also, the UMTA selection criteria do not assure that all potentially competitive alternatives are compared with each people mover project. Provisions have not been made to obtain data on alternatives.

Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, UMTA, to: justify the need for each of the presently planned demonstration projects by specifically stating what program objectives are being addressed by each project and why these objectives cannot be met with fewer projects; and seek guidance from Congress if the congressionally directed projects are affected by this justification process. Further, the Secretary should direct the UMTA Administrator to: compare each people mover project with all potentially competitive transit alternatives; adjust the cost and performance data of transit alternatives for the effects of actions to improve their operating efficiency and effectiveness before comparing them with people mover projects; conduct studies of transit alternatives to develop cost and performance information, if it is not readily available; clarify the evaluation plan for determining why changes occur in such factors as ridership and congestion in people mover project areas; and evaluate economic impacts of transit alternatives as well as people movers.

Agency Affected:

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