Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, infrastructure - vehicle, ridership - commuting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, economics - capital costs, organisation - structures, organisation - management, mode - rail


Vehicles, Transitways, Trade off analysis, Scenarios, Rosemont (Illinois), Ridership, Regression analysis, Regression, Rail transit stations, PRT, Projections, Project management, Power, Personal rapid transit, People movers, Patronage (Transit ridership), Passenger conveyors, Manpower utilization, Maintenance structures, Maintenance facilities, Guideways, Forecasting, Estimates, Engineering, Deployment, Decision making, Control systems, Computerized control systems, Computer control systems, Comparison studies, Communications networks, Communication systems, Capital costs, Automated people movers, Automated guideway transit, Alternatives analysis, AGT


Preparing capital cost estimates for new transit technologies requires refining and refitting traditional estimation tools. The personal rapid transit (PRT) system project in Rosemont, Illinois--a suburb of Chicago near O'Hare International Airport--required (1) the development of estimates of PRT capital costs, (2) establishment of a reasonable cost range for the PRT system, and (3) an order-of-magnitude evaluation of existing cost projections. A method was developed to compare PRT system components (versus the entire system) with the components of existing automated-guideway transit (AGT) and automated people mover (APM) systems in North America. Seven components of the PRT, AGT and APM systems were examined: (1) guideways; (2) stations; (3) maintenance and control facilities; (4) power and utility systems; (5) vehicles; (6) command, control, and communications systems; and (7) engineering and project management. Three analysis techniques were used: (1) statistically significant regression analysis; (2) measurement of a central tendency for "comparable" systems; and (3) statistics from all AGT systems. The results show that the combination of the three techniques worked well for component-level studies and show promise for use in other cost analyses involving new technologies or application of existing technologies on a scale outside the bounds of previous experience. In addition to the cost study, a PRT ridership forecasting approach and projections were evaluated, providing another key element of decision support for potential PRT deployment in Rosemont.