Soon, hop on to pod cars for the airport

Aug 07, 2012, 06:43 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

MSRDC is planning to set up Personal Rapid Transit System connecting the airport to nearby areas, ensuring flyers have hassle-free travel high above congested roads

Your usually frantic and anxious trips to the airport to catch flights could soon be things of the past. If the MSRDC’s plans bear fruit, you may soon find yourself cruising in state-of-the-art pod cars moving on raised platforms, high above busy roads and congested highways.

 The pod car system, Heathrow airport

These pod cars, which will connect airports to adjacent areas, is the second such venture in the country — the other is under construction in Amritsar.

The pod car system — known formally as Personal Rapid Transit System (PRTS) — is a new-age mode of public transportation designed for swift travel in congested areas.

The operation of the pod car network will be similar to that of traditional rail and streetcar networks, moving on raised tracks.

A single pod car has a capacity of four to six persons at a time. The pod car project is in the initial stages of planning, and more developments are expected to take place over the next month.

Speaking to MiD DAY, MSRDC chief engineer S Nandargikar said, “We are keen on implementing the PRTS pod car project connecting the airport to nearby areas. At present, passengers on their way to the airport to catch flights often get stuck in traffic. In order to provide them a hassle-free and speedy journey, we are planning to come up with this project in the airport area.”

The venture is also expected to help authorities save on time and money. “The implementation of the PRTS project needs less money compared to the monorail projects. The best benefit is the fact that it occupies much less space for construction and can pass through congested areas as well.”

If the project is received well by commuters, MSRDC may implement it at other spots in the city, like Churchgate, CST etc.

At present, the pod car system is operational at the Heathrow airport as well as at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.

Personal Rapid Transit (PRT), popularly known as a pod car, is a public transportation mode featuring small, automated vehicles operating on specially built guide ways. In PRT designs, vehicles are sized for individual or small group travel, typically carrying no more than three to six passengers per vehicle. Guide ways are arranged in a network, with stations located on sidings, and with frequent merge and diverge points. This approach allows for nonstop, travel, bypassing all intermediate stations.  

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