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Come Saturday Morning: The PRT Boondoggle

It’s interesting to see conservative efforts to mimic public works and infrastructure: They’re inevitably generally inferior to and do a worse job than the public works they emulate, and their main activities seem to be engaging in outright fraud and scammery, as well as manipulating the racist fears of their chosen white marks in order to separate them from their tax money, and so leave less and less money for the legitimate public institutions being badly imitated.

As it is with charter schools, so it is with the boondoggle called “Personal Rapid Transit”, or PRT for short.

Expensively (and widely) promoted by conservatives for decades, PRT has for nearly as long been utterly debunked as a cost-effective means of moving large numbers of people quickly and efficiently. This of course is obvious to anyone who spends a moment’s thought on the issue. There’s a reason taxis must charge far higher fares than buses or streetcars for trips of similar length; it’s that taxis can’t carry as any persons. What’s more, PRT pods share the worst disadvantages of light rail and taxis: too small to carry enough passengers to allow for lowering of fares, yet unable to leave the tracks they ride. But such issues are mere quibbles to people seduced by the vision of a rapid-transit system that doesn’t risk you ever having to sit next to black people. Despite its being rejected, and repeatedly, anti-mass-transit people and groups keep trying to resurrect it. Scuttlebutt is that, with a Republican legislature in Minnesota, the Pod People will be trying one more time to siphon off transit funds from legitimate mass-transit means.

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