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San Bruno Sketch

PRT (personal rapid transit) is an electric, 200-mpg-equivalent, elevated transit system with many 3 to 4-person vehicles. First deployment of the ULTra PRT system is scheduled for London Heathrow Airport in 2010, to serve Heathrow's new Terminal 5. Working as circulator transit for office parks, airports, universities, and other major activity centers, PRT is faster than a car. In these applications, PRT makes carpooling, BART, Caltrain, and SamTrans bus more effective, by solving the "last mile problem." PRT also enables longer bike commutes and shopping trips. A 3-minute PRT video and Heathrow tour can be found at: Peer-reviewed market research for two other Bay Area transit-served major activity centers, Palo Alto's Stanford Research Park (SRP) and Pleasanton's Hacienda Business Park, forecasts a PRT-induced commuting mode reduction from more than 80% single occupancy vehicle (SOV) down to 45% SOV. This research forecasts Caltrain and BART profit increasing by $4M per year.

Proposed is a 7-station, 3 miles of one-way guideway PRT system for San Bruno Downtown, BART, Caltrain, transit corridors, and Tanforan.  A very rough capital cost estimate is $21M to $45M. The latest PRT cost information may be found at:

PRT Benefits for San Bruno Downtown and Transit Corridors Plan:

  • Faster than a car. PRT trip time from Community Heart to San Bruno BART is less than 3 minutes. Driving time, via Google Maps (assumes light traffic), is 3 minutes, plus additional time spent parking.
  • Higher-quality circulator transit fosters a more-vibrant transit village
  • Creates a much more convenient multi-modal transit network. Provides a seamless, no-wait transfer from Caltrain to BART and BART to Caltrain.
  • By further reducing driving, creates more environmentally sustainable development
  • Increases shopping trips, hence increases economic vitality
  • PRT as "transportainment" gives the area a distinctive identity and makes downtown more of an all-day and all-night destination
  • The PRT system may grow to connect to future destinations such as jobs/housing to the west and/or SFO AirTrain Rental Car station.


Conceptual PRT system sketch is shown below with 200 meter walking radius around stations. Your actual PRT system will be different:

PRT systems are being actively pursued in the US for places including San Jose Airport, Santa Cruz, Alameda Point, Minnesota, and Virginia. One of the advantages of a PRT network "is that it offers a lot of flexibility. It's much less expensive than traditional transit. It doesn't serve the same needs as high-speed rail or BART. It's a complement to those systems," Laura Stuchinksy, Sustainability Officer, City of San Jose Department of Transportation. "We've concocted a system where local trips take an auto. That's our biggest tragedy. Streetcars, such as those used in Portland's Pearl District, and elevated people movers, like those in downtown Miami, are moving people from rail stations to their final destinations. But a new concept, PRT, may help revolutionize urban transportation, providing a cost-effective way to get people from train stations to where they need to go." - Peter Calthorpe, Berkeley-based Calthorpe Associates (Alameda Point, etc).

Larger System Sketch

A larger PRT system might connect to jobs and housing to the west with 4.5 miles of guideway and 14 stations. This larger system creates a 600-acre mega-green transit village, far larger than a typical transit village around a train station. Two-car families can sell one car (substituting PRT and carsharing for the second car)! A 200-meter walk ring is shown:


A San Bruno Downtown and Transit Corridors Plan can be found at: The area of emphasis given at a design charrette: