Road Trains: Practical, Inexpensive Mass Transit
No government can now afford to spend (or borrow) the vast monies necessary to provide transit infrastructure to the extent needed. The cost of real estate to create exclusive rail rights-of-way through the most expensive and densely populated urban centers in the world, where mass transit is most desperately needed, has proven to be an insurmountable obstacle.
High driver-to-passenger ratios must be improved for mass transit to be financially viable. We need to move more people to more places and it must be more affordable.
Road Trains are a proven, existing technology that can be expanded from cargo to passenger duty. Road trains can reduce private passenger vehicle use in urban and suburban traffic corridors. Road trains are the most fuel-efficient and lowest cost (initial as well as ongoing) solution to creating effective, affordable, and sustainable mass transit.
Road Trains could go anywhere a big truck can go. Cargo road trains employ a single semi-tractor towing 3, 4 or more freight trailers. Passenger cars are lighter. A road train could carry as many as 250 passengers, the same as an entire rail train at idges can be prefabricated and installed overnight. Computer-assisted safety and dynamic routing can be accomplished easily using secure, redundant wireless data beacons and video. Road Train ETA, locations, and status can be broadcast using smart phone apps. Road Train conductors will not require extensive driving service. Computerized operation, automation and route guidance will allow the operator skill level to be that of an attentive, skilled video gamer.
Technologies Needing Further Development:
1. Smart, automatic shock-absorbing car couplings.
2. Smart sequential braking systems (starting from the rear)
3. Coordination of independent car steering.
4. Terminal-less train-splitting tactics can effectively create transfer-free route branch lines.
Road Trains can provide affordable, effective mass transit we can implement quickly!