Wo Ist Mein Cabinentaxi?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The feature that I wrote for issue 20 is about personal rapid transit. PRT, as it is called, is a mass transportation concept that swaps high-capacity trains for small “pod cars.” These individualized vehicles run on dedicated tracks from origin to destination, bypassing all other stations along the way. Such a system is currently being installed at London’s Heathrow Airport and Foster + Partners is developing a PRT solution for its Masdar City project, but the idea has been around at least since the 1950s. In the late 60s and 70s several prototypes were developed and tested for possible urban application, but—aside from a semi-PRT system installed in Morgantown, West Virginia—none of them were ever realized. The one that came the closest was Cabinentaxi, which was to be rolled out in Hamburg, Germany. A recession in 1980 sank the project, but luckily they made this lovely film before falling into the dustbin of history. Enjoy.

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2 Responses to “Wo Ist Mein Cabinentaxi?”

  1. Mr_Grant says:

    I have also read that Reagan demanded allies spend more on the cold war, so W. Germany had to cut budgets across the board. One victim was the govt contribution to Cabinentaxi. As a result the private partner MBB canceled the program.

    There were also some bad feelings about switching the emphasis to Hamburg, and away from potential overseas market in the US.

  2. Marsden Burger says:

    The dust bin of history – I love it!

    I like to think of it more like the Indiana Jones movie, where the “Ark of the Covenant” is rolled back into a massive government storage facility, never to be seen again.

    Neither of these analogies is correct of course.

    The Cabintaxi technology is available for application where a serious customer is interested in improved transportation. This technology remains a significant urban transit technology capable of installation within a responsible engineering program.

    Anyone with interest can contact us at:
    Or 313-921-3955

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