This paper resulted from a study that was performed by the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc. for the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A new type of transportation system is defined and described. It is intended for use, primarily, in metropolitan areas where the land use is so deployed that the automobile currently is the dominant form of transportation. It is expected to alleviate the growing problem of traffic and parking congestion in the central business district of such cities and to reduce air pollution.
The system uses a dual-mode vehicle, one that can operate on streets and highways in the manner of a conventional automobile. Also, it can enter an exclusive guideway at discrete access points and be routed and propelled, automatically, to a destination station. For operation on the street, this electrically propelled vehicle draws its power from an internally stored energy source (storage battery). When on the guideway, the car takes its power from a “third rail.” The basic vehicle is a small, four-passenger machine, but the system can accommodate a small bus (10–14 passengers) and light delivery trucks.