Working as circulator transit for office parks, airports, universities and other major activity centers, ULTra provides a congestion free mode of transport. making carpooling, VTA bus, and Apple private bus more effective. ULTra also complements shuttle buses that connect to Sunnyvale Caltrain. PRT allows optimization and speed-up of VTA, Apple, and shuttle bus routes. PRT also enables longer bike commutes and shopping trips. iPhone apps can help glue all the green transportation options together. The PRT system should be part of VTA’s transit system, with seamless fare box/fare gate integration. The PRT system goes somewhat beyond (the late) Steve Jobs’ green vision for City of Apple , because PRT greens a larger area.
For short Cupertino trips, ULTra is faster than a car.
In the future, there will be three Apple locations in Cupertino:
• Old campus (Infinite Loop)
• 2006 acquisition (HP)
• 2010 acquisition (City of Apple or “COA”)
Renowned Masdar Ecocity architect Norman Foster will design City of Apple (COA) Campus. “The City of Apple will comprise of 150 acres of commercial real estate property and is said to have an environmentally friendly design approach that will incorporate cutting-edge technology in materials and equipment as well as renewable energy resources. Pathways between building will occur underground to keep as much of the surface green as possible.” PRT can run just underground, opening up COA for pedestrian maximization:
Rough sketch alignment: 21 stations. Less than 8.0 miles of one-way guideway shown. Capital cost rough guesstimate: $100M. PRT combines low-cost infrastructure with compelling fare box and real-estate economics, to the point where the majority of PRT systems are financed solely by private sector sources. For PRT systems, a rule of thumb is “PRT infrastructure costs less than 2% of the value of land and buildings that are served.”
The PRT system would provide car-free access for apartment residents to some interesting places: super market, movies, coffee, noodle houses, brew pubs, etc. The system could be expanded over time to get folks to other interesting destinations (Kaiser, etc). Cupertino housing will become even more compelling locations for workers. Two-car households can cut back to one car (coupled with PRT and carsharing).
These three Apple locations may be connected in various ways:
- Connect Valco to Infinite2 via the arterial street, Stevens Creek Blvd. This would naturally enable service of Cupertino’s densest block at the southeast corner of De Anza and Stevens Creek and would also enable easy connection to nearby City buildings
- Connect COA to Infinite Loop via Homestead Blvd
- Connect COA to Infinite Loop by along the side of Highway 280.
- As shown in the sketch alignment, connect COA to Infinite Loop by serving the apartments in-between (Pointe, Verandas, and Northpoint). This is the shortest connection and would require innovative architecture for the guideway to best blend with the residential neighborhoods. This alignment would require extensive iteration with local stakeholders. See the guideway design page for examples of innovative guideway architecture.
Thanks to Brad T for help in brainstorming.