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Official launch of Heathrow PRT 9-15-2011 Link

The announcement was made on Twitter:

The future has arrived at #Heathrow! Check out the new #heathrowpods that we're launching today:
Thu 15 Sep 05:24

@jordandias Yes, they have been in operation, but their official launch is today.
Thu 15 Sep 05:56

Daily Express article with video:

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ITN video 9-16-2011

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Taking a ride on Heathrow's ULTra Personal Rapid Transit System 9-20-2011

Servest wins cleaning contract for Heathrow pods 9-22-2011

Cardiff and Lowson differ on reason for ULTra's rejection 9-24-2011

Reuters: Heathrow moves forward with pod cars 9-26-2011

Punjab Infrastructure Development Board approves Amritsar PRT (in "Anandpur Sahib-Naina Devi ropeway") 9-30-2011

Job to pave way for Amritsar PRT "will start this month" 10-5-2011

Vietnam: Vietnam IT corporation FPT exploring pod transit "Spider" means web/network. 10-12-2011

Ultra site now "" 10-18-2011

BAA offers 7-figure opportunity to sponsor Heathrow Ultra 10-21-2011

Ultra's prototype vehicle to be placed in the UK Science Museum's National Transport Collection 10-28-2011

Evening Standard: Heathrow's Personal Rapid Transit pods 11-9-2011

Interview: Heathrow surface transport director Airrail TV 11-27-2011

Impressive April-November statistics 12-7-2011

• "Sukhbir lays foundation stone of Pod system amidst protest" 12-12-2011
Punjab Dep. Chief Min. Sukhbir met with shopkeepers and assured them the project would not affect their business.

Official Ultra announcement: contract for Amritsar, 1st & biggest urban PRT system 12-15-2011
• "Pod Cars Are Poised to Transform an Indian City's Streetscape and Skyline" NY Times 12-16-2011
India to get world's largest urban transport podcar system (CNN). 200-pod fleet to cut 30 minutes off journeys for 35% of Golden Temple visitors. For those concerned about the rickshaw/taxi operators: 94% of Amritsar passenger trips are by paratransit (p.6)
India's Hottest New Transportation Trend The Atlantic 1-9-2012

India: PRT, monorail and HSR are in Kerala annual budget released today by Finance Minister. 3-19-2012

Kerala:$R25 lakh ($49,000) for preliminary work; 'Natpac' to sign off 3-22-2012

Ultra Fairwood's high quality video rendering of first urban pod transit system in Amritsar, India. 3-22-2012

'Midtown Raleigh Alliance' (NC) interested in PRT for the North Hills area 3-29-2012

Ultra receives ISO9000 certification 4-2-2012

Kerala Finance Minister - 7 km stretch from Vellayambalam to East Fort 'implemented by this year'; estimate of R60 crore per km ($16 mil per mile). 4-4-2012

Governing magazine: Silicon Valley considers PRT system to ease congestion. Journal columnist (and California mayor) picks up story of the March 20 Mountain View meeting. 4-30-2012

"Heathrow pods are an idea for the future": Christian Wolmar ("Britain's leading transport commentator") rides the pods at Terminal 5 and comes away impressed. "Certainly, it merits wider consideration than it has been given. In fact, the concept has attracted a surprising amount of criticism with whole websites devoted to deriding the very idea of individualised public transport." 5-7-2012

British PRT gains foothold in Taiwan; MOU backed by government-government contact 5-12-2012

Global AirRail Award for Innovation 5-30-2012

Gurgaon: Haryana state Chief Minister B.S. Hooda fast tracks PRT project 7-4-2012
• "all the necessary formalities" should be completed in 3 months
• Ultra/Fairwood joint venture
• State infrastructure agency HSIIDC is in charge
• Regulatory body recommended
• Phases 1 & 2 out of 3 to proceed at same time
• Completion in 2.5 years
• 143 stations, 105 km of guideway; National Hwy 8/Iffco Chowk area
Google Maps

Pod manufacturing to ramp up. 7-16-2012
Fairwood planning factory to supply India and SE Asia Ultra projects

Amritsar debate: Four conservation/architecture experts say pod transit would impact views of Amritsar landmarks, 'heritage character'. 7-7-2012
Of course, this could be said about any modern rail transit technology.
• "Amritsar traders also against PRTS" 7-7-2012 Link
"A day after conservation and architecture experts aired their concern regarding the PRTS project in the holy city, the trading community at Hall Bazaar and nearby markets has also expressed apprehensions about the plan taking a toll on their businesses." Synopsis. Merchants in the project zone: 1. are concerned the PRT system will depress business like "The Sherawala Gate to Dharam Singh Market stretch," the route along an imposing viaduct to/from the Golden Temple (GT) parking garage; 2. claim Golden Temple pilgrims prefer to walk the 1 km from the train station to the GT; 3. worry about disruption by PRT construction and utilities relocation; 4. don't understand how PRT will use the "7-ft footpath [right of way] on either sides of the road"; 5. say utility relocation has prevented activation of new $1200 street lights; 6. worry the PRT will cause tourists not to come to the "heritage bazaars." One critic suggests a fleet of government-owned "battery-operated or CNG vehicles" and "multi-storey parking lots" around the city to reduce congestion.

UK Tram, a British rail industry group, has issued How To guidances on developing PRT projects 7-20-2012

"Great" infrastructure. British trade office promotes Ultra overseas. 7-31-2012

Study ready on expanding PRT to Terminals 1, 2 and 3, awaiting BAA decision. Also proposals to serve car rental facilities. 7-31-2012

'Kryten' is pod person -- Red Dwarf's Robert Llewellyn interviews Martin Lowson, Fraser Brown, Adam Ruddle on his program Fully Charged. 8-1-2012

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Airport World magazine: 3 other airports interested in Heathrow pod transit. Schiphol, Arlanda, and one in US. 8-6-2012

State agency MSRDC would like to have "PRTS" serve Mumbai airport area 8-7-2012

Editor's Blog: Cameron Emptor. 8-10-2012

Amritsar changes PRT route 8-13-2012
"Amritsar PRTS project set in motion" - Alignment moved away from Hall Bazaar area, responding to concerns about congestion and historical significance. Final agreement with changes to be signed Aug. 31; construction to take 30 months.
:: Route change fails to pacify critics (8/7); project said to be "in limbo." 'Dharna' is a ritual fast, a common form of Indian protest.
:: India Tribune (9/25)- "Won't eclipse heritage sites". Open public process leads to compromise. New route is away from landmarks like the Hall Gate & Bazaar and Town Hall; guideway will facilitate view of Golden Temple and the Jallianwalla Bagh national memorial garden. Our map showing revised corridor to/from railway station

Ultra media brochure released -- Ultra Global PRT (16 page PDF) 9-29-2012

More honors: Ultra wins "Highly Commended" in the UK Project category at the Light Rail Awards, and "Most Innovative" category at the UK National Transport Awards. 10-14-2012

Airport World magazine: Heathrow PRT awaiting 500,000th passenger. Mid-stay business parking also to be enlarged, more pods added. 11-28-2012
Heathrow: Passenger 500,000 arrived Dec. 18 12-18-2012

Amritsar route changed again 12-1-2012
Ultra Fairwood unaware of changes. New changes not detailed, other than dropping Katra Jaimal Singh area.
• Earlier August revisions (9/3, 9/27 above) raised guideway to 30 feet in some areas to protect views and historic sites.
• (12/2) Heritage experts: revised route is also the route Sikh Empire founder Ranjit Singh would take to visit Golden Temple. No elevated roads or road widening in historic cities & towns, internat'l heritage group ICOMOS says.

CITIES at The Atlantic: Would More Drivers Use Mass Transit if It Mimicked Private Cars? 1-15-2013
A fairly broad introduction to pods. PRT academic Wayne Cottrell is quoted.

Neighboring community wants study on joining Heathrow pod network 1-17-2013

Extension of Heathrow Pod to Terminals 2 & 3 part of new airport investment plan 2-12-2013

Some features of Heathrow Pod expansion disclosed. 2-14-2013
©MMXIII PRT NewsCenter
The NewsCenter has obtained several details concerning the new Ultra PRT system to serve Heathrow Terminals 2&3 (2-12-2013).

According to Ultra's Adam Ruddle, the T2&3 pod system will be separate from that of Terminal 5 in that the guideways will not be connected, "though both systems will be operated from a single control centre as this only requires a high speed data link."

"There will be a second maintenance facility associated with the T2/3 system," Ruddle said.

He said the new PRT will run from the T2&3 parking lot (north of the runways) to the terminals (south of the runways) via tunnels. This is similar to what was studied years ago to serve the Central Terminal Area.

Pod users will be able to take elevators & escalators to Underground and Heathrow Express rail stations.

Google Map

Ultra in hunt for Brazil urban system - Finalist for Brazil feasibility study 2-28-2013

"Ultra Feb 2013 e-news:

...As part of a consortium led by Quark of Brazil, a proposal for a public transport system for the Brazilian city of Florianopolis utilising Ultra PRT has been short listed for a final round of feasibility studies ahead of the award of a construction contract. With our partners, Ultra is now working on this major study which if selected would become the largest PRT system in the World."

Amritsar all set to get rapid 'pod' cars 3-2-2013
Punjab invites competitive bidding; Vectus and skyTran said to be interested.

Patna considering Ultra pod transit system like Heathrow 3-21-2013
Patna is the capital and largest city of Bihar state.
Bhaskar News photo [still from Amritsar simulation]

Bhaskar News photo [still from Amritsar simulation]
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