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Thursday, October 21, 2021
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Letters to the EditorCreating a new future for Milpitas mobility

Creating a new future for Milpitas mobility

Do you walk or bike around Milpitas? Would you, if it was easier and safer? That is the intent of the Draft Trail, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Master Plan. And that is our intent.

LoopWorks is creating a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system to serve over 10,000 residents in the Metro Area around the new BART Transit Center (see MilpitasPRT.com). Currently, getting to and from that transit hub is challenging for pedestrians, cyclists and other rollers. In the words of the plan, “With the station located at the intersection of two high-stress roadways, there are significant barriers to travel to and from the station.” While barriers like these are an easy jump for PRT, they are major hurdles for traditional steel-and- concrete bridges which, like the recently-completed bridge over Montague Expressway, can cost $15 million.

Other barriers in the Metro Area include two sets of train tracks and a creek. Public comments to the Plan (page 138) call for 3 barrier crossings. Coincidentally, the dual-loop PRT system proposed to serve the area includes crossings at each of the 3 locations – Yosemite/Curtis, Penitencia Creek Trail at Montague, and Cedar/Penitencia Creek. For the thousands of residents and workers in the southeast section of Milpitas, PRT will provide easy and safe access to parks, trails, a school, grocery store, Great Mall and the Transit Center. While the City might spend $45M to build those 3 crossing, the Milpitas PRT will cost the City and tax-paying public nothing because financing will come from foundation grants.

Think of PRT as a horizontal elevator. Go to any of 12 stations proposed to serve the area. Walk into a cab, and indicate where you want to go. The doors close, and you are on your way – non-stop – to the station you selected. The cab has enough room for a bicycle, baby stroller, wheel chair, or a friend or two. Because PRT is computer controlled, it will be available to serve you all day, every day. And the cost to ride? As low as our community-controlled company can afford. By developing other revenue sources like advertising and endowments to pay the overhead, LoopWorks expects to offer rides for free.

The Master Plan’s stated vision is a “complete, connected, all ages and abilities network that expands access to and use of transit in Milpitas.” LoopWorks embraces that vision. Using PRT technology, we will do our part to accomplish that vision by creating smart transit that works for all of us.

Matt Kennedy, LoopWorks President

Find Mr. Kennedy’s background here.

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