Anaheim PRT Circulator Sketch

For consideration for the long-range transportation/circulation plan - requires further study.  System could begin operation 2011-2017. 

First version: July 2008. Update Aug 4

ULTra is a battery-driven, 200-mpg-equivalent, elevated personal rapid transit (PRT) system with many five-person vehicles. First deployment is scheduled for London Heathrow Airport in 2010, to serve Heathrow's new Terminal 5. Working as circulator transit for office parks, airports, universities, and other major activity centers, ULTra is faster than a car. In these applications, ULTra makes carpooling, commuter rail and bus more effective, by solving the "last mile problem." PRT also enables longer bike commutes and shopping trips. A three-minute animation of ULTra: . Peer-reviewed market research for two San Francisco Bay Area commuter-rail-served major job centers, Palo Alto's Stanford Research Park (SRP) and Pleasanton's Hacienda Business Park, forecasts a PRT-induced commuting mode reduction from more than 80% single occupancy vehicle (SOV) down to 45% SOV. In these two studies, carpooling increased to more than 30% and transit increased beyond 15%. Such commuting shift could free many surface parking acres for higher use. A PRT system would accelerate real-estate development within the service area.     

The PRT system should be part of the existing Orange County Transportation Authority system, with seamless fare box/fare gate integration. Substantial PRT circulator funding could come from an assessment on local landowners, who will directly benefit from the circulator system. To bring about such an assessment, a supermajority of landowners must agree that the system will be beneficial.     

Trip comparison from Anaheim Stadium to the Disneyland Hotel:

  • A 3.0 mile PRT trip would take about 6 minutes, including a 20 second average wait. 

  • Driving via surface streets is 2.8 miles and takes about 8 minutes (with no traffic). Time at either end spent parking is extra.

  • If the dark blue APM shown below were expended to the Disneyland Resort, an APM trip would take about 22 minutes: a) 7 1/2 minute wait (with the proposed 15 minute headways), 8 minutes to Katella/Harbor, and 6 minutes to Ball and Disneyland Drive.

  • Google Maps estimates a local bus trip with 1 transfer and walking takes about 33 minutes. 

  • Google Maps 2.8 walking time is estimated at 58 minutes.

Peter Calthorpe of Calthorpe Associates, author: The Next American Metropolis: We need better transit circulator technology: personal rapid transit:

  • In a six-page paper, , Calthorpe writes: "All the advantages of New Urbanism - its compact land saving density, its walkable mix of uses, and its integrated range of housing opportunities - would be supported and amplified by a circulation system that offers fundamentally different choices in mobility and access. Smart Growth and new Urbanism have begun the work of redefining America's twenty-first century development paradigms. Now it is time to redefine the circulation armature that supports them. It is short sighted to think that significant changes in land-use and regional structure can be realized without fundamentally reordering our circulation system."

Rough Sketch Alignment, July 29, 2008: 30 stations, 18.7km / 11.6mi guideway (At $15M per mile, that's $174M)

High resolution map with aerial photography. 5,500 x 3700, 4MB: (different Disney treatment)


Referring to the Anaheim Transit Plan, a PRT Circulator provides the following benefits:

Anaheim Transit Master Plan - Dec '07, (page 9 of 122):

  • Improves upon Concept 1 (dark blue), the $240M-$270M APM alignment proposed for ARTIC-Triangle-Resort (this is a superset of red Concept 4 shuttle bus)
    • Less expensive ($174M)
    • More stations (30+ versus about 8) serving many more potential riders (within either a 200 meter, 300 meter, or 1/4 mile walking radius). Projected APM ridership is 2.5M pax per year or 7,000 per day. 
    • PRT provides two-dimensional network transit service with no-wait, non-stop service, APM provides one-dimensional linear transit service with waiting and stops at every station. Hence, PRT provides faster, more frequent service
    • PRT has much lower visual impact than APM.
    • By 2009, Metrolink will provide all day, more frequent service.  PRT will complement improved Metrolink service. 
    • HSR is envisioned for ARTIC, and PRT will better feed riders to HSR
    • The previously dropped project, the "ARTIC - UCI Medical Center - The Block" Connector is enabled by PRT and included. This adds about 3.6 km of guideway. 
    • Eliminates the need for the Fujishige Farms moving sidewalk option.
    • The large number of hotels served argues for express airport bus service.
    • See page 71 of 122 in
  • Serves most the of Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) system with faster, more frequent service.
  • Feeds more riders to Concept 2 (green), the bus between ARTIC, downtown Anaheim, and Fullerton Transportation Center. Provides the opportunity for this bus to stop at Katella and turn around (dropping passengers for PRT), increasing Concept 2 frequency. From this spot, riders will transfer to PRT and be able to reach Platinum Triangle and ARTIC faster, while being able to distribute to the entire, larger PRT service area.
  • Feeds more riders to Concept 3 (light blue), ARTIC-Anaheim Canyon station bus, by feeding in more passengers via PRT.
  • Feeds more riders to Concept 5 (orange), West Anaheim commuter shuttles
  • Concept 6 (purple), Anaheim Canyon feeder shuttles could be extended South to a PRT station, increasing ridership
  • Feeds more riders to OCTA BRT routes such as Katella Ave, Harbor Blvd, and State College Blvd. Reduces the need for multiple BRT bus stops within the PRT service area, improving BRT service
  • Implementable within the first 5 years of Measure M

A PRT circulator system could have some of the following stations:

West of I5: (20M annual visitors, 25,000 jobs)

  • Disneyland / California Adventure
    • Main Entrance
    • Disneyland Hotel
    • Paradise Pier Hotel
    • Downtown Disney
    • Parking (+ hotels: Alpine, Candy Cane)
    • The Fujishige Farms mega-block southeast of Harbor/Katella could be the site of new Disney development ( (+ hotel: Red Lion)
  • Resort hotels:
    • Desert Inn (+ Ramada, Best Westerns x 2, Park Vue, Tropicana, Carousel, Fairfield, Quality, HoJo)
    • Holiday Inn (+ Staybridge)
  • Gardenwalk (+ hotels: Worldmark, Castle)
  • Convention Center & Hotels (+ Sheraton Park, Jolly Roger, Portofino, Clarion, Cortona)
    • Hilton
    • Marriott
    • Radisson 
  • The Block at Orange (+ City Tower + Crystal Cathedral)
  • UCI Medical Center (+ DoubleTree hotel)

East of I5: (22,400 residents, 37,100 jobs, regional transit hub, Angel Stadium)