as introduced - 83rd Legislature, 2003 1st Special Session (2003 - 2003) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to transportation; requiring a study of 1.3 personal rapid transit applications to supplement 1.4 transportation system options. 1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.6 Section 1. [PERSONAL RAPID TRANSIT STUDY.] 1.7 Subdivision 1. [FINDINGS.] The legislature finds and 1.8 declares that: 1.9 (1) Minnesota's transportation infrastructure users have 1.10 provided more than sufficient funds for needed highway 1.11 infrastructure for many years. Minnesota's highway 1.12 infrastructure needs have grown more rapidly than the state's 1.13 planned construction projects, and projected highway 1.14 infrastructure needs. It is in the state's interest to 1.15 accelerate the efforts to actively improve the great highway 1.16 system that has proven fundamental to the state's long-term 1.17 economic success. 1.18 (2) Historically, as new technologies were made viable, the 1.19 state has benefited from being an early adopter, implementing a 1.20 combination of user funded roads, rail and trolley car networks, 1.21 and bus systems. These systems were once proven to be a user 1.22 funded bedrock of economic growth for the state enabling it to 1.23 diversify, grow, and sustain its economy over the years. 1.24 (3) The University of Minnesota has been developing a new 1.25 transit technology known as personal rapid transit (PRT) for 2.1 over 30 years. This technology represents the first 2.2 individualized, nonstop to the rider's destination, fully 2.3 automated, and fully mass-producible transit system of its kind. 2.4 The University as a land grant university has held a valuable 2.5 patent on this innovative technology for 15 years and could reap 2.6 great financial support for the institution and state. 2.7 (4) A PRT prototype has recently been constructed by using 2.8 private funding and can now be researched as a potential user 2.9 funded alternative to support our rapidly growing highway 2.10 infrastructure needs. Other states, countries, and private 2.11 entities are now moving ahead to consider and possibly implement 2.12 this Minnesota-grown PRT technology. It is greatly in the 2.13 university's and the state's economic interests to support the 2.14 safety certification of this potentially user funded and 2.15 University of Minnesota-grown PRT technology. 2.16 (5) PRT as a user funded transit system should cost far 2.17 less than current transit systems and would likely be used by 2.18 far more commuters due to its individualized and nonstop unique 2.19 mass transit characteristics. PRT requires a much smaller 2.20 footprint, potentially reducing easement impact for currently 2.21 scheduled projects. The potential private industry-based mass 2.22 production of PRT in Minnesota for other states would greatly 2.23 benefit Minnesota's economy. 2.24 (6) PRT studies have shown a capital cost of about 2.25 one-fifth the cost of existing rail technology, with similarly 2.26 low operating costs. 2.27 (7) The transportation system and economy of Minnesota 2.28 should benefit greatly from supporting a private sector, 2.29 profitably managed rapid transit system. It is in the state's 2.30 interest to consider and encourage the private section option 2.31 and integration of PRT into its transportation system. 2.32 Subd. 2. [STUDY.] The commissioners of transportation and 2.33 trade and economic development in consultation with metro 2.34 transit, the University of Minnesota, and local government 2.35 transit and transportation experts including experts in personal 2.36 rapid transit (PRT) technology shall prepare and submit by March 3.1 15, 2004, to the chairs of the house of representatives and 3.2 senate committees having jurisdiction over transportation, a 3.3 written report which evaluates existing studies, reports, and 3.4 papers regarding PRT to determine the viability of PRT systems 3.5 as a user-funded supplement to current transportation and 3.6 transit plans and future possibilities. The report must include 3.7 the following: 3.8 (1) a description of PRT technology, and a comparison of 3.9 the capital and operating costs, ridership, and break even 3.10 fares, and the state ridership subsidy required for Minnesota's 3.11 current and proposed transit options; 3.12 (2) an examination as to the extent a private or public PRT 3.13 application could be expected to reduce traffic congestion in 3.14 various regions throughout the state; 3.15 (3) an assessment of the estimated savings or costs of PRT 3.16 application, including the acquisition of property and 3.17 rights-of-way, which compares current cost estimates for future 3.18 rail stations with that of locating stations in less expensive 3.19 easements and supplementing the station with PRT; 3.20 (4) the estimated time of implementation of each option, 3.21 including the time necessary for permits and the permits 3.22 required, if any, for the new PRT system; 3.23 (5) a recommendation as to which options overall are most 3.24 sensitive to the environmental concerns of the state as well as 3.25 to the feasibility and safety of traffic management and impact 3.26 in the region; 3.27 (6) a recommendation on the merits and viability of the 3.28 state funding a certification facility to later be used by the 3.29 state's postsecondary institutions for training engineers in 3.30 this PRT technology; and 3.31 (7) a summary of other possible options that were not 3.32 considered in the report and the reasons why those options may 3.33 or may not have been identified as feasible options to reduce 3.34 subsidy costs and alleviate traffic congestion in the state. 3.35 [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section if effective the day 3.36 following final enactment.