1. Who do you expect will be using using the system?
STSC believes that people will adopt the system gradually over time, mostly driven by their understanding of convenience, ease of use, time savings, and privacy. Since the system is ADA compliant, anyone can use the system. The most likely people to use the system initially are those located closest to the stations.
2. Can I take my bicycle with me in a vehicle?
Yes, the interior cabin space allows you to bring a bicycle with you.
3. How does the system help with global warming?
The system is 100% electric and does not contribute Green House Gas emissions. Having convenient transportation allows people to travel without using their cars: hence fewer Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT), a key measure of progress towards Net-Zero. Fewer cars in use mean less parking. Less space needed for parking allows that same space to be allocated to green spaces, further helping to cool the urban environment and reduce carbon dioxide and improve air quality.
4. Has a system like this been implemented before?
There are systems such as the Morgantown PRT in operation. https://prt.wvu.edu/about-the-prt “The PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) transports about 15,000 riders per day and serves as the University’s primary mass transit system for students, employees, and visitors.” However, that system is slower and is more of a group rapid transit.
5. How do I buy a ride?
People can purchase rides as a single ride or using a pass. Passes are daily, weekly, and monthly. A ride pass can be purchased using the system website, mobile app, or a ticket vending machine. Local businesses may also provide rides as part of promotional packages.
6. How much space is there in the vehicle for a cart, luggage, or other things I might want to bring with me?
As currently designed, there are 12 square feet of space between the bench seats for luggage, a bicycle, a small portable grocery cart, or any other hand-carry items.
7. Are the vehicles climate controlled? Do they have air conditioning and heat?
Yes. Each vehicle has both air conditioning and heating to help maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
8. I support solar and more use of public transit. How does the STSC system impact the view of my surroundings?
The guideway is typically not much higher than a second story. The developent of the route always includes the participation of local government, the citizens of the community, and local businesses.
9. Can having an STSC system help address parking issues?
Yes. The system has a relatively small footprint and can operate within parking lots and parking structures.
An STSC system can reduce the amount of parking needed in dense areas and free up land and open spaces formerly lost to parking areas.
10. Are there security features in the system?
“Yes, the system includes many features that enhance passenger security. Each vehicle has an intercom and video monitoring that allow any passenger needing assistance to contact the System Monitoring Operator. The operator can help passengers change their destination, get off at the next station, or do other necessary actions. Video monitoring allows the System Monitoring Operator to identify problems such as unsafe actions within the vehicle, vandalism, or other concerns. Stations are also equipped with video monitoring and may selectively have Station Attendants for these same reasons.
The security systems operate on an internal communications system so that emergency calls can be proactively prioritized over other communications. In addition, the dedicated communications system is independent of public cellular networks, so in any significant incident in critical areas, STSC will still be able to communicate with passengers and stations to provide a well-managed response.”
11. How does the system help with social equity?
Providing enablers such as transit to all people is key to having equity in opportunities for everyone. Our goal is to price the service at an affordable cost and to have the routes serve as many people as possible.
12. Does the system have surveillance?
Yes. As is common to public transit systems and automated systems, there is video and audio surveillance throughout the system to help identify issues needing attention, allow passengers to interact with the System Monitoring Operator, and discourage vandalism.
13. What is it like to ride in a vehicle?
The vehicles are small, private, safe, and quiet, with many windows. Consequently, each ride provides transportation and is fun. People can enjoy the scenic view from around 20 feet above the ground. Some people might take a ride to enjoy the view.
14. What if I need help?
“If you are in a Station, a Station Attendant who is available can offer answers to general questions. Station Attendants are also there to assist people using wheelchairs. Anyone riding in the vehicle that needs help can use the Call Button to get help. A passenger can talk to the System Monitoring Operator and ask for assistance. “
15. What if I picked the wrong destination or want to change my destination once I am on board?
Anyone riding in the vehicle that needs help can use the Call Button to get help. The passenger can talk to the System Monitoring Operator and request to be redirected to another destination.
16. Who can use the system?
There is no restriction on who can use the system. Anyone can use the system simply by purchasing a ride or using a pass. As with all transit systems, the STSC is ADA compliant and offers full accessibility to everyone.
17. How much is the ride?
Rides on the system are priced by the mile if a person doesn’t have a pass or other discounted ticket. However, people may use passes (day, week, or month) to get significant discounts on costs. In addition, local businesses may provide passes to encourage people to visit their local business or as a promotion.
18. Do you think everyone riding the bus will adopt the STSC solution?
No. People that are frequent riders of the bus system are very effective at timing when to arrive at the bus stop based on the bus schedule. These people are also very loyal to the bus service, and many enjoy the familiarity with others sharing the same ride every day. We expect some bus ridership to use the STSC system, especially when a person accidentally misses the scheduled pick-up. With wait times of 20, 30, and possibly 60 minutes, switching to an on-demand system with vehicles waiting at the station might be an option they consider at those times.
1. Who is paying to build the system?
STSC is responsible for all the costs of design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the system and will do so as a private company. Once in operation, STSC will collect revenues from fares, promotions, advertising, and partnerships with local businesses and state, county, and city agencies.
2. How much does the system cost?
The cost of each system will depend upon a range of variables including but not limited to the use case of the system, its length, the number of stations, and topography onto which the system is implemented.
4. Do you expect opposition from existing modes of transit, e.g. Uber, Lyft, municipal bus organizations, etc.?
Initially, there may be some concern about another way to get around taking away from existing solutions. The goal of STSC is to augment and complement existing modes of transit, enhance ridership overall, and provide multi-modal connections. In addition, we are looking to serve the underserved and enhance the use of transit throughout the community.
5. Who maintains the system?
Maintenance includes upkeep of the stations, vehicles, and guideway. STSC is responsible for all maintenance.
The system’s cleanliness is key to people’s willingness to use the system. Therefore, empty vehicles are regularly routed to a Cleaning Line at the Maintenance Facility to ensure they remain clean. In addition, if a vehicle does arrive at a station and there is some spill or other cleanliness issue, a person can reject that vehicle, and it will go to the Maintenance Facility for cleaning, where it will be replaced immediately by an alternative clean vehicle to fulfill the passenger’s ride.
6. Who manages and operates the system in our community?
STSC-USA is a parent company responsible for the overall design, intellectual property, technical specifications, training of operational personnel and the creation and empowerment of a Local Operating Company (LOC) will be created for that community. The STSC-USA in collaboration with the LOC will raise implementation capital, manage the development and installation of the system, hire and manage staff, perform maintenance, and provide returns to investors. In this way, people from the local community will have a stake in how the system is operated to serve the community and will benefit from its success locally.
1. Is going up and down hills a problem?
The system’s design includes electric motors sufficient to overcome elevation changes. The guideway height can also be varied relative to the topography over which the system is implemented, helping to smooth out differences in ground elevation.
2. Does the system operate when there is snow and ice?
Yes, the system operates in all weather conditions. The design of the guideway is an upside-down U-shaped channel that shelters the wheels from snow and ice accumulation. In addition, the top of the guideway is either covered with a curved solar panel or it is a narrow guideway-only structure. Both of these avoid significant snow accumulation.
3. If it's solar powered, how does it work at night?
The system operates day or night. The system stores solar power in batteries located in stations and elsewhere during the daytime. The stored power is used to charge up the Electric Vehicles When They Are Not Moving Around The System. In addition, the system is connected to the local power grid. As a result, the system can provide surplus power to the grid during the daytime and draw any needed power from the grid at night if the stored power is insufficient.
4. How does it work?
5. How much weight can a vehicle carry?
At present, the vehicles are designed to carry the weight of 4 adults, each weighing up to 200 pounds. This carrying capacity can be used for people, luggage, bicycles, a small portable grocery cart, or other hand-carry items so long as the total does not exceed 800 pounds.
6. Will the system be safe to ride?
The system is designed and tested to safety standards that result in a system 20 times safer than our highways. Safety is a key development aspect in any safety-critical system such as transit.
7. How does the system help with global warming?
The vehicles are 100% electric; they do not contribute to Green House Gases. Having convenient transportation allows people to travel without using their cars: hence, fewer Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT), a key measure of progress towards Net-Zero. Fewer automobiles in use mean less parking. Less space needed for parking allows that same space to be allocated to green spaces, further helping to cool the urban environment and reduce carbon dioxide and improve air quality.
1. What is the lifespan of the system?
The system is designed with a 50-100 year lifespan. This can be extended through fleet replacement and rejuvenation of structural elements as required.
2. How large is the system? Is there a minimum size?
There is no minimum size for a system. However, there has to be enough of a system to serve a large enough ridership so that system can operate profitably.
3. How will Rights Of Way (ROW) be obtained from state, city, and private property owners to allow the system to be built?
The system’s route will rely on state, city, and private ROW, each managed by the respective agency or owner of that ROW. STSC along with its LOC partners will adhere to agency processes applicable for obtaining ROW from public interest and private property owners for the ROW.
4. State- and municipal-level laws often require fees for use of ROW. How are these fees covered?
STSC and its affiliated LOCs will pay ROW fees.
5. What is the impact to local roads, both during construction and once finished?
The construction of the STSC system has minimal impact on the local roadways. Early in the design phase, survey work is done at specific locations where vertical support poles would later be located. This early work is focused on soil and subsurface properties that affect the supports and would generally work in a few square feet every 100 feet or so. Later, small crews work at each support pole site installing footings. Finally, when it is time to erect the guideway, crews with small cranes move, section by section, down the street, putting up the vertical support poles and then the guideway. Again, the impact on local businesses and local traffic is small compared to other transit solutions such as light rail, which take significant portions of the local roadway out of service for months.
With the system operating above grade, no lane for traffic or bicycles from the local road is sacrificed to the system. Vertical support poles are located every 100 feet and can be placed in the median, on the edges of sidewalks, on private property, or elsewhere. The specifics of these locations come from the site survey work done by a local civil engineering firm.
6. Where will the route be?
The first step in building a system is defining the stations’ locations and the route that best serves the community. Next, a series of community engagement efforts will be made to collect people’s concerns and issues and identify the locations and associated number of people that would use the system from those locations. With the station locations in hand, potential routes for the guideway will be defined, and additional community feedback on the proposed routes will be gathered. Some refinements to the route may be made at that time. The final decisions on where the route is located will follow from these discussions and subsequent approval by the community along with acquisitions of relevant ROW.
7. Why is STSC looking at our location?
The STSC solution addresses many transit needs, including ski resorts, theme parks, retirement communities, sports arenas, and campuses. The abundance of sunshine and terrain also led to STSC’s focus on this area. Furthermore, the state government’s focus on air quality and the environment supports the project. Finally, the desire of the local community to have a solution to their transit needs is a very significant factor in determining to develop here.
8. Can having an STSC system help address parking issues?
Yes. The system is relatively narrow and can easily operate adjacent to parking lots or attached parking structures. This means that people do not need to be as concerned about walking long distances to and from parking. For city planners and local businesses, an STSC system can reduce the amount of parking needed in dense areas and free up areas as open spaces formerly lost to parking areas.