> Charles Adelberg


> PRT in Silicon Valley


>Charles Adelberg, Ph.D. in Applied Economics, has been involved in

>technology-transfer for the past 18 years. He currently manages a group

>of economists at the U.S. Department of Treasury who value technology,

>know-how and associated intangibles transferred between international

>divisions of multinational businesses. He also teaches about

>technology-transfer to MBA candidates at the University of Phoenix.


>He was formerly president of the Association for Science, Technology,

>and Innovation, a group like TASC that is based in Washington, DC.


>Dr. Adelberg's talk will specifically focus on the obstacles and

>opportunities for having Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) technology

>adopted in Silicon Valley. Introduced to PRT in 1984 at the University

>of Minnesota, Dr. Adelberg has studied the conception and progress

>of one award winning PRT company, Taxi2000 Corporation, in developing

>and marketing its technology.


>Recently, this company has been looking for partners in building an

>application's site for this technology, and Dr. Adelberg has been

>an advocate for such a venture in Silicon Valley. Apart from trumpeting

>its benefits for a variety of Valley ills, Dr. Adelberg will outline

>institutional barriers and potential interest-based problem solving

>solutions to forming the public-private partnership necessitated by

>this technology.


Dr. Adelberg began his talk by rehashing many of the aspects of PRT that had been discussed the last time a presenter talked about the issue, sometime last spring. He then played a ten minute video about PRT, which had some great animation, and also talked about the basic benefits of the system. To sum it up, PRT has modern technology, is cheap to install and operate, and provides remarkably convenient transit to any city that is wise enough to invest in the system.

Dr. Adelberg than drew a proposed starter "demo" route for Silicon Valley on a map he had brought with him. He felt that a loop around the old FMC property at the end of Central Expressway, with two stops would be ideal. After people had gotten used to using that, a spur to the airport could be added.

Dr. Adelberg then spent considerable time talking about the huge public buy-in that would be required to build this system. He felt that it could be accomplished with only about $40 million, including purchasing the worldwide distribution rights for the entire PRT system. He suggested that Cisco Systems could be brought in to make the system a public/private partnership by planning to put stops at all the buildings on their new Tasman Street campus.

Tian Harter