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Is it Free?

PRT may indeed be “free” for a government to install, in some cases, without any subsidies. That’s because the operating expenses are so low compared to other forms of public transportation.

Some businesses have offered to install PRT at no cost to a community, provided the business is allowed to operate the system and collect the fares. But if it’s profitable for a business, then why not for a government?

PRT can be “free” in the sense that a government can sell serial revenue bonds to investors to generate the funds needed to install the system. Then the government collects passengers’ fares, which are then passed on to the investors as bond payments.

The viability of this proposal depends on the actual costs, fares, and ridership. Here we present a calculator to determine, roughly, if a given system will generate enough income to pay off the investors.