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Amritsar is home to the Sikhs, Golden Temple, and is rich in historical, religious and heritage sites.

As such it’s a big draw for large numbers of visitors, especially during festivals and religious events, as pilgrims flock to the area.

Up to 500,000 people visit the Golden Temple on important religious festival days.   The Passenger Rapid Transport (PRT) system will ease congestion and reduce the current long travel transit times.

The Punjab Government has awarded a contract for the world’s first urban PRT system in Amritsar, India to Ultra Fairwood.

At peak capacity the PRT system can carry up to 100,000 passengers a day on a 3.3km elevated guide way in over 200 specialist vehicles between seven stations, making it the world’s largest PRT system to date.

The route will focus on taking passengers from the railway and bus stations to the Golden Temple and will take 35% of daily visitors to the Golden Temple.

This will save up to 30 minutes on the current journey times.

Financed entirely by private funding on a build, own, operate transfer (BOOT) basis, the passenger services will commence in 2014.

The Ultra PRT system uses driverless, electric-battery powered, computer driven, zero emission vehicles called “pods” which can each carry 4-6 people in privacy and comfort. It never get held up by congestion, so reduce travel time.

These pods provide an on-demand, non-stop journey to anywhere on the system. It use one third of the energy of a car, and are virtually silent with no emissions.

It travel on a segregated guide way that can run over/alongside roads, rail tracks and buildings

Installing PRT system potentially reduce current journey of up to one hour in peak hours to around seven minutes. This may be able to reduce the number of cars on a major city’s streets by up to 20%.

The pod PRT system is an idea that proved works at Heathrow and this is an innovative technology that can play a role in city transport solutions.

PRT systems can sustainably and quickly transform an urban transport environment and provide users and other stakeholders with another viable transport mode.

(this article published in 1BINA.my)