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Article Written by Randy Sutherland,  Contributing Writer, Atlanta Business Chronicle, July 17, 2020, 1:53 EST

Visitors and workers in the growing area around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in future could have a new high-tech means of getting around. The choice will no longer be limited to trains and buses or personal cars; instead, tiny self-driving vehicles could whisk travelers around the area.

Personal Rapid Transit, or PRT, uses small modes called podcars to transport passengers between designated locations on dedicated guideways.

“We saw that (PRT) provided two major features that we thought could be a solution, not only for the airport area, but the region as well,” said Aerotropolis Atlanta Community Improvement Districts Executive Director Gerald McDowell. “It costs significantly less than heavy rail and light rail, and even costs less than bus rapid transit to build and construct.”

PRT routes can be built for about $10 million to $20 million a mile compared to $300 million or more a mile for high-speed rail. It’s also flexible. The system only deploys the number of podcars needed to meet immediate demand. There’s no empty cars traveling between routes, according to McDowell.

The push for PRT came after a year-long transit feasibility study commissioned by the CIDs.

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