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Title: Design of a Point-to-Point Transportation System via Aerial Ropeways
Authors: Cheung, Lai Sang Liza
Liang, Jessica
Wu, Haley
Advisors: Nosenchuck, Daniel
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: In view of long travel and wait times in existing urban transportation systems due to traffic congestion and the need to slow down and stop at numerous intermediate stations, point-to-point transportation has become a major research focus in transportation systems design in recent years, especially as the world’s population begins to grow and move towards urban areas. However, many of the previously proposed systems are costly, unable to serve a large demand, and therefore have not been widely implemented. Hence, a point-to-point aerial ropeway system was designed, which combines the cost benefits of aerial lifts with the speed benefits of personal rapid transit systems into a robust system that delivers point-to-point capabilities that can complement and even exceed certain capabilities of existing transportation systems. The proposed system reduces the total trip time for a given route to 73% of that of existing underground transportation systems and even 59% of that of existing ground transportation systems in the central business district of a major city. The ticket price is set at US$2.5, which is comparable to that of existing transportation system while still able to generate an internal rate of return of 66.7% and keep the payback period as short as 4 years. The system is also attractive to both locals and tourists, as the 10-person pods are comfortable compared to crowded subway trains and the ride provides a view of the city from above. Despite these benefits, the proposed system has the drawback of being unable to accommodate as high a passenger flux as some other mass transportation systems. The system can accommodate a passenger throughput of 10,600 people per hour per direction on non-congested lines. However, when congestion becomes a significant factor at more popular destinations, stations in those areas can expect no more than 70% of the expected passenger throughput with a maximum of 40 pods held in any station simultaneously. Beyond this limit of 40 pods, wait times would exponentially increase and land acquisition costs would also increase as too many pods congest the station. Nonetheless, if the required demand of the system exceeds the designed system’s allowable demand, the pod capacity can be increased to accommodate more people. To reach these conclusions, the system was modelled logistically using a simplified model and a stochastic queuing model, and financially using a discounted cash flow model. This report first presents the logistics and mechanisms of the aerial ropeway system, including the station design, mechanical design, controls system and storage logistics. Then the designed system is modelled and analyzed from a logistical and financial perspective to obtain a general idea of how it would perform if implemented in a city.
Extent: 113 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2019

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