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Small Containers Move More

In this illustration a train empties a couple hundred people onto a platform. Before the train has left the station, about 1/3rd of the people have already left. Within 2.25 minutes, everyone has left.

There is a profit, a value above cost, in saving people time and money. JPods focuses on the value and quality of the trip to the traveler. JPods are respectful that the time of the travel is valuable. JPods, like the automobile or elevators, serves the customer on-demand.


Small packets stream resource to need more effectively than large batches.

In nature delivery systems are streaming. Blood operates with small vehicles delivering needs on-demand and streaming away waste products as they are produced. If your red cells had a thousand times their capacity but were twice as large, you would be dead.

Size must be tailored to need.

Historically the right size packet for move people is feet, horse, chariot, carriage, bike and automobile.

Comparison of seats per hour
Seats per Vehicle Seats per Hour Headway
Bus  50 600 5 mins
Light Rail 200 1200 10 mins
JPods, Ultra and other PRT 4 4800 3 secs
Automobiles 4 4800 1-6 secs
Headways will shorten with experience by Year 2-3. They will become more a function of how rails are designed.
Jpods 4 14400 1 secs
Jpods 4 28800 .5 secs
Jpods 4 57600 .25 secs
Adding multiple rails in the same footprint (6 rails). Six rails is about what will fit in a typical highway tunnel. For instance, Lincoln Tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan. As JPods networks reduce the traffic, choke-point resources will be allocated to more efficient modes than cars and trucks.
JPods 6rail 4 86400 1 secs
Jpods 4 172800 .5 secs
Jpods 4 345600 .25 secs

The following graph shows the capacity per lane. Year One is on the left and in the left of the second graph. Experience will support headway reduction. As oil-powered vehicles are displaced, access to tunnels and other choke-points are expected to be granted. For example, one tube of the Lincoln Tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan could be granted. On an initial estimate, 6 rails could fit through one tube of the Lincoln Tunnel. Given that there is station and vehicle capacity, the rail would be capable of 172,800 seats per hour at .5 second headways. This far exceeds the capacity of any other mode of transport.

Click to enlarge.
click to enlarge

Benefits of shifting from Mass Production to Just-in-Time can be gained by shifting from Mass Transit to Personal Automated Mobility.

Manufacturers experienced great productivity gains moving from Mass Production (focus on the capital asset) to Just-in-Time (focus on the quality, continuous flow and value of the process).

Here is a typical impact on a company in the early 1990's when they shifted from Mass Production to Just-in-time continuous flow ((Womack, Jones, 1996)

Batch & Queue/1991 Flow/1995
Development time for a new product family 3-4 years 1 year
Employee hours per machine 160 80
Manufacturing space per machine 100 square feet 55 square feet
Delivered defects per machine 8.0 0.8
Production throughput time 16 weeks 14 hours to 5 days
Product delivery lead time 4-20 weeks 1-4 weeks

Forty-eight U.S. companies using Just-In-Time work teams report (Waldo, 1991):
- 35% reduction in cycle time
- 24% reduction in late deliveries
- 30% reduction in hours/unit,
- 33% reduction in work-in-progress inventories
- 58% reduction in scrap rates
- 71% reduction in customer complaints
- 39% reduction in floor space required

Reference: Applying Lessons from Lean Production Theory to Transit Planning by Dunning and Richert.

Being ultra-light and on-demand, JPods service is available 24 x 7. Capacity is 100% available 100% of the time. Buses and trains have limited capacity often and zero capacity much of the night.