Riccardo Scarinci, Switzerland
We design a futuristic transport system: an urban network of accelerating moving walkways (AMW). Unlike traditional moving walkways (MW), AMWs present an acceleration section at the embarking area that accelerates passengers to a speed higher than that of MWs. Examples of accelerating walkways show that the system can reach 12-15 km/h. The use of AMWs is competitive with that of public transport systems, such as buses and light rail, when the walking time, waiting time, and dwell time in stations are taken into account. Although buses and trams have higher top speeds, the discontinuous nature of these systems decreases their average speed. Note that individuals can walk on AMWs, incrementing the top speed to 15-17 km/h. The resulting speed is also competitive with private cars, which travel at an average speed of 15 km/h during peak hours. AMWs are designed for a high traffic demand, and they have a maximum capacity larger than buses. In comparison with buses, AMWs have a greater capital cost and a similar operational cost. AMWs require only a limited space for installation in comparison with the other modes of transport. This is an advantage for the integration of the system in the urban environment. Finally, AMWs are fully electric, they have a low energy consumption and a low noise level in comparison with the other modes of transport.