Efficient Use of Energy
Many people regard conventional rail as the most efficient form of transportation, but the truth is that trains are efficient only when they are full. In the real world, a train that is full during rush hour can be nearly empty at mid-day, and a train that is full in Santa Cruz could have a lot fewer passengers when it reaches Watsonville.
RailCAT vehicles operate based on demand, meaning that very few empty seats are in motion at any given time. The vehicles move only when they are needed. Furthermore, RailCAT vehicles can travel at a nearly constant speed, eliminating the constant cycle of starts and stops in a conventional rail system.
We did some calculations which appear to indicate that RailCAT will use less energy per passenger-mile than a conventional rail system. PRT vehicles from Ultra and 2getthere are bulkier than Glydways, and they use 0.11 to 0.12 kWh per vehicle-km (source), or about 604 to 659 BTU per vehicle-mile. In 2018, US transit rail used 1,813 BTU per passenger-mile, and commuter rail used 2,398 BTU per passenger-mile (source). We found another source suggesting that electric trains typically use 0.07 to 0.18 kWh per passenger-km.
Efficient Use of Time
(Content to come, regarding length of trips)
Efficient Use of Space
(Content to come, regarding how the system fits into the existing space that is already delegated for rail. No need for extra land to build sidings or stations.)