The ability to link cars into continuous trains, enables the STT guideway to equal the capacity a multilane expressway.
Expressways have an observed maximum throughput capacity of 2000 cars per lane per hour due to the space between cars. The recommended safe operating distance between cars is 2 seconds. Most of us, however, cheat this down to 1.5 seconds. At 65 mph a car is traveling 95 feet per second or 143 ft per 1.5 seconds. An 16 foot long car keeping a second and a half headway constitutes a 159 ft unit or 2158 hypothetical units per hour. This is fairly close to the 2000 cars per hour that traffic engineers have observed.
The space between cars has more affect on cars-per-hour than speed.
Speed doesn’t affect throughput very much. At 100 mph, with a 1.5 second headway, throughput is 2237 cars per hour which is only 78 more than the 2158 figure for 65 mph. At 20 mph throughput is not that much less, 1760 cars per hour.
Up to 10 cars are linked to form trains by using electromagnetic air cushioned pads on the front and rear of each car. The resulting trains are treated as units with a 4 second headway between them. At 70 mph, a ten car train with and a 4 second headway yields a throughput capacity of over 7200 cars per hour. More than three expressway lanes on each side of a dual direction guideway.
One of the defining characteristics of the American automobile commuter is that he or she travels alone. The average occupancy in rush hour traffic is 1.16 persons per car. It is quite unlikely this will change when using a STT utility car therefore riders per hour is figured at 1.16 passengers per car. A 70 mph guideway ridership equals 8352 per hour which is equal to light rail ridership.
A 150 mph intercity guideway with ten car trains and a 4 second headway would have a capacity of 8081 cars per hour. At 1.16 passengers per car the system would transport 9375 riders per hour in each direction.
Solar Tubular Transit is a redesigned successor to
Tubular Guideway Transit. http://www.tubularguidewaytransit.com/html/TGTnew.html
Expressway throughput capacity.