Denver's 1970s Flirtation with Personal Rapid Transit


I was a young engineer fresh out of CU when I was hired by Transportation Tech later to be Ottis-TTD. What a first trip for a newbie!! Working with so many skilled people all bent on a mission. The hours were long; from Jan2 1972 until the end of May I had no days off and an 8 hour day was getting off early but it was an energized environment. The story closed for me as I happened to be on the first public run from the airport a few years ago. I took a few pictures along the way including our old building at Smith road and Quebec and sent them to a few old workmates.

How exciting to have been on this project, Ron! Sounds like it was hard work, but fulfilling. Thanks for sharing your memories!

On a very hot August day in 1972, about 60 legislators waited in school busses at the TTI (Transportation Technology Inc.) test track just north of where Hwy 225 intersects US70. I had invited them to witness the maiden voyage of the PRT air-levitated vehicle designed and built by my client, Otis Elevator Co., owner of TTI. The first test pod was occupied by Governor and Mrs. John Love, and it made a grand swooping into the straightaway, breaking the paper banner held on one side by my secretary, Ms. Charly Faimon, and on the other by the local TTI Mgr. The vehicle made a successful docking at the door leading into the modular office. An interlocking arrangement prevented the vehicle cover (plastic bubble) from opening until the building entrance, a regular Otis Elevator door, was opened. Oh, oh; no sesame! The door was jammed; the Loves were cooking in the pod; the legislators were steaming in the busses. The Adams City Fire Dept. eventually showed up to free the elevator door and the sweat-soaked Loves. Ice in the lemonade melted. Governor Love was soon appointed the first Energy Czar by Pres. Nixon; his successor, John Vanderhoof -- citing his time in a yellow bus -- announced that a PRT was not appropriate for Denver.