Supporting the development of transportation infrastructure essential for cities
The transportation infrastructure that supports our daily lives has been continuously evolving. At the same time, the concentration of growing populations in urban areas stemming from economic development is leading to serious traffic congestion and environmental degradation. As a means for resolving these issues, large cities are extending subway lines and expanding other public transportation systems. The increased economic burden involved in the construction and operation of these systems, however, has heightened the need for a transportation infrastructure that can be built and operated at lower costs. As an alternative to conventional trains and buses, monorail and tram (Light Rail:LR) systems have emerged as new urban transportation systems. One of these systems is the new Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) that runs on rubber tires on elevated tracks constructed over existing roads.
The AGT offers a variable passenger carrying capacity, ranging from a small number of people per day to mass transport exceeding 100,000 people per day. In addition, the system boasts superior environmental performance as no exhaust gases are emitted and electrical power consumption is low, while use of rubber tires reduces noise and vibration. Moreover, the small size of the cars allows a high degree of freedom in route planning, enabling the system to be both scalable and extendable in urban areas. Economic operations are realized as these systems are driverless and fully automated.
In 1973, MHI launched the MAT System, which served as a model for all of its subsequent AGT systems. The company has since constructed many new AGTs, encompassing vehicle production and power supply facilities, and has built seven lines in major urban areas, from the Kobe Port Liner in 1981 to the Tokyo Nippori Toneri Liner in 2008. Together these Japanese lines carry more than 600,000 people daily and have become indispensable to contemporary city life.