The lifeblood of the city is the goods required to keep it functioning, as well as the people who live in it. The system of transportation is like the circulatory system, supplying food and goods to where they are needed as well as taking away recyclable materials and goods produced that cannot be used by that community, (exports).
The system would consist of nodes being (from greatest to least amounts of goods and/or people transferred): regional or city storage facilities, city depot, town depot, community depot, village depot, and dwelling.
Edges would be heavy rail transport between storage and city, and city and town; a lighter gauge rail transport between town and community and a bus system between community and village. People-powered units (i.e., bikes would serve between village and dwelling.
Each link is a back-and-forth system which travels the same route servicing the same two points. Furthermore, the entire system is set up so that each one-way trip or pulse, takes the same amount of time, regardless of the distance. This is achieved by utilizing a mode capable of the necessary speed. This feature is the heart of how it can function efficiently and conveniently.
Cargo would use a 30-minute sorting time between cycles. . typical schedule would have buses/trains leaving on the quarter hour, arriving at their destination 10 minutes later; this leaves a 5-minute layover in which people would change cars and full cargo containers moving down the line would be exchanged for empties, recycling, and mail moving back up the line. All handling would take place during the half-hour wait between cycles, in which containers would be either moved to where they could be loaded onto the next train going in the proper direction or stored temporarily if no space were available.
The number of freight cars per train would remain relatively constant in order to provide adequate service on a reliable basis; due to the large capacity of the system, cargo would be transported fairly easily and conveniently for everyone concerned. Cargo use of the system would, however, be limited to those cycles which would assure delivery of that cargo to its destination or to an adequate storage facility by the time the system shut down for the night. In considering travel time for a particular cargo, 15 minutes must be allowed per edge, and a half-hour per each node en route. For instance, a cargo unit from the storage, bound for the community center would leave the storage center no later than the 7th-to-the-last pulse of the day (see figure g )
Cargo would be transported in bulk only as far as the community level (except for the mail, which would go to the village postal office by bus.) All other bulk distribution would be carried out at the community level. People would acquire their goods there; transportation then becomes the individual's responsibility. In most cases, the bus system would provide quite adequate service.
The considerations for which mode of transportation to use would be based on the number of people served. Between the storage center and the city & town, a heavy rail system using flat cars for containers of cargo, and passenger cars, would be most appropriate. For the link between town and community center, a lighter rail system capable of carrying a fractional amount of the cargo moving down the line, equal to one over the number of communities served on this link.
Due to the great frequency of pulses, the system will not be required to handle too much at one time, in one pulse. This will mean a minimum of storage along the route as well as at its destination, due to the rapid response time in which the storage facilities can send something along.
I have largely passed over passenger transportation since it is so much simpler in nature. A minimum number of passenger cars will be on the line, with the potential of adding extra cars to accommodate special events or seasons.
This paper was originally done for a General Systems Theory class in the Spring of 1977. I am seeking permission from Andy, if I can find him!