Driverless pod taxis could connect Noida to airport in Jewar
BJP leader and Jewar legislator Dhirendra Singh told PTI that the government is considering driverless personal rapid transport (PRT) or pod taxis for last-mile connectivity between Greater Noida and Jewar. The greenfield-class Noida International Airport is being developed in Singh's constituency. He made the announcement a day after meeting the representatives of Ultra Global PRT, a company specializing in pod taxis.
What is a greenfield airport?
Airports are classified as greenfields based on the way the ancillary facilities are developed. For greenfield airports, infrastructure such as terminals, runways, and parking spaces are developed from the ground-up. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad is India's first greenfield airport.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister informed of driverless PRT system's viability
Singh said that pod taxis could be used to connect fliers shuttling between Greater Noida and the new airport. He said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has been informed of the pod taxi idea. Singh also told PTI that the CM prioritizes a futuristic mode of transport and that a driverless PRT system is more viable for this route.
MLA Dhirendra Singh emphasizes the advantages of electric pod taxis
Enumerating the advantages of driverless electric pod taxis, Singh said they are more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than metro rail. He added that one taxi could ferry five to six passengers, making it more viable than buses which don't operate at full capacity. Singh claimed that pod taxis have no carbon emission and zero accident rate.
Ultra Global PRT highlights lower costs compared to traditional options
Ultra Global PRT's CEO for India and the Middle East, Nitin Kumar claimed that developing a pod taxi system would be five times cheaper than creating a metro or train route. Ultra PRT estimates that constructing a kilometer-long route for pod taxis could cost Rs. 40-45 crore as opposed to Rs. 135-150 crore for a metro train, and Rs. 250-350 crore for local trains.
Officials claim airport would be spread over 5,000 hectares
Notably, the development work for the first of the four phases of Noida International Airport in Jewar is underway. Project officials claim that once the airport is complete, it will have five or six runways spread over an area of 5,000 hectares. The development has been undertaken by Swiss firm Flughafen Zurich AG, at an estimated cost of Rs. 29,560 crore.