RUF From The Horses Mouth
What is the RUF system?
The RUF system is a completely new kind of transportation system. It is a dual-mode system where the vehicles are small electric cars (rufs) or larger Automatic People Mover units (maxi-rufs). The vehicles can go directly from road to a triangular monorail at 30 km/h. The ruf is "riding" on top of the triangular monorail. The ruf has an A-shaped slot along the underside of the vehicle. It is equipped with both normal road wheels and special simple rail wheels. The rufs can be closely coupled on the monorail. The rufs take current from the rail or from small batteries when it is driving by itself on the roads. The batteries can be charged during rail driving. The range on normal roads is more than 50 km. The speed on normal roads is up to 80 km/h. The speed on the rail can reach 200 km/h (typically 100 km/h). Rail switching takes places without moving rail. The dual-mode principle is used for automatic guidance of a ruf from one rail - via road - to another rail or to the ordinary road network. Normal braking on the rail is regenerative (motor=generator). Emergency braking is very effective using a special direct rail brake. The dual-mode ruf has room for 2-4 passengers. The maxi-ruf has room for 10 passengers. The rufs can be privately owned or public. A personal smart card is used for fare collection. The name RUF originates from a Danish expression where "get along in a RUF" means "go fast". It could also be an acronym for Rapid Urban Flexible transportation.
Why is the RUF system such a good idea?
The car is the major mode of transportation in a modern society. As a consequence, many large cities are suffering from severe congestion and pollution caused by the car. Public transportation systems fail to attract car drivers because of the inflexible nature of the train systems. The RUF system is a system which combines the flexibility of a car with the advantages of a train.
Which problems can the RUF system solve?
1) The RUF system can reduce congestion and pollution.
Car drivers who choose the ruf instead of the car will be able to drive directly from door-to-door just as the car. Instead of using a highway, they use a triangular monorail placed 4 m above the middle of the road (or in a separate lane). The rufs on the rail are coupled close together while "riding" on the rail. This coupling principle will increase the capacity of the rail and decrease the air resistance of the rufs. The increased capacity will reduce congestion and the reduced air resistance will reduce all emissions from the system.
2) The RUF system can cover widespread areas.
Most modern cities are too widespread to be serviced by an ordinary train system. It is not acceptable to walk more than 300 m to a station, and waiting times must be very low. It is unacceptable to have to transfer between bus and train. Consequently, people use the car instead of the train. The dual-mode ruf can go directly from door-to-door and start whenever the driver is ready. The rail system enables safe driving at high speed with low energy consumption and high capacity. The ruf can leave the rail at junctions along the rail (5-20 km apart) and continue as an electric car. Switching from road to rail and from rail to road is done at 30 km/h. Rail driving is fully automatic.
3) The RUF system can act as a very attractive APM system.
The rail network can have stations (off-line) where passengers can enter rufs or maxi-rufs. Every passenger is seated with the same comfort as a car driver. Every unit (ruf or maxi-ruf) drives non-stop between stations. The passenger can relax completely, since the ruf doesn't stop until the destination station. The ruf-train will slow down to 30 km/h while passing the intermediate stations, but it will not stop before the passenger has reached his destination. The departures are very frequent. Waiting times are almost eliminated. The system operates 24 hours a day. The use of the system is controlled by a personal smart card.
4) The ruf is an electric car without range problems.
Normal electric cars have a severe range problem. Large batteries are needed in order to obtain a sufficient range. Large batteries are heavy, costly and take a long time to recharge. The ruf takes current from the triangular rail, so it is able to recharge while driving on the rail. When leaving the rail, the ruf is powered by small batteries. In a large city, all destinations will be within 10 km from a rail junction, so a range of 50 km is quite sufficient. Small batteries means low rolling resistance, low braking losses, low initial cost, low replacement cost (typically every 2-3 years with present battery technology) compared with the batteries of normal electric cars.
5) Low cost of monorail.
The rufs "ride" on top of an "ultra light" triangular monorail. Since the rufs are much lighter than normal elevated trains (400 kg/m for ruf vs. 1000 kg/m for a typical train) the rail structure can be very slender. The rail sections can be mass produced in a factory and moved to the construction site via the finished rail.
6) Low cost of establishing a RUF system.
Compared to alternative methods of increasing traffic capacity in order to reduce congestion, the cost of establishing a RUF system is very low. No levelling of the ground is required and only very little land is needed for the masts.
Which problems does the RUF system create ?
1) The RUF system representsa new infrastructure on top of the existing road and rail infrastructure. In the short term, this means that the cost of infrastructure will increase.
In the long term, some of the existing infrastructure could be converted to RUF rails. This conversion will increase the traffic capacity compared to the old road/rail. The establishment of a RUF system may well be the cheapest way to increase traffic capacity in order to reduce congestion. It is very expensive to increase highway capacity in existing cities and new railroad lines are probably even more expensive. A RUF rail can be placed as an elevated monorail in the middle of existing highways or other main roads.
2) The ruf vehicle is more standardized than normal cars. The individuality which seems to be very important for car owners is limited with a RUF system.
The RUF standard only limits some technical data for the ruf. It is possible to add individual features to the design of the ruf. The ruf can be equipped with many electronic devices which can be used safely during rail-riding. To a lot of car owners individuality in design is not as important as the possibility of individual driving in a way which is environmentally acceptable. The ruf can offer just that.
3) The interior of the ruf is different from a that of a normal car because of the A-shaped slot along the underside of the ruf. It means, that it is not easy to move from one side to the other as it is normally possible in a car (at least on the rear seat).
In a 2-person ruf, the situation is the same as it would be in a 2-person car with the gear lever in the middle. The ruf is thought to be somewhat higher than a normal car, because it is better for the passenger (better view, easy access) and it is not a problem as it would be in a normal car. Normal cars have to be rather low in order to be able to drive at high speed, otherwise the air resistance would be too big. The ruf only runs at high speed on the rail and closely coupled on the rail so the height is no big problem.
4) The ruf is a dual-mode car, so it needs extra wheels, etc. for the rail-mode. This will add to the weight and the cost.
The extra wheels are simple, inexpensive wheels because they run on a smooth rail surface. The normal wheels can also be simpler, because the speed on normal roads is limited (max. 80 km/h).
How can the RUF system be used by the typical commuter?
The typical user will start at his residence (where the ruf has been recharged during the night) and drive a few km to the nearest rail. Before entering the rail, he will tell the ruf computer where he wants to leave the system. He will enter the rail immediately and couple together with other rufs to form a train while driving at low speed. After a very short time the train speeds up to 100 km/h and proceeds towards its destination. If it is a long distance rail there will typically be 20 km between junctions, where all rufs slow down to 30 km/h before entering the switching area. If it is a short distance rail, the distance will typically be 5 km. In the switching area the ruf is automatically guided in the desired direction (a continued rail or changing to road driving). The driver can relax since the system controls the driving until the point where he takes over again in order to use the normal roads for the final trip (a few km). If the ruf is owned by the driver, it will be parked as an ordinary car or automatically via the rail. If the ruf is public, the driver can leave the ruf at an off-line station and walk the rest of the distance. This will be most attractive if the destination is in a dense area of the city. It will also be cheaper, since the public ruf can be used by other passengers during the day (via the personal smart card). In the evening the ruf (private or public) can be used for all kind of short errands. This is a big advantage compared with using a normal car for short trips. Cold starts are very harmful for the environment.
Why has the RUF-system not been built a long time ago?
The development of ground transportation systems seems to have been divided in two camps fighting each other. Car developers have concentrated upon building better cars, train developers have been improving the trains. Nobody seems to have put energy into the development of systems combining car qualities with train qualities. For me as an independent professional inventor, it became obvious that the answer to the problems of traffic in big cities is a dual-mode system like the RUF system. Since 1988 I have used income from other inventions to finance the development of the RUF concept. It has been developed in Denmark where we have very few traffic problems compared with other countries, so funding has been a problem. A Danish consortium has been created in order to develop and standardize the RUF system:
RUF International Produktionsvej 2 2600 Glostrup Denmark Phone (+45) 7217 7202 Fax (+45) 7217 7216 E-mail RUF@RUF.DK
How can a RUF system be implemented?
In a city where congestion is a major problem and where the density is too low to be served by a train system, RUF rails can be placed along major arteries in the city as an elevated rail 4 meters above ground, or at ground level but screened from the surroundings by a fence. Only few rails are needed, because the dual-mode ruf can drive 50 km along the normal roads. A two-way rail in the middle of a 4-lane highway will more than double the capacity of the highway. If many car owners convert to ruf, congestion will be reduced significantly.
How can a RUF system be financed?
In a city with major congestion problems, the cheapest solution will be to implement a RUF system. The users will be willing to pay a relatively high price because they get:
- a congestion free drive - short and predictable travel times - no transfer between transportation modes - high class comfort - privacy - no parking problems (if the ruf is public) - a good conscience because they produce very little pollution As the construction cost is relatively low (mass produced Ultra Light rail elements, very little land area required and easy mounting), it will be a good business for a private RUF rail operating company. Further more, some users will finance their vehicles themselves. The operating company will build the rail system and a number of public rufs as a start. As a large customer (more than 10.000 rufs), the operating company will be able to keep down the initial cost of the rufs and to ensure that it will have a high quality and a long lifetime. Several manufacturers will compete to deliver the very attractive number of rufs. The rail can be used by both dual-mode rufs and the larger maxi-rufs (10 passengers). The operating company can offer mass-transit via the rail if a large number of the rufs are maxi-rufs driving automatically between off-line stations. The passengers will find the system attractive for the following reasons: - very high frequency - seats for everybody - non stop between stations - privacy or company by choice - easy wheelchair access - smart card tickets - safe platforms - speedy loading and unloading
What does the ruf look like?
All rufs have an A-shaped slot along the underside of the vehicle. Its dimensions will be approximately: height = 50 cm angle = 45 degrees. The height of a ruf could be 165 cm. The width could be 175 cm. The length of a 2-person ruf could be 340 cm total (300 cm in a train, closely coupled with other rufs). A 4-person ruf will be a little longer, but not much. Many variations are possible. Each manufacturer will try to make the most attractive ruf, but they all have to comply with the RUF standard defined by RUF International. The rufs can be closely coupled. Ideally the front and rear is identical. A maxi-ruf is longer, but the basic shape is the same.
How is the ruf propelled?
1) On normal roads, the ruf travels as a normal electric car. The batteries are smaller because the ruf uses the rail when it travels long distances.
2) On the rail, the ruf takes current from the rail so the batteries can be charged during rail driving. Normally the rail driving is fast, so the time is too short for a complete recharge of the batteries.
In the case of a rail power supply breakdown, the ruf train can continue at reduced speed with power from the batteries.
3) If the user needs to go to a place a long distance from the rail system, the 50 km range may be too short. In this case, he can use a special hybrid unit which can be mounted under the ruf. It fits into the A-shaped slot along the underside of the ruf. It contains an ICE motor running at constant speed, optimized to have maximum efficiency and a minimum rate of pollution. The motor runs a generator which produces electric power for the ruf. The hybrid unit has a gasoline tank with sufficient volume so that the hybrid ruf has the same range as a normal car.
How does the braking system of the ruf operate?
1) On normal roads, it can brake precisely as a normal car.
Compared to a normal electric car, the weight is lower because of the smaller batteries, so the motion energy is lower and less energy is wasted during braking.
If future batteries are able to absorb large charging currents, the ruf will be able to make use of the motion energy by using the motor as a generator and charge the battery.
2) On the rail, it can use regenerative braking because the current rails can absorb the large currents. As long as everything is working normally, every braking situation will be controlled and the rail wheels will never be blocked. The wheels can be smooth rubber wheels without brake linings. The rolling resistance can be low and the noise from the wheels running on the smooth surface of the rail will be very low.
3) In case an emergency situation the ruf has a special rail-brake which can bring the ruf to a complete stop in a very short time.
The rail-brake can put pressure on the sides of the rail. It is placed so that it acts on the top of the triangular rail. Normal braking systems are limited by the weight of the vehicle causing a friction between wheel and road/rail. There is no limit to the amount of friction which can be obtained with the ruf rail-brake. If the passenger can withstand -1G as a maximum deceleration during emergency braking, the ruf can go from 100 km/h to a complete stop in 40 m. A car needs 150 m and a train needs a much longer distance. The consequence is that the rufs can drive with relatively short distances between trains, so the capacity is high. The rail-brake is positioned at the ideal position in relation to the gravity point of the ruf. This means that the ruf is completely stable during braking, unlike cars on the road.
What does the RUF rail look like?
The rail is made as 20 m long modules. It is constructed around a standard I-beam of steel. The rail wheels run on the "shoulders" of the rail. The I-beam is covered by plates and fibre concrete. The internal space in the rail can be used by all kinds of installations for the RUF system as well as for the city. It is much cheaper to run a cable within a RUF rail than to bury it in the streets.
How does the ruf change from one rail to another?
Rail switching is obtained without moving rail. The dual-mode principle can be used to switch from one rail to another. The switching actions are as follows: 1) The control system knows in advance that the ruf has to change direction. The user will tell the ruf-computer his destination before entering the rail (or before entering the public ruf at a station) 2) Some distance from the switching point, the ruf is separated (5 m) from the rest of the train. 3) All rufs are slowed down to 30 km/h before entering the switching area. 4) When entering the switching area, the rufs leave the rail and travel a short distance on road, but fully automatic. The ruf is guided by an "electronic rail" (an alternating magnetic field from wires below the surface of the road). 5) The ruf is instructed in advance which of the possible electronic rails to follow (select frequency of field). 6) The front wheels of the ruf turn the vehicle so that it chooses either a new rail or continues as a car on the normal roads. 7) Once the ruf is on the rail again, it couples together with other rufs to form a train again and speeds up to 100 km/h. 8) If several rufs in succession turn in the same direction, they need not be separated before entering the switching area.
Dual-mode switching is a big advantage compared to normal rail switching because no time is wasted moving the rail (which normally requires 20 sec.). Since the turning action is in the individual vehicle, switching is extremely flexible. High capacity is possible with this system.
A disadvantage is that every ruf has to be slowed down to 30 km/h at switching areas. Since the switching area is very small, the average speed of the system is still high. In a fully developed RUF system, there will be long distance rails where the distance between switching areas is more than 20 km so the speed will be even higher.
How is the traffic capacity of RUF compared to other systems?
1) A highway lane has a limited capacity because the distance between individual cars has to be large. 2.000 cars/h per lane is maximum. On a RUF rail, the rufs are closely coupled and the distance between ruf trains can be short because of a special direct rail brake for emergency braking. Even in the worst case scenario where ruf trains are composed such that every ruf has to be separated from the surrounding rufs before a switching area, the capacity is still 3.600 ruf/h per rail. In a RUF system with intelligent train formation, the capacity can be more than doubled. The width of a highway lane (3.5 m) is determined by the widest vehicle allowed access to the road plus a margin for the driver. A RUF "lane" is very narrow (2.5 m) so 3 highway lanes can be converted into 4 RUF lanes. This is a very important means of reducing congestion.
2) A railroad track with switches has a limited capacity because it takes 20 sec. to move a switch. In that period, no train can be within braking distance from the switch. Another limiting factor is the braking distance which is very long. The friction between a steel wheel and a smooth steel rail is very low, so the maximum braking power is limited. A RUF system has a very efficient emergency braking system so the safety distances are much shorter than for trains. Also the dual-mode switches give the RUF system a big advantage compared to trains. On the other hand a train can hold a lot of passengers if you allow standing passengers.
With a 50/50 mixture of dual-mode rufs with 1.2 passenger/RUF and 10-person maxi-rufs with 75% occupancy, the capacity of a RUF system can reach 20.000 pass/h per direction. All passengers are seated with the comfort of a car and with more privacy than in trains.
What is a maxi-ruf ?
The maxi-ruf is a large ruf with room for 10 passengers. It is still a dual-mode vehicle, but it is only used on the rail system as an Automated People Mover (APM). It is approx. 6 m long and contains two rows of seats, 5 seats on each side of the console. Access to the seats is obtained via large doors which are top-hinged so that they open like large wings. The passenger can go directly from the seat to the platform so loading and unloading is very fast. The seats in the front are turned 180 degrees so that the passenger can communicate with a fellow passenger in the next seat. All other seats are individual seats. The front seats are fold-up seats so that there can be room for a wheelchair and a baby carriage. The maxi-ruf runs between off-line stations and the passengers in maxi-ruf trains are seated intelligently so that every maxi-ruf drives non-stop from one station to its destination. Every passenger in the vehicle is going to the same station, which eliminates the anxiety of when to get off. This is not possible with normal APMs or trains.
A special version of a maxi-ruf can be equipped with a driver’s seat in order to function as a flexible mini-bus.
How does the user pay for the trip?
A privately owned ruf only pays for the use of the rail and the power supplied to the ruf during rail driving. The amount can be accumulated over some time and collected as a monthly payment. The system only keeps track of the amount, not of the pattern of movement unless the user demands it. The electricity used to recharge the ruf overnight is paid via the normal mains supply payment. The power plants can supply cheap power during the night because they have unused capacity in that period. A public ruf is rented by the user. A personal smart card is used instead of tickets. Damage is prevented because the user can be identified by the system via the personal smart card. The computer in the ruf only remembers the last user, so when the next user has ended his trip, the previous user is automatically erased from the memory. It is possible to have flexible fares which can be negotiated via the built in data display. If for example a ruf arrives at a rail at a time where the flow is moderate, the system will prefer that a train of maybe 10 rufs is formed in order to save energy. Some rufs have already arrived, but they are not in a hurry and wish to drive as cheaply as possible. The next ruf is in a hurry and the driver asks the computer for the price of an immediate departure. The display shows the price and if the user accepts the price, the ruf-train departs at once. The other rufs only pay the low fare, so everybodyis satisfied.
How does a RUF APM system work?
A RUF rail network can be used both for individual dual-mode rufs (2-4 persons) and for larger maxi-ruf Automatic People Mover units (10 passengers). The maxi-rufs run between stations placed along the rail but off-line so that other rufs can pass the station while the maxi-ruf is at a stand still at the platform. Off-line stations are possible in a RUF system because switching is extremely flexible using the dual-mode principle. When no rail has to be moved, a ruf can turn freely without delaying the following rufs. The units are much smaller than normal trains and driverless. This means that it is possible to match the capacity almost perfectly to the actual flow of passengers. The maxi-ruf is constructed in such a way that loading and unloading is extremely fast. There are only two rows of seats and when the maxi-ruf is at a platform, its top hinged doors open along the sides so that all passengers immediately have direct access to the platform from their seats. Every maxi-ruf runs non-stop between stations. The service is operated through the use of personal smart cards. When a passenger arrives at the station, he puts the card into a card reader and pushes a button for the desired destination. The system has decided that a certain maxi-ruf is going non-stop to this station, so he is directed to take a seat in this vehicle and wait until it has been filled. The maxi-ruf is waiting in a off-rail position, so that other maxi-rufs are not affected by its presence. When it has been filled, it departs immediately. It is then merged into the stream of rufs on the rail at the junction. It is placed in a train in such a way that the train only has to split at one position when it has to leave the train again in order to drive to the platform. The doors do not open until the maxi-ruf reaches its destination, so the passengers can relax in comfort and relative privacy, since there is only one row of seats on either side of the A-shaped console in the middle. During periods with less passenger flow, the smaller 2-person public rufs can manage/handle the major part of the traffic. In this way, the APM can run as a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) 24 hours a day.
Compared to normal train transit systems, RUF APM offers: - higher frequency, almost no waiting time - non-stop from origin station to destination station - higher level of comfort, all passengers are seated - more privacy, most seats are separate - better service (24-hours service) - easy ticketing (smart card) - less vandalism because of the personal smart card - good economy because the rail is used by private rufs - good economy because of perfect match to passenger demand
How can the RUF APM be used by elderly or disabled people?
Since the RUF APM offers non-stop transportation from station to station, it is very easy to use the system. The passengers need not keep an eye on the names of the stations to know when to get off. The ruf simply stops first time at the station where they wish to get off. There are no standing places in a RUF APM. Access to the seats is extremely easy, since the doors open so that the passengers can step directly from the platform to their seats. The height of the seat is optimized so that minimum force is used to get up and down from the seat. Every maxi-ruf has room for two wheel chairs. The two first seats in each row can be folded to make room for the wheel chair. The level of the platform equals the bottom of the maxi-ruf so that it is possible to drive onboard without assistance. A special version of the maxi-ruf can be equipped with a driver’s seat, so that it can operate both on the rail system and on the normal streets. The chauffeur can help elderly and disabled people to get access to the maxi-ruf directly from their residence.
Where can the RUF rails be placed?
Compared to normal rail or a new highway lane in a large city, it is easy to find room for the slender RUF rail. The rail consists of 20 m long modules with a triangular cross section. The height is approx. 1 m and the width at the baseline is also approx. 1 m. It can be placed on top of masts in a height of 4 m. This placement will give maximum flexibility and eliminate barrier effect. It can also be placed at ground level, but then it must be screened from the surroundings because the rail includes electrical power for the rufs. It can also be placed in tunnel tubes. In this case, 3 rails can be placed in a tube of the same diameter needed for a normal train. Because the RUF system is a dual-mode system, the rails only have to cover a city with the same density as a highway network. The ruf can use the normal roads to drive from the rail to the destination. The visual impact of a RUF rail is much less than that of other elevated train systems. The rail is more slender and the vehicles are much lower (typically 1.65 m compared to 3.5 m for a normal train). Furthermore, the rufs "ride" on top of the triangular rail in such a way that only the upper 1 m of the vehicle is visible above the rail. On the other hand they run much more frequently than normal trains. In elevated systems in cities, it is very important how noisy the system is. The rail wheels of the ruf are rubber wheels with a smooth surface so there is very little noise . Furthermore, the rail wheels are partly screened from the surroundings by the vehicle itself so very little noise will escape to the surroundings. A very interesting possibility is to convert the fast lane of a six- (or more) lane highway into a RUF rail. It would further reduce the mounting costs of the rail and it would dramatically increase the traffic capacity of the highway. The car drivers who convert to ruf will immediately experience that congestion (for his part) will be almost eliminated.
How does a RUF subway work?
A subway with RUF rails will have some very interesting new possibilities. First of all, a standard diameter tunnel tube can contain 3 RUF rails, so the cost is much lower than the cost of a subway based upon ordinary rail systems. Secondly, it is possible to create a RUF subway, where the stations are at surface level. People do not like to use underground stations, but normally it is not possible to let the train rise to ground level at stations, because trains cannot climb steep slopes. The ruf has a special drive system which allows the ruf to have much higher traction if it is needed. The maximum traction force of a train is limited by the friction between the steel rail and the wheels. This friction is proportional to the weight of the vehicle. In a RUF system, the drive wheels work independently of the weight, so there is no limit to the traction force. This means that a ruf can climb rather steep slopes, so stations can be placed at ground level. Stations are still off-line, so the main rail can remain in a tube underground. With stations at ground level, the gravity will help accelerate and decelerate the rufs so energy consumption could be further reduced.
What does the ruf owner do when he needs to drive more than 25 km away from the rail?
In a fully developed RUF system all relevant land areas will be covered with RUF rail networks with a mesh size of less than 20 km. In this future situation every position can be reached with a ruf. In the meantime users will occasionally need to drive more than 25 km away from the rail. If the user still owns a normal car, he could use that for the long trip, but the ruf has some possibilities also. When the ruf is not on the rail, it has an empty space along the bottom of the vehicle. This space could be used to mount a "hybrid unit" which consists of: 1) A generator making current for the ruf. 2) A motor (gasoline) running at constant speed and optimized for maximum efficiency and minimum pollution. 3) A gasoline tank. The ruf user could rent a hybrid unit from the gas station, mount it in 20 sec. and continue as a hybrid electric car with a range of several hundred km.
Can small goods be transported via the RUF system?
Since the switching and rail driving is fully automatic, it is possible to have driverless containers for small goods on the rail system. In a fully developed rail system, RUF containers could replace a large portion of the very problematic transport of goods on large trucks. One large truck makes as much damage to the roads as 10.000 normal cars! The mechanical coupling between rufs can be used for coupling two rufs together on normal roads also. This means that a RUF container can be brought directly to the destination as a trailer driven by a normal ruf. RUF containers would typically use the rail network during the night when the traffic from normal rufs is low and the current is cheap. The system has full control over the movements of the container so it is easy to predict when it will arrive.
How can a ruf be parked?
A privately owned ruf can be parked as a quite normal car. It can also be parked automatically if the RUF system includes automatic parking facilities via the rail system. In this case, the owner leaves the ruf at a station nearby his destination and sends it away automatically while he continues to his destination by walking. A public ruf has more possibilities. It can be parked as a normal car and reserved so that it is ready when the user needs it again. He will then have to pay extra for the reservation. It can be left almost anywhere in the city, because it can be reused by other users. It can also be parked at a special "parking rail" where the rufs are parked closely on a short rail. They are recharged while waiting for a new user. The new user takes the first ruf on the rail using his personal smart card to open it and drives away. When he has finished his ride, he parks at the rear end of the parking rail. The user will obtain a bonus if he parks the ruf at a parking rail. This way, rufs are reused many times during the day and after work, the public ruf users can take a ruf and drive it all the way home to their residence where it can be recharged and protected against vandalism. The result is that the city will be relieved from the burden of too many parked cars. The RUF operator (who owns the public rufs) will save money, since he will not need so much storage capacity if the users take it home during the night.
Is Park and Ride possible in a RUF system?
In the situation where a large city has a RUF system with public rufs covering the whole city, but not the rural areas surrounding it, some users will still need a normal car because they live more than 50 km from the rail system. These users can be very well served with a RUF Park and Ride system. Normally in a Park and Ride system, you park the car at a large parking lot, walk several hundred meters to the train platform and wait for a train to arrive. In a RUF system, you drive to the parking place and park your car quite close to a public ruf waiting at the same parking place. You walk a few meters to the ruf and drive immediately to the rail and depart for the city.
Where can I get more information about the RUF system?
A Danish consortium:
RUF International Produktionsvej 2 2600 Glostrup Denmark Telephone (+45) 7217 7202 Fax (+45) 7217 7216 E-mail RUF@RUF.DK
WEB: www.ruf.dk can be contacted for further information.
A 46-page RUF concept description is the best written material available at present.
The system has been invented by Palle R Jensen.