A campus transportation system for michigan tech

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper explores the conceptual design of a high level of service transportation system for the Michigan Technological University campus in Houghton, Michigan. Like most colleges, Michigan Tech's campus has expanded during recent decades, student auto usage has grown dramatically, and parking is now a major problem. The proposed transportation system links the central campus with an athletic complex area about 850 meters (2,800 feet) south of and 53 meters (175 feet) above the main campus. The athletic complex area has available parking and land for additional campus housing and other development. Using urban planning "smart growth" principles, this transit link would help achieve several campus master plan objectives, including: (a) relocating parking from the central campus to an upper campus activity center, thereby enabling more efficient land use, creating new opportunities for development, and providing a more esthetically pleasing appearance; (b) providing a high level of mobility for a proposed campus housing development located in a Transit Village; and (c) promoting sustainability by helping to control commuter student vehicle miles traveled. Steep terrain, combined with very harsh winter weather, poses significant engineering challenges that rule out self-propelled APM technologies. Rope propelled APM systems, and a rope-propelled and supported aerial tramway technology, similar to a system operating at the Oregon Health Science University in Portland, are alternative solutions. © ASCE.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Conference on Automated People Movers