Matt Jones

Trottoir Roulant Rapide

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Paris’ experimental moving walkway, the Trottoir Roulant Rapide (Fast Rolling Pavement), reminds me of a transportation device described in Asimov's 1950s Sci-fi classic The Caves of Steel. In it, city dwellers travel on what are called ‘strips’, parallel walkways which travel progressively faster from left to right; the idea being that as you walk across them you gradually gain speed and before you know it, you're whizzing along towards your destination. The difference with the TRR - apart from not being the product of Sci-fi fantasy - is that the acceleration/deceleration zones are in series and not in parallel, although judging by warnings given to those using the TRR, this doesn't make it any easier to ride. The BBC article has a nice flash presentation to explain how it works.