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Simple back-and-forth shuttles are referred to as hectos, short for hectometric, meaning designed for a few hundred meters.
Multi-station systems intended for mass transit in a city are more formally known as automated guideway transit (AGT) systems. This term is generally limited to rubber-tyred vehicles led by a guiding track; fully automated urban heavy rail lines, such as the Singapore MRT's North East MRT Line, are usually not considered AGTs.
Complex APMs deploy fleets of small vehicles over a network of guideways with off-line stations in a dynamic configuration that supplies non-stop service to passengers. These taxi-like systems are referred to as personal rapid transit (PRT).
The world's first airport people mover was installed in 1971 at Tampa International Airport in the United States. The VAL (Véhicule Automatique Léger) system in Lille, France, opened in 1983, is often cited as the world's first mass transit AGT, but the title is disputed by Kobe's Port Liner, which opened two years earlier in 1981. Lille's VAL is, however, acknowledged to be the first AGT installed to serve an existing urban area.
Driverless metros have become common in Europe and parts of Asia. The economics of automated trains tend to reduce the scale so tied to "mass" transit, so that small-scale installations are feasible. Thus cities normally thought of as too small to build a metro (e.g. Rennes, Lausanne, Brescia, etc.) are now doing so. In the U.S. APMs have become common at large airports and progressive hospitals.
- Bangkok, Thailand: Skytrain
- Detroit, Michigan: Detroit People Mover — elevated loop system
- Jacksonville, Florida — in the form of a monorail
- Kuala Lumpur, Putra Light Rail Transit
- London, UK: Docklands Light Railway
- Miami, Florida: Metromover
- Osaka, Japan: New Tram(Osaka Municipal Nanko Port Town Line/OTS New Tram Technoport Line)
- Singapore: Bukit Panjang LRT, Sengkang LRT, Punggol LRT
- Tokyo, Japan: Yurikamome
- Toronto, Ontario: Scarborough RT (semi-automated)
- Vancouver, British Columbia: SkyTrain
Many people movers operate at airports and some also connect with other public transport systems. Airport examples include:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- O'Hare International Airport Chicago, Illinois
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- Denver International Airport
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, Texas
- Kansai International Airport
- Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
- Miami International Airport
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
- John F. Kennedy International Airport New York City AirTrain JFK
- Newark Liberty International Airport AirTrain Newark
- Orlando International Airport
- Pittsburgh International Airport
- San Francisco International Airport AirTrain (SFO)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Singapore Changi Airport
- Tampa International Airport
- Zurich International Airport
- The former PeopleMover attraction at Disneyland, which ran from 1967 to 1995.
- The Tomorrowland Transit Authority attraction, which was formerly called the WEDway PeopleMover, at Walt Disney World
- West Virginia University (Morgantown, West Virginia) — really a personal rapid transit system
The term people mover is sometimes used to refer to moving sidewalks. The name People Mover is also used by: