Mass Transit for Real
Skytran is a Maglev car which travels on track. Rather than stopping at a series of stations, the cars are shunted into stations only when passengers need to exit the line; passengers then board an already parked car at the station. The company's site is very cute but serious, and at times makes the process of clearing up the congestion seem surprisingly simple. Taxi 2000 has another system, which boasts considerable energy savings over current mass transit. Cybertran is a less developed system, but still shows promise, especially in that it may be easier to imagine for policymakers who are used to "Mass-transit = multiple people in a car". Even after reading through all these concepts, it's hard to find reasons why it wouldn't work, especially in cities already considering transit, or who have it installed. The unfortunate truth, and perhaps something designers can address, is that there is still a deep-seeded desire in America to own a car of your own. Until that desire is brought down a notch, there is little possibility of a system like this being put into use in all but the biggest cities. Maybe designers need to take a stand. In a luddite-like rage all automotive designers could decide one year to release ugly, box cars, thus quelling the desire to buy, and ushering in a new era of monorails. But wait, that was the 80's. And I'm still riding the bus. Oh well.
Copyright 2004-2006 Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team