You Can’t Get There From Here

Article by Mr. Jerry Sanders, Futurist, Chairman & CEO, SkyTranInc who is a speaker at the 5th edition of TEDxGateway 2014  scheduled for Sunday, 2nd Nov, 2014 @NCPA Mumbai (JBT).

Chairman-&-CEO-SkyTranInc-Jerry-SandersIn an old and beloved joke, an Englishman asks an elderly Indian in the countryside how to get to Delhi. The Indian replies: You can’t get there from here… 

Today, that punch line could be said about travel from anywhere to anywhere. You really can’t get there from here: Traffic is too heavy. Rush hour is too long. Highways are too narrow and byways too slight. Our roads are congested, backed-up, over-crowded, with cars lined up bumper to crash-proof bumper…So while all roads may lead to Rome, none can get you there on time. 

From Beijing to Buenos Aires, Mumbai to Manhattan and Tel Aviv to Tokyo, if you want to get there from here, you’d best walk it, not drive it. 

The urban environment as it once was is gone: most of the world now lives in mega-cities; cities that for one example begin in San Francisco and end 50 miles south in San Jose. And commuters in these new urban sprawls typically spend two to three (and sometimes four) nerve racking, stress inducing, and non-productive hours each day traveling back and forth to work. Revealingly, these individuals prefer to spend their commuting time in the privacy of their own car and not in public transportation. Indeed – and despite all government incentives – the overwhelming majority of commuters will not even join a car pool, let alone use one. 

According to the American Public Transportation Association, traffic congestion caused largely by Americans commuting to and from work results in 3.7 billion hours of lost productivity annually. This adds up to 92 million lost workweeks and costs the Nation over $63 Billion in wasted time and fuel. 

If we are going to preserve our ability to move about our cities, alleviate congestion, reduce pollution, and make all of our lives more enjoyable, we must provide a commuting solution that combines privacy, speed and comfort. 

Some folks advocate electric busses. But these combine all of public transportation’s worst features: they get stuck in surface traffic, follow (and usually miss) their own schedules, and are crowded in rush hour, and empty during the day. Others argue for subways. And, yes, subways do move below the traffic, and are generally convenient. But they are certainly not private. Subways also take a long time to build, and cost a lot of money. How much time and how much money? Well, one mile of New York City’s Lexington Avenue line was over 10-years in the making and cost $2 Billion Dollars… 

And so we come to SkyTran: elevated, high-speed, low-cost, silent and “green”, personal rapid transportation. 

  • Elevated:  SkyTran flies above the surface traffic and roads. Flies – yes, flies. SkyTran is a unique velocity-based adaptation of passive magnetic levitation. To the uninitiated that means that SkyTran vehicles fly in a self-generated magnetic field using a magnetic wing. And they do so without generating harmful magnetic emissions.
  • High speeds: How does 150 MPH grab you? SkyTran is the only system of its kind that can connect the urban to the suburban to the ex-urban.
  • Low-cost: Less than 1/10 to 1/20th the cost of light rail systems.
  • Silent: As in “whoosh”. SkyTran rides on a cushion of air: no rail-on-rail, no rubber on the road.
  • Green: SkyTran vehicles use less than ½ the energy of a hybrid car. And SkyTran returns energy directly into the grid, without resorting to inefficient batteries.
  • Personal: Get in and go. No waiting on bus or train schedules, no stopping at other people’s stations, no intrusive commuters reading your emails. 

Can SkyTran enable you to get from here to there? We think so. And we welcome you to learn more about us and join us in the campaign for smarter, cheaper, faster, public transportation. 

© News Service

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