Sunday, May 13, 2007

Even More Ridiculous Transit Ideas!



Damn it, I'm going to rid our cities of the blight of the automobile if it kills me! Even if it kills the very mass transit passengers who sacrifice their dear lives on the altar of alternate transport! To the idea lab!

Mass transit is a great thing, no? Its most common forms include subways, light rails, buses, and elevated rail. But surely there are ways to transport people around a metropolis that don't require rails, gasoline combustion, Can we find a way to move people without investing billions in new infrastructure? Miles of roads that get torn up by snow every winter and have to be repaved?

I've got two ideas for you urban planners out there today:

Pneumatic tubes: Apparently, back in Ye Olde Old Timey Time Days of Yore, builders had the brilliant idea to use pneumatic tubes to deliver documents all over an office building. If you don't believe me, check Wikipedia. Why can't we extend this system to handle people as well? Imagine that instead of stepping out of your home and into the parking lot to get in your car, you instead lie down in a little hole in the sidewalk, seal yourself into a small plastic capsule, and instantly are whooshed away to your destination. Sure, you might get a little dizzy, but the cool factor is high.

Zip lines: Here's how we'll make it work: First, we build towers (say, 200 feet tall) all over the city. Then we install a spiral escalator that continuously brings passengers to the top. Then we connect the top of the towers to the bottom of other towers via zip lines. All you have to do to get around the city is go to the nearest tower, take the escalator to the top, grab onto zip handle, and zoom a mile or so. What could go wrong?

Monday: Transit Ideas
Tuesday: Scooters for Everyone!
Wednesday: Apartments Without Kitchens!
Thursday: Even More Ridiculous Transit Ideas
Friday: Urban Parks

3 Comments:

Anonymous Tara said...

The tube idea kinda freaks me out but I am all about the zip lines. How about trampolines? I think there is a lot of potentional for short-haul travel..

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Stephen Brunia-Brown said...

Pneumatic tubes worked really well on Futurama. I wouldn't see the danger. Speaking of which, I wonder what other ideas we might be able to take from Futurama. I highly recommend:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRCvkuFJE9A

"Professor Farnsworth uses his What-If Machine to view what the world would be like if it were more like a video game."

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Bonnie Erickson said...

I'd rather have Scottie beam me up!

11:35 PM  

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