Finally: The Infrastructurist shows us the perfect mashup of a podcar with Velo-City: The Shweeb, a pedal-powered monorail that is “a direct response to the transportation needs of today and the future.” (Pics and video)
And, it exists right now, in an amusement park in New Zealand.
In the current version, you can race them; because they are enclosed they say that it uses half the energy of a racing bike and about a third of a mountain bike. It looks like a great deal of fun;
But the technology could offer a lot more. They inventors write:
The world’s populations are increasingly migrating to huge cities, and the densities within our cities are steadily climbing as residential towers become the dominant mode of residence. Traffic is slowing to walking pace, there is little parking and there is significant and ever-increasing pollution of the air we breathe. Of note, the average speed of a motor vehicle in central London in 1908 was 8 mph. In 2008 it was still 8 mph.
Any attempt to resuscitate the automobile by devising a new fuel or engine is doomed. Our cities simply can’t cope with rising numbers of cars or parking spaces. In our opinion a fresh approach is required.
Geoffrey Barnett and his team propose hanging fully enclosed recumbent bikes from monorail networks that could get you safely and quickly from one point in the city to another. Gang them together and they face less air resistance and it is even easier. To top it all off, “you can’t derail or fall out while on the cellphone or blackberry!”
The result is the most efficient vehicle on earth, the most inexpensive infrastructure of any proposed urban transit and one of the highest capacity systems available – potentially delivering thousand’s of people per hour in a very small airspace. All this with zero carbon emissions and no parking worries or cost!
And great exercise, too. What’s not to love.