Mass transportation doesn’t have to mean masses of people stuffed in large vehicles. SkyTran, a cross between a monorail, Minority Report and a hanging roller coaster, is a departure from what most would consider mass transit.

That’s a good thing. Set up as 2-4 person cars along a long rail, the SkyTran is built to get people to their destinations much faster than normal systems. Stops are only by request, allowing passengers who are traveling far distances to get there with zero delays.

Best of all, Unimodal claims it can build these systems with existing parts, allowing for SkyTran to be put into place at far less cost than existing modes of mass transportation. Installations will also be quicker, as less ground needs to be torn up for the poles to be inserted.

How SkyTran Works

Personalized vehicles
Two person vehicles with climate control,  communication, web access and entertainment options.

Small portals

Conveniently located every quarter mile. No massive stations or structures overwhelming the local environment.

Maglev guideway

Maglev provides a non-contact bearing with ultra low maintenance. No wheels to wear out and replace.

Standard utility poles

Universally available, stock item. Routine installation.

Modular system

Translates into lower cost components and faster, less complex installations.

Each passenger car is built for at least two people plus luggage, with full web access and climate controls included. The back seats fold down for storage, with plenty of room for passengers to sit back for the ride. Speeds of up to 150mph are attainable over long distances without much other traffic, such as between cities.

The system is all electric, burning the equivalent to a car with 200 mpg fuel efficiency. Alternative power sources can be adapted as the technology is made available. The system is also very low maintenance, as the mag-lev technology involved has no moving parts to wear out or break down. Blackouts, however, would most likely render the system useless unless directly connected to large generators.

Although Unimodal has not yet built any wide-scale systems, Los Angeles planners have been in talks to construct one.