A company called JPods is planning to build what might be the first solar-powered personal rapid transport (PRT) network in Secaucus and the Meadowlands in New Jersey. The system will consist of a network of overhead PodCars that fit up to six people and travel by overhead rail that the company calls Horizontal-Elevators.
The company is launching its first phase of the unique project this summer. The first phase will consist of just a 100 foot guideway to help the company refine the mechanical aspects of a full-sized network. The second phase will consist of a larger network that’s no longer than a quarter mile. “The guideway will be covered with a solar canopy, capable of providing clean energy to the system. The main purpose of this section of track will be to prove out the cost per mile of laying down guideway. The section of guideway will also be used to showcase the technology to other cities,” according to the company’s plans.
The system will really grow with the third phase wherein the company will extend the 1/4 mile guideway to 3 miles. The phase will connect the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction to the Meadowlands sports Complex. The company said the track will feature many stations at that point, which will allow users to make trips across the town in less than 15 minutes.
The technology was designed by a perhaps unlikely group. ”We're a bunch of West Point grads that looked at this situation and realized we've been fighting oil wars since 1990,” JPods' CEO, Bill James, told Co.Labs. “So we decided to do something about it. Our point of view on this thing as veterans is that we need to be looking ahead at what causes the path to war and act in advance of it.”
Secaucus recently passed an ordinance allowing the project to move forward. Under the requirements of the ordinance the project’s construction must be privately funded, the system must operate without government subsidies, and it must be safer than other modes of transportation. If they can accomplish it say hello to the skyway.Tweet