How JPods Solar Personal Rapid Transit works http://www.jpods.com/
- Power: Solar-powered. When the sun is out, excess energy is stored to generate electricity at other times. Use hydrogen fuel cells, compressed air hydraulic generators or methane fuel cells for storage. Requires less energy to move pods: low-weight pods only start and stop once on each trip. Quiet: hub motors and rubber wheels inside beams.
- Convenient: 24/7, 30 mph. Computer-controlled direct to your destination. Elevator and stairs at stations. Stations about ½ mile apart, so they are within a 15 minute healthy-lifestyle walk. Close enough to use an electric wheelchair for access.
- Personal: Standard pod has 4 regular seats and 2 jump seats for you and your travelling companions. You can bring a bicycle, wheelchair, stroller or shopping cart.
- Safe high-quality service: Attendant at busy stations. Visual monitoring system for stations and pods.
- Affordable: Energy savings mean low fares
- Fits in streetscape: Column every 100 feet (30 meters) can fit on boulevard median, on sidewalks, or in every fifth parking space on one side of the street, or an archway on sidewalks can bridge the street. Station footprint at ground level is about the size of two parking spaces: one for the stairway and the other for the elevator and energy storage. Stations can go over the street or a parking lot. Stations can also be integrated into buildings. Over streets, pods must be at least 17 feet above ground (you can picture the height by looking at the lowest telephone wires).
- Multi-purpose: Pods can carry cargo, serve as ambulances, and pick up trash and recyclables. They will reduce many types of traffic making streets suitable for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Steps to make a system happen
- Rights-of-way—Adopt Solar Mobility Performance Standards, as in Massachusetts Senate bill 2302, to establish a pilot program, provide access to rights-of-way and coordinate systems.
- Organization—At the local level, use an existing organization or set up a new B Corporation, Economic Development Corporation, or non-profit Transportation Management Corporation to operate the system. Work with an existing non-profit corporation or form one to raise donations to fund the first mile for local operating companies throughout the world.
- Funds—The company that builds the system, such as JPods Inc., pays for construction. Major venture companies such as Equility are ready to invest. Raise funds to buy and own the system locally: crowd source funds by pre-selling passes and products, such as solar powered items, or raise traditional funds by selling stock, borrowing from a bank or buying bonds.