My previous post about CyberTran described a mass transit system that is highly energy efficient compared to conventional transit, and is inexpensive enough, and supports small stations well enough, to work in suburbs as well as cities.

Some readers were disappointed to find that CyberTran is not currently running anywhere — that it is still experimental.

Well, it is disappointing. CyberTran was invented around 20 years ago. It has been alpha tested every imaginable way. They had a fully functioning prototype people could ride down in Alameda for two years. They had quarter-scale models running for years before that. They have run simulations for decades. Nothing is left but the beta test. A functioning, real-world CyberTran system really is the next step.

And it is not like CyberTran systems aren’t available for sale right now. CyberTran has made all sorts of proposals to various municipalities where they (rather than the city) would take most of the risk. But, perhaps understandably, no municipal government wants to take any risk of this size. If it fails, it is a major scandal; they risk a humiliating defeat in a future election.

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This is a classic case for a one-time grant of federal funds. The potential energy savings are enormous — and the cost for a 60 mile system (say, six lines averaging ten miles each) would be about the same as two F-22s.

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