Chapter 22

We love our cars, and their number will continue to increase, but our traffic problems must be solved.  We will do it by graduating from industrial-age technologies to electronic and computer-age technologies.  We built streets in cities centuries ago, railroads over a hundred years ago, and a better highway system fifty years ago.  These wonderful systems alone can no longer do the job; we urgently need a high-tech system suited to 21st-century traffic, high populations, the energy crisis, and carbon dioxide abatement.  The world has changed in major ways, and these changes demand a major change in transportation. 

Traffic congestion is only one part of a complex and grave picture worldwide.  We urgently need to solve a whole raft of transportation problems and transportation-related environmental and energy problems.  Most previous thinking on these problems has been too narrow in scope.  In trying to solve one problem we have sometimes made related matters worse.  We must look at the big overall picture—look at the forest as well as the trees.  Only an integrated solution will do the whole job. 

A dualmode system with maglev and linear-synchronous-motor guideways will solve many more of our transportation and environmental problems than any other system or combination of systems.  Dualmode will permit us to make our shopping trips, commutes, business trips, and vacations at high speed in a single vehicle door to door.  We will have an environmentally clean system that operates normally in a street mode and operates without human drivers in a high-speed automatic mode.  The guideways will be multipurpose like highways are; they will accept private cars and trucks, short-range transit vehicles, long-range buses, taxis, and freight vehicles. 

But it is difficult to get people to listen to innovative solutions to complex problems.  Perhaps one reason in this case is that most people don’t believe in miracles, and dualmode promises much more than we would normally expect from any single solution. 

All of the people will never be pleased all of the time, but dualmode will please most of the people more of the time.  Those who like to drive for fun will have plenty of room on the highways when most of the cars move to the guideways.  Businesses will rejoice because people will again be able to get to stores and offices readily.  Emergency vehicles will get there much faster than they can now.  Commuters will get to work and back home faster, safer, cheaper, and with a lot less stress.  Dualmode transit will provide faster service than present transit systems.  The guideway will be the true “fast lane.”

Taxpayers will no longer be burdened with expensive new transit systems that fail to solve the traffic problems.  Investors will love the safe sensible dualmode bonds.  The dualmode system will favorably impact the deficit and the national debt.  Hundreds of thousands of new jobs will open up.  The automotive and many other businesses will have new opportunities.  Generation of global-warming carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants will be sharply reduced.  The constantly rising cost of gasoline will become of little concern to most travelers.  And when motor fuels are effectively gone (as they will be soon) the world can still travel (if we build the National Dualmode Transportation System soon enough).  Finally, Mother Earth herself will be happier because she will be cleaner, quieter, greener, have a chance to repair some of the damage human travelers have caused, and be able to keep some of her goodies in the pantry for a longer time. 

Airplanes are also serious polluters, but national dualmode will greatly reduce domestic air travel.  In these days of high security measures at airports, that will be doubly welcome.  Airplanes and automobiles are noisy, but the airplanes will be fewer, and electric cars on the streets and the guideways will be much quieter. 

         Internal-combustion engines cause major pollution, but dualmode vehicles won’t use them. 

Dualmode will make possible the use of electricity for most transportation when petroleum is in short supply. 

Our highways are much too congested, but most highway traffic will move to the guideways. 

We have kept adding more highway lanes (which are always filled immediately), but a single lane of guideway will usually be enough for all of the traffic for years to come. 

The streets are now jammed and parking is difficult, but automatic off-street parking of guideway cars will reduce urban traffic. 

Traveling wastes a lot of time, but guideway travel times will be much reduced. 

Sometimes we can’t find a service station, but on the guideways cars will have unlimited range without a fuel tank.  

Battery-electric cars, with their short range and low power, are not suitable for highway use, but in street mode REV car batteries will be very adequate. 

Fog, sun-glare, and darkness make driving dangerous, but the automatic guideway system will always “see” perfectly. 

Snow, ice, and rain cause slick-highway pileups, but the linear motors in the guideways won’t depend upon wheel traction. 

Failure to stop, and lane changing, cause accidents, but there will be no stoplights or lane changing on the guideways. 

Road rage, drinking, carelessness, and other human shortcomings are now major problems, but humans won’t be doing the driving on the guideways. 

Because of our desperate need for major transportation and related environmental improvements worldwide, the author feels obligated to see that the National and International Dualmode Transportation System concept gets enough exposure and serious study that it will be either accepted on its merits, or rejected for valid reasons.  The government, transportation planners, affected organizations and corporations, and leading individuals in all walks of life must not reject it hastily.  The people, the long-suffering drivers, riders, businesses, and taxpayers deserve to know, must know, and will know of its potential.  The defense rests.  The jury—the people—will decide.  When all is said it will be done—and the sooner the better. 




Last modified: August 02, 2006