FutureTrans: NASA’s SkyTran flies to India…!!

The mass transit system in any city in India is not as efficient as it should, particularly considering the huge population of India and the ever rising population density in the cities. There are many hurdles in developing an efficient mass-transit system due to various reasons. Ground transportation is not efficient due to unplanned roads and the increasing traffics. Above-the-ground transit systems like Metros also face the hurdle of improper planning and hence render fewer options available to build effective transit systems.

But all of this is set to change. All thanks to NASA’s mass transit project “SkyTran”. The city of Patna in Bihar, India is planning to adopt the SkyTran. It would be a major step forward for the mass-transit system in India.

SkyTran would be a better option for the Indian mass-transit system in so many ways. It has high capacity which suits the ever increasing population of India. It is faster and without any interruptions, hence can transport passengers rapidly. It is totally on-demand and there are no schedules to follow which means no longer waiting for the trains or buses. It is a flexible meaning it can be expanded as and when needed which perfectly suits the increase in populations in cities due to migration of people from rural to urban areas. It is also a low cost transit system which would encourage the huge middle and lower class population in India to adopt this system. It is safe as it would be completely computerized and hence would drastically reduce the number of accidental deaths. The SkyTran is pretty low impact as the tracks or the stations do not occupy much space. The stations can be placed almost anywhere which is perfect for unplanned cities like Patna and many other similar cities. It is powered by renewable energy and operates on magnetic propulsion which is almost emissions-free. This would be appropriate for countries like India where solar energy is available in abundance throughout the year and pollution levels are off the chart!

The government needs to rapidly adopt such a mass transit system as it would be beneficial for both, the government and the citizens. For the cities which do not have a metro system yet but there are plans to incorporate one in future, I think metro plans should be replaced by Skytran. This is because the cost of constructing a SkyTran is around $14–18 million which is very less compared to the cost of Metro construction which is around $38–76 million. Most importantly, SkyTran can be incorporated in any city without much change in the existing infrastructure.