The Bargain Mass Transit Option

SkyTran is an aerial mass transit system with small cars that magnetically glides on elevated tracks 20 to 30 feet above the ground. The cars can hold up to four people and travel at 60mph.

SkyTran has been in development over the past five years and is just beginning to run a pilot program in Tel Aviv. Compared with most mass transit options, SkyTran is a bargain for cities planning mass transit or expanding their existing systems.

For instance, the city of Dallas has a large light rail system (DART) that was recently expanded to double in size to over 90 miles of track. The $2.5 billion expansion cost $56 million per mile ($35 million per kilometer). In addition, the $7.3 million cost for each rail car that holds 209 passengers gives a cost of $35,000 per passenger.

SkyTran, however, costs only $13 million per mile ($8 million per kilometer). The small cars only cost $30,000 at a price of $7,500 per passenger.

The city of Dallas could have saved almost $2 billion in light rail mass transit expansion if SkyTran had been an available choice in mass transit.


Comments (5)

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  1. PJohnson says:

    Hey Lloyd in Uh-Merica we use MILES not Kms. Cite Tel Aviv in Kms, Dallas in miles. Sure I can make the conversion but why should I? Dallas is in the US.

    And how does $7500 per passenger translate into a bargain? A couple of those and I have a new car.

  2. Lloyd Bentsen IV says:

    Comparing to SkyTran’s #s, I went with what they were using, kilometers. The point was to show how SkyTran claims to be a bargain compared to other and current mass transit. If you notice, DART costs are much higher, roughly $35,000 per passenger.

    • PJohnson says:

      I stand by my comment on metric vs non. If you’re writing to a non-metric country, use their units. And vice versa.

  3. Dave Hathaway says:

    Mass transit is called that because it can carry the masses. Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is called that because it can carry a few persons. SkyTran looks promising for campuses and niches where there isn’t much demand, but PRT has always failed when considered for trunk service. For a variety of reasons, PRT just doesn’t have the capacity to be considered in high demand situations. You are comparing apples and oranges when you compare DART to PRT, and calling SkyTran bargain mass transit is misleading. SkyTran could be useful for feeder service to a real mass transit solution.

  4. Friends, agreed, Units are important. Lets keep KMs with KMs and miles with miles. No matter how you slice it skyTran is the cheapest, fastest, greatest capacity, quietist, least polluting, most efficient, form of public transit available today. Agreed to, the $7,500 number is obviously a typo, I don’t know what it relates to. skyTran fares will be comparable to other forms of mass transit plus a premium as it is a small premium service.

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