Re-Envisioning Transportation in Massachusetts - NECN


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Re-Envisioning Transportation in Massachusetts



    Solar-powered flying pods could be coming to Bridgewater and other Massachusetts communities. (Published Friday, Jan. 27, 2017)

    The future is now, according to the CEO of a company that makes solar-powered flying pods.

    Michael Stanley of Transit X hopes to make transportation easier in Bridgewater and throughout Massachusetts.

    "Two years ago in Boston, we had that terrible snowstorm," said Stanley. "My wife works over in Somerville and she had to walk four miles home in the snow."

    Since that storm, Stanley has been working to perfect Transit X.

    "This is an autonomous electric vehicle," he explained.

    Imagine light posts connected by a steel rail that carries a black pod with large windows, which could hold up to four or five people.

    "These pods weigh about 100 pounds," said Stanley.

    Some are handicap accessible, and some will carry freight. All of them will be powered solely by the sun.

    "These are going nonstop, so you don't have to stop and get out," Stanley said.

    The idea is that you'll pre-program your destination and get there fast.

    "It's going at 45 miles per hour, say, on Commonwealth Avenue," Stanley said. "Then along highway and railways, you're going at 135 [miles per hour]."

    He's mapped out routes for Transit X in 70 different Massachusetts communities.

    Bridgewater has the most interest.

    "It very generally connects the University with downtown with the shopping center," said Town Manager Michael Dutton. "Short of self-driving cars, this is probably the best bet for personalized mass transportation."

    It would be cheaper to build than MBTA's green line extension, according to Stanley.

    "That's four and a half miles and over $2 billion," said Stanley. "For $2 billion, that would do about 400 miles [of Transit X] because it's $5 million a mile."

    Stanley plans on testing Transit X sometime this summer.

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