Innovative transport options

Still a vision for the future or already reality?


TBARTA is looking at the research and development of transport systems that are suitable for the future. The present trend here is in the air. In a one-year study, more detailed investigations into the floating, gliding or flying systems are being conducted. Photo: BMF

The future of transport is in Tampa Bay, at least if you look at the current projects of TBARTA (Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority). Here, they are already looking at the transport situation in 2030. This is why the future suitability of technologies such as Hyperloop, air taxis and urban cable cars is being investigated.


At the start of this year, the Florida Legislature promised TBARTA a million US dollars for the investigation and development of innovative transit options. 12 months are planned for the analyses, during which time the feasibility of original transport options will be examined more closely.


These include Hyperloop, air taxis and urban cable cars. Whilst both of the former remain at different research stages, urban cable cars are already in use in a number of cities around the world. With the study, TBARTA wants to resolve the principal questions concerning the status and development of the technologies as well as the potential for the future.


Other aspects that will be examined more closely for the three systems in the course of the investigation are: routes, air space, safety and environmental issues, passenger demand and finance options. “We must take this opportunity seriously,” said TBARTA board member Emanuel Cliff, Jr.


“I would like to see the feasibility analysis, so that I actually have facts and figures in front of me in order to consider the options and I want to keep our staff open to alternatives that would potentially offer transit advantages.” The study results for all three systems are expected to be ready for publication in July this year. tm 34



is currently still an experimental form of transport, which comprises a transport capsule and a vacuum tube. The idea is that most of the air is pumped out of the tube, so that the air resistance is reduced. The transport containers float in this tube with no ground contact. Because of the lack of air resistance, it should therefore be possible to reach speeds up to more than 1,000 km/h. Photo: TBARTA

Urban cable cars


are the only one of the three systems that is already in use around the world. This form of public transport is used especially in Latin America, and there are also already two urban systems in the United States: in New York (Roosevelt Island Tramway) and in Oregon (Portland Aerial Tram). Owing to the high transport capacity, relatively low costs and low emission values, demand continues to rise. Photo: Gangloff

Air taxis


are currently much discussed all over the world and many companies are investigating them more closely. Air taxis are on-demand, point-to-point connections. The use currently planned would be to transport passengers within a relatively small radius or as shuttles to fixed points, such as airports. Issues such as battery life, charging time and capacity have not yet been resolved. Photo: TBARTA