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Pitch

A solar-powered rapid transit network with the cost, capacity, and convenience to replace cars, buses, trains, and trucks.


Description

Summary

Transit X is a privately-funded shared mobility network with the convenience, capacity, and cost to replace buses, trains, cars, trucks, and short flights.

A full-size demonstration will be ready in 2017 and pilots can begin in 2018. Dozens of cities around the world have expressed high interest in using Transit X to address the challenges they face with congestion, air quality, pedestrian safety, carbon emissions, and economic development. A large, international engineering firm has conducted an assessment of Transit X and has confirmed that it is technically feasible.

See videos and more information at transitx.com


Is this proposal for a practice or a project?

Practice


What actions do you propose?

The key is getting "proof" of viability which would be a small demonstration.

The key problem is the classic "chicken and egg".  Any transportation system that looks different from previous systems is perceived to be high risk, even thought multi-billion dollar transportation projects are much more risky and are often late and over budget.  Despite the costs of "roads disease" to our society, there is very little funding for transportation projects that don't use the existing roads or railways.

Most of the municipalities we talk with love the benefits of Transit X and would like to implement it -- they just don't want to be the first one.  They would rather maintain the existing road network that frequently injures or kills people, and extracts an enormous economic or environmental toll.  They consider this path less "risky" than going with something new -- even though it is based on systems that have been in operation for 40 years without a single accident. 

We believe the real barrier is the perception of risk and the lack of accurate modeling of risk. The largest risk comes from the inaccurate belief that the status quo is "low risk", when it is actually very risky when you consider all the detrimental effects of the existing conditions.

For example, let's assume for the moment that Transit X has the potential to rapidly de-carbonize the world's transportation system. Our estimate is that it would take $11 trillion to make half of our cities walkable and car free.  What is the potential value of a new form of transportation that eliminates congestion, improves air quality and eliminates carbon emissions from transportation? It is in the many trillions of dollars.  How much money would it take to create a first system? About $10M, or a tiny fraction of the potential value.

To solve the chicken and egg problem, this is what needs to happen:

1. Cities who see the potential value need to sign an agreement to provide the necessary rights-of-way, conditional upon private financing and a certified system.

2. Infrastructure or project financing firms need to commit to provide financing for those cities, conditional upon a certified system. 

3. Impact investors who see the potential value need to commit to financing a demonstration and certified system, conditional upon projects that have commitments for rights-of-way and private financing.

To solve our big problems, you need scalable solutions. Electric cars and autonomous vehicles are not economically or technically capable of providing the cost, convenience, and capacity necessary to achieve rapid de-carbonization.  Transit X can.

I propose that you learn more about Transit X at our website (transitx.com) and think about who you know in your city, town, state, or country that should know that there is a solution to "roads disease" and we can create walkable car free cities.  Send them an email suggesting they learn about Transit X.   

This is how big changes can get done: individuals taking action that advance the greater good.


Who will take these actions?

Investors who finance a $1M a demonstration system.

Investors who finance a $10M certified system conditional upon projects with financing and rights-of-way.

Municipalities or rights-of-way holders who commit to providing rights-of-way for a rollout conditional upon private financing and a certified system.

Project investors who commit to financing a project conditional upon rights-of-way agreements and a certified system.

Large engineering firms who provide fixed price contracts for the certification, manufacturing, installation, and O&M. 

Transit X that coordinates and leads the effort. 


Where will these actions be taken?

Hundreds of cities around the world, representing tens of billions in potential projects, have expressed interest in Transit X -- as long as there is a working pilot and they don't need to be "first".

Every city can begin to pursue a car free future by learning about Transit X and the steps towards providing the rights-of-way.  See transitx.com/process and transitx.com/transitxhandbook.pdf


In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

Uruguay


Country 2

India


Country 3

Ecuador


Country 4

United Arab Emirates


Country 5

United States


Impact/Benefits


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

As Transit X is a sustainable, carbon-free transportation system that can is privately financed, Transit X has the potential to rapidly decarbonize transportation, replacing cars, buses, trains, trucks, and short flights.  The implications are enormous in that transportation accounts for about 1/4 to 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions. 


What are other key benefits?

The availability of green, affordable, and quality transportation helps address most of the major challenges that the world faces:

  • Global warming: eliminating carbon emissions from transportation.
  • Crumbling infrastructure: Transit X is lower cost than repairing and maintaining the existing roadways and railways.
  • Clean energy: Transit X is a distributed solar micro-grid
  • Education: Transit X can provide efficient travel to schools 
  • Clean water: Transit X reduces runoff pollution from roads
  • Climate resiliency: Transit X works when streets are flooded
  • Income inequality: Transit X provides an alternative to buses and no need for expensive cars.
  • Housing: Transit X can improve access to existing affordable housing stock.
  • Health: Transit X improves air quality and lowers pollution, lowering many causes of heath problems. 
  • Wars: Solar-powered transit does not rely on oil or natural gas, the cause of many conflicts.
  • Energy security: Solar-powered transportation reduces the need for imported energy.
  • Road safety: Transit X is 100,000 times safer than cars or 10,000 times safer than autonomous vehicles.
  • Food security: efficient and secure distribution of food is critical for food security

 

 


Costs/Challenges


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

Transit X costs less than the cost to maintain and repair roadways and railways.  That is about $3 million per mile.

Transit X has a profitable financial model so that the infrastructure can be privately financed. 

It is economically feasible to think about replacing the world's road and rail networks with Transit X.

 


Timeline

We aim to rapidly de-carbonize transportation -- 50% of the world's transportation system within 15 years.

We will show a demonstration by end of 2017 and first pilots will begin in 2018.

Long term, this potentially leads to the end of global warming.

 


About the author(s)

Mike Stanley is the CEO and Founder of Transit X, based in Boston, Massachusetts. Mike is an entrepreneur, a designer, and an engineer.  The majority of his career has been in software engineering and systems architecture, and he has held management and engineering positions at several technology companies in the Boston area.

He started designing and building autonomous robots in the early 1980’s when he was 11 years old.  A problem solver by nature, Mike designs systems from first principles. Stanley earned his Bachelor’s degrees in engineering and management from MIT.

Stanley started Transit X in March 2015 after a series of large snow storms shut down much of Boston's transit system. The Mayor of Boston called out for ideas on how to solve Boston's transportation problems and Stanley rose to the challenge.


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