Living on Earth’s Cynthia Graber reports on a new system of public transportation – the travel pod.
CURWOOD: Just ahead, bringing a Native American tongue back from the brink of extinction. First, this Environmental Technology Note from Cynthia Graber.
[THEME MUSIC UP AND UNDER]
GRABER: It's white, it's light, and it'll zip past traffic to get you to your destination. It's your own travel pod, part of a new public transportation system called "Urban Light Transport," or ULTra. Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is the test site for the ULTra pods that will be posted at designated stops along the city streets. Commuters hop in and program their destination into a computer. The pod, which fits four passengers, glides along at about 25 miles per hour. A computer system keeps it from colliding with other ULTras along a network of tracks that take up only about half as much space as a car lane.
When you reach your desired stop, the pod door opens and out you go. Designers say the ULTra system should cost about half as much as a conventional light rail system, while providing reliable and regular service. And since they'll run on batteries that recharge at every stop, the pods will reduce inner city pollution, along with congestion and the need for parking space. The first system should be running Cardiff by 2004. Advanced Transport Systems Limited, the company developing the pods, is already in discussion with governments around the world about bringing ULTra travel pods to other cities, maybe one near you. That's this week's Technology Note. I'm Cynthia Graber.
CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.
[MUSIC: Jeff Buckley, "Hallelujeah," GRACE (Sony - 1994)]
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth