Monday, July 20, 2015


As I have traveled through Charlotte, North Carolina pondering what my purpose in life is, or should be, I have learned many things about this city. I decided that while pondering the meaning to some of life’s fundamental questions, I would journal via Blogger about some of the things that captivate my attention as I “move around”. (Lol, there’s a joke in there.) Since I have been here in Charlotte, I have learned of their (CATS), Charlotte Area Transportation System, and how robust, progressive and potentially expandable the system is. There are two main features that I will focus on in the next few paragraphs.

At 9.6 miles long the CATS' LYNX Blue Line (above) is the Charlotte region's first rapid transit light rail service in North Carolina, with 15 stations including seven park and ride locations. With free parking (below) at about half of the stations and hundreds of spaces, this should be an incentive for drivers and carpoolers alike.

The Gold Line (above) connects riders to bus and light rail services, health care facilities, entertainment, education and small businesses. The CityLYNX Gold Line runs from the Time Warner Cable Arena to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center with six stations along the way.

Parking not shown, to right of the parking sign.

My previous mention the transit system of Charlotte is in regards to an article I read the other day in Popular Science. As transportation systems develop and evolve, as well as a city itself, it becomes increasingly more difficult to integrate these systems within cities and communities and also to integrate these systems together.

Now, imagine a nationwide maglev bullet train network that connects to smaller regional networks that connect to even smaller citywide networks of tubes whooshing people and freight around the nation(s) at speeds approaching Mach 1! Imagine being in downtown Los Angeles at 8:00 AM and arriving in New York city in under 6 hours, which is about a 40 hour drive!

The project of Hyperloop as envisioned by Elon Musk (and others) is to develop a high speed, intercity transporter using a low pressure tube train which would reach a top speed of 800 miles per hour (1,300 km/h).

Illustration from Google images.
Author unknowwn.
No copyright infringement intended.
email me for credit.

Also known as HTT, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is a research company formed using a crowd collaboration approach (a mix of team collaboration and crowd sourcing) to develop a transportation system based on the Hyperloop concept, which was envisioned by Elon Musk (and others). (see Popular Science July 2015 edition; Hyped Up, by James Vlahos. pg. 32.)

Though, I admit, I do not know the technical design issues that would undoubtedly be inherent in such a massive undertaking, I have envisioned putting this type of technology to work in a massive, nationwide, underground network. This network would consist of two or more outer rings around the coastal and Canadian borders and several smaller, more concentric regional rings and even smaller local clusters of rings with integrated passenger platform hubs. Underground construction would certainly save space and would undoubtedly lessen the project cost by avoiding the conventional real-estate issues.

Think about the perplexing magnitude and proportion of such an undertaking. The potential jobs that would be created, both directly and indirectly would certainly reach into the hundreds of thousands and quite possibly reach into the millions over the decades of construction. Focusing the United States’ enormous and growing labor force and potential on such a venture would surely help to reconstitute the unity this country has displayed in the past as evidenced by other great feats such as the Hoover Dam and other monumental projects throughout American history. Not the least of which was our railroad system which is still highly used today and will continue to be utilized into the foreseeable future.

We could also integrate a massive effort to, lay new, or relocate existing digital utilities such as fiber optics and electricity underground where they would be less exposed to the elements of nature as well as out of the way of such things as roadways and flight paths.

Not only would the economic impacts of the construction itself of such a nationwide focus bolster our economy exponentially, but think about the advancements such an achievement would have on future commerce and travel in terms of saving space, time, energy and money. The economic impact and technological advancements could potentially afford our future generations a future never before possible.

As a unified Nation, not only can we do this, we absolutely should do it!
As an American people, let’s go big or burn ourselves out trying!

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