Friday, May 14, 2010

Urban Chairlift: No Kidding

"Fly Through The City on an Urban Chairlift"
Autopia, Wired (May 14, 2010)

"Designer Martin Angelov has dreamed up a new system of public transportation that gives entirely new meaning to 'hanging out downtown.'

"Named Kolelinio, the device is worn like a backpack and integrates an electric motor, batteries and seat. When approaching an urban center, Kolelinio owners can hook onto the two wires overhead and travel at speeds up to 15 miles per hour. Depending on your perspective, it resembles either a chairlift or that conveyor belt they hang shirts on at the drycleaner.

"While the lines will be for public use, you’ll probably own your own transportation device. 'The wires are static and any citizen who wants to use the system has their own transportation device, powered by electric battery,' Angelov said. Transportation devices will be lightweight and can be stored in the trunk of a car - a car that will be parked on the outskirts of town, naturally.

"Kolelinio follows the similarly-named Kolelinia, a bike-by-wire system that Angelov designed earlier this year...."

This transportation looks like a smart way to move people around - when there are a whole lot of people who all want to go in the same direction and it's too far to walk - say over 200 meters.

Since it's 'green' - and, presumably 'sustainable' - I wouldn't be surprised if we don't soon see this horizontal chairlift in places like Laguna Beach, Miami, Cannes and Singapore.

Up here in Minnesota, I'm pretty sure that it will take longer for the Kolelinio to catch on. It isn't that we hate the environment: it's our climate. Here in Minnesota, water is a mineral for several months each year. After we start roofing over Minneapolis-St. Paul and other cities - then something like this will make more sense.

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