Shweeb Pedal Powered Monorail

Has anyone seen this? I just stumbled upon it and when I searched for it in the Core77 archive I didn’t find anything. Kind of interesting. I’d be interested in giving it a try.

http://shweeb.com/index.php?m=transport

3 things are not addressed in their concept.

  1. Pod management. They allow little means to move pods from one station to another like every other bike sharing program in the world. One person moving a string of pods is likely to cause a traffic jam.

  2. Traffic jams. No means to pass.

  3. Cooling.

Infrastructure cost.

Roads already exist and everything from pedestrians to heavy trucks can use them.

With all the money it would take to build this id have to wonder if a smaller amount could be spent on automobile to bicycle safety and better bike lane design with greater effect. In my town they are eliminating some of the traffic lanes and replacing them with bike lanes or “sharrows”. Seems to be doing ok. Saturday mornings look like the Tour de France here so it was needed.

If the system is so effective at reducing wind drag that it can be powered by a human, you may as well remove the issue of having cyclists with a massive variation in fitness levels by attaching a small electric motor. This could also allow a higher speed than the rather sluggish maximum of 25km/h that’s currently proposed.

They mention that the pods are far more efficient when linked together, so we should probably make that the default configuration too; if the system has such a small uptake that pods are constantly traveling as singles, then I can’t imagine it’d be worth the money. Admittedly linking the carriages together doesn’t allow you to choose your path to the same degree, but if you want freedom of direction you may as well use a bike and get to your destination faster.

Actually while we’re at it, we could probably increase the diameter of each pod and reclined seating so that it’s not restricted for use by skinny fully-abled people; it seems silly to spend so much money on expensive rails for such an exclusive system.


Now we have an electrically powered set of pod/carriages that travel at a reasonable velocity with a high efficiency and are useable by absolutely anyone, even those in wheelchairs. Sound familiar?