INDEPENDENT NEWS

SkyCabs Offer Auckland Transport Solution

Published: Thu 14 Dec 2000 12:59 AM
The range of possible solutions to Auckland's passenger transportation dilemma has expanded with the introduction of an innovative new system known as SkyCabs.
The system consists of lightweight eight-passenger automated cabs suspended from either side of a single elevated beam, facilitating travel in both directions down a single line. The compact system is designed to fit neatly above public footpaths.
According to SkyCabs' originator, local architect Hugh Chapman, the distinct feature of Auckland that required an innovative solution was its widespread nature. 'By keeping materials lightweight and to a minimum, some of the extensive cost savings can be directed towards a greatly expanded network. Instead of being restricted by fixed transport corridors, public transport can reach into the suburbs using the main arterial roads that are unsuitable for light rail.'
The system, with its use of public roads, would bypass the current difficulties experienced in the acquisition of rail corridors. Stops would be located off-line with major stops being integrated into existing structures like shopping centres.
The design for the Harbour Bridge involves two bidirectional lines which will increase capacity by 80% without any restriction of current usage, making it a viable substitute to a second harbour crossing. With the cabs travelling at up to 80km/h travel times across the bridge could be cut in half.
Costing around a third of equivalent light rail, 120km of the SkyCabs system, including the Harbour Bridge crossing, would cost approximately $1 billion.
Thursday sees the system presented to the Auckland City Council, which will be asked to request the Auckland Regional Council to add Skycabs to the formal list of alternatives for consideration.
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For further information please contact:
Hugh Chapman (09) 527-0159 or Email: skycabs@ihug.co.nz

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