Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Your Tax Dollars At Work

I'm going to make a slightly surprising confession: I'm not against faith-based organizations obtaining government funding. There are somethings they do well, like family counseling, and if they promise to keep religion and the social aspects of their operations separate, I really see no point in not allowing taxpayers to provide funding. I am against proselytizing, of course, but not against a minister ministering to people in need, no matter what their faith.

There are somethings that churches do rather unwell. One thing I imagine would be public transportation.

Enter Higherway. Now, most public transport solutions involve moving masses of people from one destination to another quickly and efficiently.

Apparently, Higherway transport systems are, um, a bit more "rugged individual" than that. Here, take a look:The Higherway system employs a skyhook...you may recall one of those from summer camp. Your counselor sent you out looking for one, along with a stick to hunt snipe with...to gently lift your car off the ground and attach it, somewhat like a ski lift, to a cable running above the ground.

The Higherway PRT system has been in use in precisely one location in the United States, for some 30 years: Morgantown, WV, on the campus of West Virginia University. While the developers have touted it's utility, claiming it's even better than light rail systems, apparently, the PRT system on the West Virginia University campus breaks down about every other day under not-exactly taxing usage, and certainly that doesn't presage well for its use in a normal rush hour situation, so bad that the mayor of Kansas City said he'd never install one there, and rushed to put in place a light rail system.

UPDATE Thanks to Britisher (who's blog you should all be regularly attending to, even if he doesn't), who had enough energy to dig up this little treasure:The Control Panel Inside Each Car
Note the direct phone line to the nearest jail...

Does any of this sound at all familiar to you? It should...