TRANSIT: Boston considering elevated pods as alternative mass transit venture

Aug. 14, 2015

Company founder Bill James insists he can “fix” Boston’s traffic congestion for good

The dream of solar-based, renewable energy driven mass transit may be taking a leap forward for select east coast cities. According to a recent report by the Boston Globe, city officials are considering the adoption of something called JPods, an above-ground rapid transit system that acts not unlike a ski lift.

Operating on a monorail system that would be erected above and along present traffic corridors, the JPod system would consist of carrier cars, or pods, that commuters could take to get form point A to B, regardless of the traffic situation or, perhaps more importantly, weather conditions.

At present, Boston city councilor Stephen Murphy has expressed support for the system, noting that its private development, construction and subsidizing would benefit the city while not taxing its citizens or government. Given the recent years’ extreme weather events in the city, Murphy believes the JPod system would provide transportation relief.

“Currently there are two mandated ways of travel – government mandated highways and mass transit,’’ Murphy said. “We all know that no matter what time you leave [City Hall] and you head south on the expressway … there is gridlock.”

Furthermore, State Senator Robert Hedlund (R.-Weymouth) has drafted a measure in the legislature that would support development and adoption of the JPod system, following founder Bill James’ recent presentation to city officials.

Based on renderings at the company’s website, the JPod system would function on a developed infrastructure not unlike that of an elevated railcar system. It remains to be seen whether the cost investment would justify the seemingly limited number of bodies the JPod system is capable of withstanding, versus the number capable of more traditional modes of mass transit.