​​​​​    Solar Tubular Transit  

Jon Bogle  12/2015  stt@solartubulartransit.com

When an automobile is used to take a trip, the owner only calculates the costs in gas and parking.  I drive a 400 mile round trip several times a year and the costs for gas and parking are about $60.  According to the American Automobile Association, however, the average American sedan driven 15,000 per year costs $.61 per mile or $9,122. My 400 mile drive, more realistically, cost $244.  

Given the multiple efficiencies that STT offers, it should be possible to provide the 400 mile trip for $122. But then, why should I pay $122 when it only costs half  of that for gas? The point here, of course, is that it will take some education for the consumer to see the $4500 in yearly savings. It will be easier, however, for a prospective customer to understand that the trip can be made in half the time without having to drive, worry about traffic jams, or parking.

It is not enough to leave the car at home and take a STT unit because the automobile’s meter for insurance, depreciation, and loan interest continues to tick even when the car is parked in the garage.  Real savings only accrue when the owner relinquishes his/her car for a system car. Eventually, driving an automobile will be viewed as anachronistic fun, like riding a horse.

SYSTEM                                RIDERS PER HOUR              COST PER MILE TO BUILD

Light Rail at Grade                           13,000                       $35 million (average)

Light Rail Grade Separated (1+1)  50,000                       $45-400  million 

Heavy Rail Subways                       30,000                        $551  million - 2.1 billion

Expressway (2+2 lanes)                   9,280                        $23-48 million 

Hyperloop  (1+1)                               6,600                        $17-47 million

Solar Tubular Transit  (1+1)           16,704                        $10-20 million

Note: Systems built on grade vary wildly in costs depending on the terrain and the degree of urbanization. An elevated light system using existing corridors, like STT, will have much less variability.

In the nineteenth century, the federal government ceded a wide right-of-way across the country to entice private money to build the transcontinental railroads.  Today public utilities have been given rights-of-way access to public roadways. This saves money by obtaining access that the utility would have to pay for and avoids cutting through the landscape and neighborhoods with new corridors. Overlaying the existing highway system it will reduce both pollution and noise by removing automobiles. Travel in an enclosed guideway by solar electric vehicles will be nearly silent and pollution free. 

Guideways need to be isolated from on-grade activity so the solution that almost all designers use is to elevate the guideway on pylons. Pylons put a small footprint on the earth and relinquish the ground level to other traffic, pedestrians, or in some cases, wildlife. Varying the height of pylons is an inexpensive way to adjust the guideway’s grade.  Use of an expressway lane would work if barriers protected the guideway from other traffic.

Designers sometimes make compromises to reduce costs. Costs, however, are not the determining factor in the adoption of a system. Assembling guideways is much less costly than constructing highways and one guideway has the potential to carry the traffic load of a multi lane expressway. The costs of the guideway should be compared, not with an expressway lane, but to building an expressway. A spur of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is now being built with construction cost estimated at 48 million dollars per mile.

A guideway system that becomes widely adopted will be much less expensive than a highway because it is a component system built from manufactured parts. Highways are all custom built and require sculpting great quantities of earth. When guideway components are standardized, competitive bidding from different manufactures will reduced costs significantly.

Supporting enterprises and technologies.

STT is an articulation of existing technologies and the technical aspects of a number of business models. New technologies are not needed.

    Electric automobiles and their battery storage.
    Autonomous automobiles--- Google, Apple, BMW etc 
    Shared ride businesses--- Uber Lyft
    Automobile and truck rental
    Solar voltaic panels
    Automated parking facilities
    Ford’s aluminum pickup

    Smart phones and pads

Solar Tubular Transit is a redesigned successor to 
Tubular Guideway Transit.  http://www.tubularguidewaytransit.com/html/TGTnew.html

Guideways, right-of-ways, and costs

Comparing system passenger capacities and cost per mile to build.

Cost to customer.