Five cities are being considered for an Uber-like autonomous elevated cable and rail system developed as part of a Google project aimed at relieving traffic congestion, according to a June 27 Swyft Cities news release.

Swyft Cities, a Google-born company that focuses on transportation, is working with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to identify potential locations for the first U.S. installations, according to the release.

The details

The five cities being considered are:
  • Arlington
  • Dallas
  • DeSoto
  • Frisco
  • Plano
Swyft Cities is implementing a transportation system, known as Whoosh, that uses electric vehicles that resemble conventional aerial gondolas but use autonomous technologies to move independently along an elevated network of fixed cables and rails, according to the release. Vehicles are on-demand like an Uber, and systems can be built at a cost far below conventional transit projects.

All trips are fast and nonstop with no stops at intermediate stations, according to the release.

Swyft Cities, supported by the NCTCOG, is evaluating potential sites in the cities and potential partnership conversations to decide which of the five cities will be the first to move forward with a pilot system, according to the release.

NCTCOG’s Certification of Emerging and Reliable Transportation Technology program is looking to bring advanced transportation technologies to North Texas. NCTCOG’s Mobility 2045 Update, the region’s long-range transportation plan, forecasts more corridors will become significantly congested by 2045, according to the release.

What they’re saying

“We’re excited to be working with these five cities to bring advanced transportation to cities in North Texas,” Swyft Cities CEO Jeral Poskey said in the release. “Whoosh provides the 'perfect Uber’—fast, on-demand, nonstop trips with a great view. Vehicles are waiting for you at stations, instead of the other way around. Whoosh can connect places across North Texas in new ways that will get you there quickly and conveniently, enabling you to glide over street traffic with zero emissions.”

“The North Central Texas Council of Governments and Regional Transportation Council have a history of meeting transportation challenges with innovative technologies,” NCTCOG Director of Transportation Michael Morris in the release. “Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, adding more than 1 million residents every seven years. We look forward to working with our public- and private-sector partners to advance the types of transportation solutions that will help us manage this growth and enhance quality of life. These solutions are perfect for urban areas where at-grade space is limited.”