Google Invests in Innovative New Biking Monorail

Shweeb is an innovative form of alternative transportation that places people in plastic tubes so that they can cycle to their destination whilst hung upside down from a rail. It may sound tiring, but Google believes that it could transform the way we get around cities — as such, they have invested $1.05 million into the scheme.

As the Shweeb system is ‘user-powered’ it immediately gets sustainability points, but the system has also been praised for its speed. A combination between traveling in tubes à la Futurama and “Sky Cycling,” Shweeb’s bike-powered monorail currently has a 200m cycle track in Rotorua, New Zealand, where is it billed as an “adrenalin-fueled” adventure. There, users are suspended from the track in transparent pods and can ‘cycle’ around the landscape at speeds of up to 45km/h.

Shweeb cycles are equipped with seven gears and, according to the operators, the reclining position is necessary for both comfort and reducing drag. The system has been a big hit with tourists, and Google reckons it could find equal satisfaction from the commuting population of some of the world’s cities.

[via Inhabitat]

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