Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shweeb for Dweebs

So, why did Google bet $1 million on Shweeb?

That’s the question CNN.com is posing. I’m not sure they put the right emphasis on the right syllable, however.

Shweeb, if you're not into link clicking, is a monorail-type system in which the passengers pedal individual or dual capsules on a mass transportation system.

Come on, this is a toy. A tinker’s fantasy. Mass transportation it is not. Maybe it makes sense in incredibly densely populated areas like Beijing, Tokyo, central London and New York City, but for covering long distances – and by long, I mean two or three miles, not hundreds – this is a joke. Maybe the infrastructure is lightweight, but you’ve still got to get rights of way, and you’ve got to maintain the thing. For anything else other than a curiosity, Shweeb is going nowhere. Fast. Even with Google’s investment.

Walking is more efficient in the densely populated areas thus described. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper.

This sounds more like a Shelbyville idea to me.

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