30 days of ideas – 24: Rollercoasters as public transport
I’m really interested in public transport, in the sense that I like it to be good, and I complain when it’s not. Every city should have trams, an underground rail network, and bicycle lanes, as far as I’m concerned.
But it seems to me there’s one public transport option that nobody’s ever considered – or have never implemented if they have considered it. And while this is clearly one of my less practical ideas, that doesn’t stop me liking it.
It’s the world’s most boring rollercoaster ride. I’ll explain how it works.
A mundane funfair ride
Every major street (and some of the larger minor streets) in a city and its outlying suburbs gets lined with rails alongside the footpath. On those rails, seats like the ones pictured above trundle along at just faster than walking pace. Maybe a jog.
If you want to get in one, you tap a big red button on the side of it, and it slows down long enough for you and a friend to get in, and when you put the bar down to secure yourself, off it goes again.
From there, you can just go where you like. The rails have intersections at every street, and you can navigate it to take you down to the shops, off to a friend’s house, or wherever you’d like to go. You can either predetermine the destination and have it work out the route – or you can ‘steer’ it: perhaps a “take the next left” button and a “take the next right” button. That’s all it would need.
Cars could come along every minute or so on both sides of the road. There’d never be long to wait – and once you got off at your destination, they’d find their way back to a pre-programmed route, trundling along to pick up the next passengers.
But the point is that they’d be slower than trains and buses, and faster than walking. If you have a bit of a hike and you’re carrying your shopping bags, for instance, it’d be ideal. They’d be reasonably safe in the sense that it’d be hard to damage yourself too badly by falling out of (or in front of) one, given the speed they’re going.
And they’d be fun. Not rolllercoaster fun, but fun nevertheless. I’d use one every day to get to the train station. Call me lazy…
Table of contents for 30 Days of Ideas
- The other way of following first
- Now we’re up and dancing
- 30 days of ideas – 01: Keymash
- 30 days of ideas – 02: Radio Alerts
- 30 days of ideas – 03: Only Famous (a romantic comedy)
- 30 days of ideas – 04: Modcasts
- 30 days of ideas – 05: Numberless Calendar
- 30 days of ideas – 06: SpringCleanr
- 30 days of ideas – 07: Street Gallery
- 30 days of ideas – 08: Smart Business Cards
- 30 days of ideas – 09: Recordings in Concert
- 30 days of ideas – 10: Vinyl scanner
- 30 days of ideas – 11: Photo Stack-and-Scan
- 30 days of ideas – 12: A Box of Cool
- 30 days of ideas – 13: Karaoke-Tube Celebstar Idol
- 30 days of ideas – 14: I Made You A Tape
- 30 days of ideas – 15: Newspaper download codes
- 30 days of ideas – 16: Pebble Splash
- 30 days of ideas – 17: Digital radio, somewhere useful
- 30 days of ideas – 18: Public domain music collection
- 30 days of ideas – 19: Blog cast-list automator
- 30 days of ideas – 20: The Retirement Pile
- 30 days of ideas – 21: Nationalise EMI
- 30 days of ideas – 22: The Stainless Steel Rat (the movie)
- 30 days of ideas – 23: WordPress Bandcampify template
- 30 days of ideas – 24: Rollercoasters as public transport
- 30 days of ideas – 25: Next-gen personalised music radio
- 30 days of ideas – 26: New Music Trust
- 30 days of ideas – 27: Tamagotchi Gardening
- 30 days of ideas – 28: Charity shop clothing subscription
- 30 days of ideas – 29: ‘Now Playing’ social music app
- 30 days of ideas – 30: House of Spare Ideas
- Mixtape for You by Ray Kuyvenhoven
- What can you do in 30 days?