In 2019, the Florida Legislature appropriated $1 million dollars to TBARTA specifically for the study and development of future transit technologies. Later that year TBARTA took action on that mission, initiating a 12-month Innovative Transit Technologies Feasibility Study which was completed in July, 2020. The study examined the technical, financial, and regulatory issues of three new transportation systems:
Hyperloop: An experimental form of transportation which involves a floating pod that travels inside a low-pressure tube. Because almost all the air is removed from the tube, friction is greatly reduced, and in theory, the pods can reach speeds of more than 700 miles per hour. The study examined hyperloop’s potential across Florida.
Air taxis: An on-demand, point-to-point travel service between small regional and general aviation airports. The concept was first tested by NASA in 2001 as part of the Small Aircraft Transportation Systems (SATS) Initiative.
Arial Gondolas: This type of transportation is currently used most often in international urban areas, with two urban aerial operations in the U.S.: the Roosevelt Island Tramway in New York, and the Portland Aerial Tram in Oregon.
The TBARTA board authorized a $220,916 study to be conducted by WSP USA, Inc. The Innovative Transit Technologies Feasibility Study examined the current state of each technology, future potential, route types, corridor profiles, travel demand, safety and environmental issues, and funding options, among other considerations.
The Executive Summary and Final reports can be found below, with additional materials on the ITT Documents page.