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Shweeb is a proposed personal rapid transit network based on human-powered monorail cars. The project prototype was originally designed and implemented in Rotorua, New Zealand as a leisure attraction. . In September, 2010, a proposal for development of an expanded network was chosen to receive funding from Google as part of project 10100. As of April 2012, the system has not been considered by anyone with the ability to implement it..
A company based in Northwest Indiana, Catalyst Lifestyles LLC, has announced that it will construct a Shweeb at its new Sport Resort in Portage, Indiana. The park will include a 150-room hotel/resort, a 165,000 square foot Dome for; court sports, field sports, track and field, concerts, trade shows or dinner for 3,000 + attendees, a 80,000 square foot indoor water park, an indoor drive in theatre and a wakeboard lake. Catalyst Lifestyles has said that the Shweeb will transport guests around the 170 acre park and will eventually lead into the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Portage Lakefront and provide a stop at the South Shore Line Ogden Dunes station providing train transport to Chicago and South Bend.
The proposed Shweeb transit network relies on recumbent bicycle technology to power pods suspended from monorails. According to Shweeb Monorail Technology, the intent of their proposal is to "create a solution which provided the user with the same flexibility and comfort offered by the car but without the consequential costs - both direct financial and indirect health and environmental costs." The proposal envisions networks of monorail track providing point to point and commuter transit for urban areas.
The track is built in folded galvanised steel. Its external height is 220mm x width 200 mm. Support piles are also in galvanised steel.
Pods are covered with transparent plastic sheets, with ventilation holes. Front and rear long dampers are provided to limit the impact acceleration in case of pods collision and to ease the association of pods to build 'pod trains' which could significantly improve overall aerodynamic efficiency.
External power boost
To help climb ramps, an electrically powered chain installed on a track section could push the pods for a limited distance, in a way similar to the Trampe bicycle lift. This could also help entering stations built at a higher elevation than the track. The purpose of this elevation is to help a pod gaining momentum while descending from station track to the main line track.
- "Project 10 to the 100 - Idea: Drive innovation in public transport". Google. October 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- "SHWEEB Eco-Ventures Park Coming to Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada in 2015". Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- Jack Martin (July 23, 2008). "The Shweeb Human-powered monorail". GizMag. Retrieved July 16, 2012.