This week, a company called Mass Tram America, based in Portland, Oregon, announced plans to build hanging tram systems out of recycled airplane parts and powered by alternative energy sources, to replace the current system of highways and bridges.
The company's first announced project is to design a prototype for a tram system across the Columbia River to replace the Interstate highway bridge, soon to be in need of replacement, that connects Portland with Vancouver, Washington.
The proposed tram system would be powered by solar panels, wind turbines and fuel cells, and the trams themselves would be built out of decommisioned airplane fuselages and run on magnetic, motorized wheels.
The company claims that the trams would run at 100-200 mph, decreasing travel time - and that the cost to build and run them would be far less than that of current transportation systems.
Is this a realistic blueprint for re-imagining exisiting mass-transit with a concept that is as futuristic and cutting-edge as it is clean, energy-efficient, and economical?
It's hard to know yet. But, pending more exploration of the idea's potential, it certainly provides some intriguing food for thought.