This past Tuesday, March 19, 2019, Milpitas resident and activist Rob Means brought a preliminary plan for a high-tech “loop” before the Milpitas City Council.
The loop is to entail a form of transportation called Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). Mr. Means has furnished this poster art — http://sunnyhillsneighborhood.org/poster.pdf (it takes a moment to load) — so people can gain a sense of the technology, along with its accompanying guideway paths, station locations, costs, and public service capacity.
Essentially, the loop is to be a giant “rail” system. Small, sleek passenger vehicles will be affixed to the railway, aka loop, and whisk people to and from key commercial and residential locations in Milpitas at a speed of 30mph, in lieu of traditional motor vehicles.
Picture the famous monorail system at Disney World, and you’re in the ballpark.
Why would Milpitas embrace such a system? It’s all about getting ready for a carbon-healthy future. The loop stands to lower carbon emissions while boosting our city’s reputation and its businesses’ bottom lines. It’ll also be good for Milpitas residents’ health, while providing a striking example of how other cities around the country and the world might be able to navigate the remainder of this century, as things pertain to climate change.
The project is to be undertaken by a not-for-profit, Type B Corporation called Sustainable Habitat. At Tuesday’s council meeting, after Mr. Means spoke about the project on Sustainable Habitat’s behalf, Mayor Rich Tran made it clear that this undertaking was the company’s, rather than the city’s.
In a later email to the mayor and the council, Mr. Means thanked the mayor for his clarity, adding, “I strongly believe that the project will go smoother and achieve better results by putting the City in a supportive role and letting Cooperative take the lead.”
At present, meanwhile, the city and Sustainable Habitat are examining an agreement to initiate the pursuit of the transit project. As Means explained, it’s “in the review phase. If City Council votes to approve it (or a slightly-modified version), then other property owners will be approached with a similar offer.”
If carried out, the loop would change Milpitas forever.