Two Stops Into the Future
We are proposing a world free of cars, where people move around only through public transportation. Our proposition would create new job opportunities, even for those who would lose their jobs. It would drive innovation in several fields, including energy sources, urban design and transportation. The public systems would be forced to improve and expand to be able to cater to everyone. More single person vehicles like bicycles would be used.
Two Stops Into The Future
First Stop: 2050
James had to pick Charlie up from school today, Alex was stuck at work. They step into the house right after a short ride on the Mintro, Charlie runs in, drops his backpack on the floor and right when he is about to step into his Nintendo, he sees a cardboard box with his dad’s name on it. He opens it up and finds some old pictures and old toys. At the bottom of it he sees this red metal thing with four wheels, he pulls it out and runs to his dad.
Charlie: “Dad, what is this?”
James: “Oh, you found my old toy box, your mom made me clean the attic.”
Charlie: “But what is it?”
James: “It’s a car! I can’t believe it has been so long since I saw one.”
Charlie: “What are the wheels for?”
James chuckles; as he plays with the tiny toy car, he begins telling Charlie a story about his childhood.
James: Back when I was your age, there was no Mintro. Streets looked completely different, they were really dirty, and cars were everywhere. Cities were congested and polluted. People were fighting over fuel to run all of these cars. We spent hours stuck in traffic, arriving late at work all the time. There were car accidents all the time because people were driving themselves everywhere. Even the metro looked completely different back then; it was very limited, congested and worn out. Out of nowhere, the government decided to pass a law making public transportation the only mode of transport. Everyone had to send their cars to the scrapyard. A lot of people lost their jobs. It took a long time for everyone to get adjusted. The public transportation systems were not ready to meet the demand. My dad used to drive me to school in a car that looked just like this.
Charlie: “Can I keep it?”
James hands it to Charlie. Charlie grabs it and runs up the stairs to his room.
Second Stop: 2080
Students enter the lecture hall, and once everyone is seated, a man standing in the front turns around and introduces himself as Professor Martin.
Professor Martin: “Welcome to History of Transportation Design. How many of you took the teleportation booth to class today?”
Most of the class raises their hand.
Professor Martin: “Well… Thirty years ago, we didn't have such advanced transportation systems. We used to take the Mintro and the Wheeltram. Does someone know what any of these were?”
Overachieving student: “Wasn’t the Mintro a system that connected one building to another?”
Professor Martin: “Yes, that is correct! The Mintro was a transportation system that consisted of a carriage that interconnected buildings. The Wheeltram was another type of system that ran on roads. To be honest, it was pretty funky looking. Back then, most people worked in transportation; it was a pretty large and complex city. Everyone in the world depended on public transportation. We needed people to maintain it, people to run it, people to it, and of course people to innovate it. So many people were working on inventing new vehicles, finding new energy sources, redesigning cities. There were a lot of new opportunities. All of these advances are what brought us to today, where you go into the booth and in a blink, you are somewhere else. So, for homework I want you to look back at all the vehicles in history. Find your favorite and write a 2 page paper on it. Remember to include a picture. See you next week.”
As all the students are exiting the lecture hall, one of them makes their way down the stairs. He approaches Professor Martin as he is putting his stuff away. The student notices that next to Professor Martin’s briefcase there was a clunky red metal box with four wheels at the bottom, he becomes curious, he had never seen something like that.
Not Overachieving Student: “Professor, what is that?”
Professor Martin picks up the red metal box, stares at it for a second, and smiles.
Professor Martin: “That is a story for another day.”