Mass Transit

Maglev city

The megacities of 2050 are not designed for massive numbers of personal vehicles, and while commuter rush-hour jams are pretty much a thing of the past it’s almost impossible to get a good parking space. One where you can park your ride and not have it stolen, blown-up, vandalized or just towed.. There are various factors involved in this.

Firstly, if you’re a zoner or dole with no fixed employment, you can forget about financing to buy that personal vehicle – it’s either save up the cash or do without. Then you have to find a safe space in your neighborhood to keep the vehicle and find more cash to pay insurance, tax, license fees and a bunch of other things. Forget that, it’s easier to use mass transport.

If you’re a prole, you probably live in a corporate arcology or gated subdivision – or your employer lays on company transport to get you to and from work safely anyway – so why bother with the expense of a public vehicle? Easier just to use mass transit on those rare occasions you leave your corporate safety net.

If you’re one of the corporate elite, the Glitterati, of course you have your own vehicle. Maybe more than one. But you also have a secure parking spot for it at home in your corporate-security guarded residential development and in the executives-only parking at work. If you really have to park that vehicle elsewhere, chances are it has active defenses – a sonic nauseator field at the very least, if not something more lethal – to stop the plebian masses breathing on the paintwork.

The roads and skies of a 2050 megacity are full of vehicles, but not over-full, and most are rich-people toys or corporate haulage. The rest of us make do with mass transit options, again provided by corporations.

Within arcologies and other megastructures, as well as in corporate core areas, slidewalks are popular. This is a passenger conveyor belt similar to a high-speed horizontal escalator, built with two strips going in opposite directions and a central platform. They convey passengers at between 5 and 15 miles per hour. Multiple slidewalks running at different speeds might be found in high-traffic areas, with the slowest belts closest to the platform.

Outside, the most popular mass transit forms are the inner-city maglev train and the bus. Both are usually run by corporate contractors to the City Authority, and while it’s usual to have only one maglev contractor there might be several different bus companies running on different routes or in different areas. Quality of these means of getting around can vary widely from place to place – the corps usually put their oldest and worst maintained stock in service on the routes serving poorest areas. There’s a place for ground cars too – robotic, driverless, smartcar cabs with minimal luxury internally. Usually called "JohnnyCabs” by city denizens no matter what the actual operator’s name, they can be found just about anywhere except combat zones. There are also AV buses, far rarer and usually “charter” concerns rather than running regular routes.


Beyond the megacities, things change. There are very few roads good enough for ground bus routes, and even fewer safe enough. Ultra-fast Continental maglev is the best way to get from city to city, and for haulage purposes or to make a stop of the main maglev routes an airship is best. Otherwise, fuel costs make air passenger transport a perk of the rich, whether by scheduled flight, chartered aircraft or private jet. If it has to go over land, there are companies who operate guarded convoys of big-rigs modified for rugged terrain.

Typical Mass Transit Fare Costs

Inner-City Maglev: $1 per trip, no matter how long. $5 for a day ticket of unlimited trips.

Inner City Bus: $2 per trip, no matter how long. $40 for a week ticket of unlimited trips.

JohnnyCab: $2 per mile plus $1 per mile over the 5th.

Continental Maglev: $1 per 10 miles.

Continental Airship: $1 per 5 miles.

Aircraft, scheduled flight: $200 plus $1 per 10 miles.

Mass Transit

Edgerunners Langy Langy