Environmental Considerations

One of the most significant environmental benefits to be gained from the use of the Magplane System will be the reduction in the growth of automobile exhaust emissions. Automobiles are the largest source of air pollution, and a major contributor to the "Greenhouse Effect". Because Magplane vehicles are able to transport large numbers of people and significant amounts of freight, Magplane can reduce the growth of vehicular traffic, air pollution and congestion.

A great advantage of the Magplane System over conventional high speed ground systems is that it is designed to operate at full speed within existing highway rights-of-way. A Magplane is the only high-speed ground system that can bank like a plane and therefore greatly reduce or minimize the need to acquire new and straighter routes. Because of this, cost for land acquisition and the impact on environmentally sensitive lands can be minimized.

Because of the low contact pressure of Magplane vehicles, the supporting guideways and pier foundations will be much smaller than conventional train and roadway bridge construction.

The smaller required footings minimize and localize the potential environmental impact within the construction area. In addition, the elevated magway lends itself to construction techniques which allow for additions from the end of magway spans and above sensitive areas. This construction method virtually eliminates land surface alterations with the exception of pier placement.

Because of the Magplane's ability to climb grades, limited only by passenger comfort, and to utilize existing highway corridors, flood plain management can be only minimally affected. Since the Magplane's guideway is elevated, large areas of cut and fill to achieve operating grade elevations are not necessary. Magplane guideways will also be able to span navigable waterways with sufficient elevation to allow for uninterrupted ship traffic without drawbridges.

The Magplane system can have a significant impact on the future management of greenhouse gas emissions by relieving future growth of road transport. Road transport accounts for 80% of the transportation emissions. To meet the Kyoto Protocol commitments, the transportation sector has to achieve a target emissions reduction of 32% by 2010.