Rapid-transit technology to pilot in Israel

(JTA) — Israel will be the site of the world’s first public pilot project for a new type of elevated rapid-transit network.

The California-based skyTran is teaming with Israel Aerospace Industries to construct approximately a quarter-mile loop in central Israel of its lightweight, two-person vehicles suspended on elevated magnetic tracks, Reuters reported.

The pilot loop is scheduled to be ready by the end of 2015. If successful, it will be followed with a commercial network in Tel Aviv.

Pending the success of the pilot in Israel, projects are planned for India and the United States.

The vehicles are expected to travel at up to 149 miles per hour.

“Tel Aviv is a world city. It’s a destination for people around the world. A center of commerce,” skyTran CEO Jerry Sanders told Reuters. “Israelis love technology and we don’t foresee a problem of people not wanting to use the system. Israel is a perfect test site.”

Sanders did not disclose the project’s cost.

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