Hooniverse Asks- What’s the Coolest People Mover You’ve Ever Seen?

While this site focuses on cars, trucks and bikes, we do on occasion like to dip our collective toes into other modes of transportation, mainly because they are interesting, but also because there are just certain places that personal transportation just can’t go. In fact, in both transportation and information, they say that the last mile is always a killer.
When it comes to getting from point A to point B sometimes it’s necessary to leave your treasured personal steed behind and take a communal from of transportation. That often involves what’s commonly known as the people mover. If you’ve been to any number of large sprawling airports you’ve no doubt used systems like Houston’s TerminaLink or the Skytrain at Singapore’s Changi airport. Similar systems operate in congested city centers, one of the oldest being San Francisco’s fabled cable cars.
The people mover is in fact one of the few pieces of technology from Disney’s Tomorrowland to make the leap from future fantasy to mainstream reality, and seeing as there are so many variations on this theme, what I’d like to her today is which ones you’ve heard about or have personally plied that you think are the most awesome. What in your mind are the coolest people movers?
Image: ImageKid

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  1. Maymar Avatar

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/archive/4/44/20120813231048!Marge_vs._the_Monorail_(promo_card).png" height=500 /img>
    It's as quiet as a cloud! Someone had to suggest it!

    1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
      PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

      I can't wait for my cushy job.

  2. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    <img src="https://seattlecentermonorail.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/lions-clubs-parade.jpg&quot; width="500/">
    Seattle Monorail. My boys had fun on it, it looks 1960s view of the future cool.
    I still don't get it from a practical purpose. But it was interesting nonetheless.
    I live in a world of commuter rails and subways. So true "people movers" are an oddity. Sure there's the Light rail in Newark and into Jersey City, but all I know it for is hitting people who didn't look both ways.

  3. OA5599 Avatar

    [youtube KQ2iNOmPI-0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ2iNOmPI-0 youtube]

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Wow, that looks really cool! Video: Leave the "s" of "https". IntenseDebate is all for insecure connections. 🙂

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Will leave "s" off next time and see if it works. Thanks!

    2. FЯeeMan Avatar

      That would be so much better if the cable car mechanism clamped to an actual road-going bus. Drive in, clamp up, ride the wire to the top, release the clamps, drive away. Though I guess that would make it a cable bus.

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        What a brilliant idea!

  4. Sjalabais Avatar

    I have positive feelings for quick boats:
    <img src="http://ndla.no/sites/default/files/images/Hurtigb%C3%A5t%20av%20aluminium.jpg&quot; width="600">
    They are very common in Norway and function like a bus. It feels awesome to accelerate so quickly on water. Pretty stable, too. I live at a fjord and a sightseeing boat passes by my house every day. The noise is a great warning, yet it disappears quickly. Not particularly eco-friendly, but an efficient peoplemover in areas where roadbuilding is not much of an option.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      It is probably environmentally friendlier than roadbuilding.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Bridge to nowhere nods approvingly.
        <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Hardangerbrua-August-2013.JPG&quot; width="600">
        The environmental impact of fast ferries was assessed a while back and it came out last of all methods of transport studied. Yet you never know how thorough the studying was…a Swedish transport institute found railways way more damaging than roads with the exclusivity in usage and the amount of steel needed. But that was not in line with the political goal of more trains and less cars, so it never really got its attention…

  5. dukeisduke Avatar

    The LTV (Vought Aerospace) Airtrans system, in use at DFW Airport, from its opening in 1974, until 2005.
    Airtrans carried passengers:
    <img src="http://www.subways.net/usa/dfw/airtrans.JPG&quot; 'width="600'/">
    as well as inter-terminal baggage:
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f6/Airtrans_Cargo_Vehicle.jpg/640px-Airtrans_Cargo_Vehicle.jpg&quot; 'width="600'/">
    Vehicle assembly at Vought in Grand Prairie, with an A-7 Corsair II in the background:
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Airtrans_Vehicle_Assembly.jpg/640px-Airtrans_Vehicle_Assembly.jpg&quot; 'width="600'/">
    It wasn't particularly fast (top speed was 17 mph, and normal cruising speed was 13 mph), but it was cool.

  6. Vavon Avatar

    Seaspeed Hovercrafts, gracefully floating on land and water whilst making an enormous amount of racket!
    <img src="http://www.blenheimgang.com/wp-content/uploads/media/2011/01/hovercraft-feat-1200×520.jpg&quot; width=640>

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      You can't beat the Soviets for these things. I know it's technically a material mover, but "In Soviet Russia…"
      <img src="http://i.ytimg.com/vi/pTRiK6Cc9fo/0.jpg&quot; width=450>
      <img src="http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/russian-hovercraft_2.jpeg&quot; width=450>

      1. Vairship Avatar

        Seems like it would be quite effective at getting the people on the beach to move, so it IS a people mover…

  7. Pinkerton1 Avatar

    It’s not the most stunning or useful people mover, but to me it’s the automated monorail that used to connect the Fairlane Town Center mall to the Hyatt Regency hotel in Dearborn, Michigan. The mall was massive, with large public spaces, and every brand of store one could imagine. As a little kid in the 1970s, I was keenly aware of 20th century futurism. At the time, going to Fairlane felt like stepping into the future, especially on a dreary day. The monorail was the icing on the cake. I knew about the monorail at Disney, but this one was accessible. Any time my parents needed to go to Sears, I'd could beg them for a free monorail ride.
    <img src="http://www.detroityes.com/mb/attachment.php?s=d54092b99dca59b9fc248d1b5469ebba&attachmentid=13303&d=1336868423"&gt;

    1. Wildcat_445 Avatar

      I haven't been there in ages. I only rode the monorail once, and also had dinner up in the revolving restaurant at the Hyatt. I guess they closed the monorail later in the 80s and took down the tracks in 1990.

  8. GTXcellent Avatar

    On a smaller scale of people movers – those shopping cart escalators at Menards are beyond cool. It's MAGIC! or vodoo
    <img src="http://s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/EqwRMRwzhNO-HyR7iajZZQ/l.jpg&quot; width="400">

  9. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      You know, there's one of these called the 'Rocket Boat' on San Francisco Bay (more than one, I think) and I regularly see it blasting around with a load of shrieking, seatbelted and life jacketed tourists on board. I also regularly see it being overtaken by the Vallejo Ferry catamaran, which has a load of commuters wandering around on the top deck sipping white wine.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Rode on one in Chicago, from Navy Pier. Thanks to my Foretrex, I can tell you we did a factual 43 knots. And regardless of actual speed, we all had a lot more fun than I ever had on a ferry boat.

  10. Prince Halibrand Avatar
    Prince Halibrand

      1. mike england Avatar
        mike england

        that's one of my all-time favorite people-movers.

  11. nanoop Avatar

    Wuppertal suspension railway. . There, the future began in 1901!
    <img src="http://blog.hillbrecht.de/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/09.Wuppertal.2005-04-22.2279.Vohwinkel-Kaiserstrasse.jpg&quot; width="600">

  12. monkey_tennis Avatar

    Don't bring the plane up to the gate: Bring the gate to the plane!
    <img src="http://media.airspacemag.com/images/Mobile+Lounge+620.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. faberferrum Avatar

      You're going to get a LOT of hop-ons!

  13. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    <img src="http://momentsofmagictravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/disney-monorail.jpg&quot; width="500">
    When I first arrived at Walt DisneyWorld, Florida, as a twelve year old in 1993, I really didn't know what to expect.
    Then, after leaving our rental Lumina in that infinite parking lot, our transport to the Magic Kingdom arrived, and what a way to travel. It glid into the station, the plug doors swung silently out and a stream of crisp conditioned air flowed out. We walked in, sat in the firm but well shaped vis-a-vis seats and slid assertivey from the platform and towards the promised land. Then, en route, this striking, futuristic train travelled through the foyer of Disney's striking, futuristic Contemporary hotel.
    Yes. At age 12 the Disney Monorail was the coolest non-car wheeled transport I'd ever experienced.

  14. Batshitbox Avatar

    Any funicular railway, but I'll throw Angel's Flight up for giggles.
    <img src="http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-03/52676577.jpg&quot; width=450>
    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funicular” target=”_blank”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funicular

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      My local version:
      <img src="http://auneforlag.no/upload/sync/postkort/32100/184350-650.jpg&quot; width="600">

      1. Batshitbox Avatar

        I'm fond of the 2 or 4 car versions where one car is a counterweight to the other, and they share a parallel track, and pass each other in the same spot every trip.
        <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4d/Funicular_layouts.svg/512px-Funicular_layouts.svg.png&quot; width="200/"> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funicular (previous link corrupted)
        Your Bergen example looks more like a tramway with the cable under the car?
        EDIT: I just looked it up and yes, it's a funicular all right!

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Indeed! :

  15. scroggzilla Avatar

    Morgantown WV represent!

  16. Tomsk Avatar

    Behold, the New York Central's M-497 "Black Beetle." It was a self-propelled railcar built by Budd that used a diesel engine…and two GE jet engines mounted in a pod on the roof. The Iron Man-esque nose extension was added to improve aerodynamics, and the car maxed out at 183.68 mph during testing in Ohio in 1966.
    <img src="https://d1u1p2xjjiahg3.cloudfront.net/e7739835-da6b-4534-9d7b-49374374a066.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Honestly, it was exactly the sort of thing the Soviets would have come up with, but we did it instead. BECAUSE 'MURICA.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/CN_train_in_1975.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
      Not quite as cool, not quite as fast, but the TurboTrain was of a similar ilk, and managed to hit 140mph in service (well, once), and was supposed to be capable of 170.

    2. HycoSpeed Avatar

      <img src="http://englishrussia.com/images/soviet_turbo_jet_train/1.jpg&quot; width=600>
      They tried! I think ours looked a little cooler though. From EnglishRussia. (Of course!)

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Why was it dismantled? Still looked a bit like the future.

      1. Rover_1 Avatar

        It never got the patronage it was designed for, so it always ran at a loss. After 25 years the council had had enough. Hobart city in Tasmania tried to get the whole thing but it was scrapped. There was a lot of steel in it and steel prices were high.
        The carriages are still around, Google Australia has 2 in their offices, as offices). Being one floor up off the street perhaps made them inconvenient, Sydney , even in the centre is not as densely packed as European cities, so maybe there were just not enough people. (Population density is half that of Los Angeles, in itself, the poster child for urban sprawl in America. And L.A has less than half the population density of most European cities).
        And as the first comment on this page states, ( and I alluded to in my comment above), Monorails were a bit of a fad, a trendy fashion, in the seventies.They mostly didn't live up to their promises. It's a shame as I always enjoyed my little rides when in Sydney, but, as I remember, the last time I rode in one, in 2012, I was the only one in the carriage.
        Edit: and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Monorail

  17. Rover_1 Avatar

    My favorite people mover from that vehicle type is still the Mk1 Renault Espace. The only Fuego based minivan.
    <img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4060/5078401381_4e58de05b8_z.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://www.autozine.org/Archive/Renault/classic/Espace_3.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Although the Mk2 Espace was made in one version that everyone likes, the Espace F1.
    As it's name suggests, an Espace crossed with a Williams-Renault Formula 1 V10 chassis.
    This could move four people very quickly, with passengers wearing earplugs and not wearing loose clothing, because of their proximity to the V10 motor
    <img src="http://cdn05.motorsportretro.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/url.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://cdn05.motorsportretro.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/4.jpg&quot; width="500">
    More familiar now to many people due to it's appearance in the Grand Turismo video games.
    <img src="http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/gran-turismo/images/6/6c/709.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120102004715"width="500"&gt;

  18. mike england Avatar
    mike england

    I am surprised someone hasn't beat me to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KoiWVZ458w
    It's the mobile lounges at Dulles – I think I read once these were used at 2 different airports but recently Dulles was the only user.