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Our Progress

Our wheelings and dealings with TxDOT

It's tough work, changing the world. We are actively trying to build a fully functional prototype car and 3500-foot test track. Before we can do so, we need funding of about $1 million. One year later, we will have a tested car, and after another six months, the car will have been life-tested for 200,000 miles.

Plenty of people think the TriTrack is a great idea, including the EPA, but so far nobody knows how to fund us.

We have found that for the majority of funding sources, we either don't fit their mold, or $1 million is beyond the scope of their funding. The rest seem to be unable to fund anything that does not show an immediate benefit. In other words, no test track, just working projects. The catch-22 is that without a test track, we have no way of proving that the TriTrack works.

Our solution is to submit unsolicited proposals that include both the test track and a working installation. This way, there is immediate benefit once the project is completed, and there is an insurance policy in that funding can be stopped if the test track were to prove that the TriTrack will not be able to live up to our claims.

We are in the process of submitting one such proposal to the Texas Department of Transportation. We break the proposal into four funding options, allowing TxDot to fund us to the level that they see fit. The first option is the 3500-foot test track. The second option runs between the University of Texas main campus and J.J. Pickle Research Center in North Austin. The third option runs between the main campus and Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The final option is a larger network of guideway that would be a cheaper, more efficient alternative to replace the shuttle bus system that Cap Metro runs for the University.

A similar proposal is in the works for the Department of Energy. In this proposal, the first three options are the same as in the one for TxDot, but a guideway that runs between Austin and Houston replaces option four. This inter-city guideway can reduce a three hour drive to just 50 minutes, and will be less than half the cost of driving and 1/10th the cost of flying, not to mention the benefits in terms of NOx air pollution.

We are also looking at:

  • The CenterLine project that is on hold in Orange County.
  • A route that augments Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains and provides a much safer and faster alternative to commuters and tourists.

We have previously applied for funding from the TCEQ's NTRD program and the ICAT program out of California, but the TriTrack is so unique that we don't seem fit well enough.

If you have any tips or suggestions, we would love to hear them. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

This page was last updated May 6, 2005