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JPods don't get off the ground with F'ville Council

When it comes to having personal transportation pods running overhead along areas of Fayetteville, the proposed JPod monorail system will have to make do on private property. That was the consensus at the Fayetteville City Council retreat held Feb. 22.

A proposal earlier this month from Atlanta-based JPods Corp. president Bill James to council members outlined a demonstration project for a type of monorail system, one that would use solar power to operate to move small cars, or pods, across portions of the city. The pods would carry a maximum of six people or cargo to various destinations outfitted with the system.

The proposal for Fayetteville is essentially a demonstration project, James said, noting that private funds would be used for the project that could cost up to $100 million. Those funds would come from British-based Equilty Capital, James said. A successful demonstration project would pave the way for larger projects in much larger cities across the country and abroad, James told council members, adding that it would also pave the way for much larger funding from both private and other sources.

But when it came to the retreat discussion that would potentially appoint a committee to study the feasibility of the proposal, the conversation stayed on topic rather than having Mayor Greg Clifton and councilmen Walt White and Larry Dell exchange words as had been done both in the Feb. 7 meeting and in the newspaper.

Generally put, the consensus at the retreat centered on the idea that such a demonstration project would be better suited on private property, not on city property or city right-of-way.

Dell said the project could be fine for a college campus or a military base.

Councilman Ed Johnson said he thought the idea was innovative though it would be better to have the demonstration project on private sector property.

The consensus had Clifton at the end of the brief discussion saying it would be better for JPod Corp. to pursue a participant from the private sector, adding that there is no current need for a city committee to be established to study the proposal.

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