A Human-Powered Monorail Gets $1M from Google

Look down when you do a Google search today, and click on the link that says 10>100.  The internet monolith has selected five companies from more than 150,000 submitted ideas to fund.  The project began soliciting ideas in 2008, today, one of the winners was Shweeb.

Shweeb, a derivative German word for float, or suspend,  has pioneered a new idea for human-powered transportation. They set up a test track in Roratua New Zealand that combines recumbent bicycles with monorail,  and smiling Kiwis zip down an overhead track pedaling inside their plastic cocoons.

Geoffrey Barnett is the Melbourne Australia born founder of Shweeb, who said on his website that when he bicycled in Tokyo, he often dreamed about being able to cycle up on top of the traffic.

The Sweeb system is set up in an amusement park on New Zealand’s north island in the popular tourist town of Roratua.

Google must believe that there is potential here, so they gave Shweeb $1 million so they can build their first public version of this human-powered transit system.