Meanwhile, in the Present:
Meet the ET3.
Finally, public transit gets some dignity.
The ET3 -- which stands for Evacuated Tube Transport, because its creators alarmingly don't understand how acronyms or numbers work -- is an experimental pressurized air system designed to carry passengers at a speed of 4,000 miles per hour. At that rate, a trip from Los Angeles to New York would take under an hour -- hopefully the ET3 will include a scenic detour to the Grand Canyon so passengers can soak up its brown, blurry grandeur for five seconds.
The ET3 doesn't carry unprotected individual passengers -- which would obviously be dangerous -- so it instead pushes six-person cars through its frictionless vacuum. The creators of the ET3 say the system could be up and running within the next decade, although there are some certain grisly safety problems builders need to get around, namely not turning vacationers into bloody Rorschach blots during emergency stops.