Bike Chattanooga, the group that administers Chattanooga’s bike-sharing program, has received scrutiny lately, with concerns that it will be able to be profitable, after exhausting most of a $2 million federal grant yet only generating a small fraction of that in revenue so far.
At a press conference today, Bike Chattanooga director Taylor Vettellini unveiled a bold, new plan on the cutting edge of technology that seeks to make Bike Chattanooga sustainable by offering next year at its existing 31 bike-rental stations the additional option of renting a jetpack.
“The future is now,” said Vettellini. “Jetpacks have long captured the imagination in science fiction movies, and although it may be hard to believe, this mode of transportation will be available to Chattanoogans within one year.”
“We have the technology,” said Vettellini. “It is mind-boggling what science has brought us today. Google has developed a car that can drive itself, medical researchers are capable of building replacement human tissue from scratch and the smartphone that you are holding in your hand has more computing power than all the computers NASA had in 1969 for its moon landing program.”
“Imagine being at the Chattanooga Market, strapping on a jetpack, and 30 seconds later, being at Coolidge Park on the North Shore,” said Vettellini.
“Our pilot program—pun intended—has so far been a resounding success,” said Vettellini. “We have only had two fatalities so far.”
“This is 100% green technology, using state-of-the-art Lithium Silicon Polymer battery packs,” explained Vettellini. “Propelling a jetpack through the air takes huge amounts of energy, and we considered the situation where a pilot might have exhausted all the battery power in the middle of a flight. So, we have added a hand crank to the jetpack, so the pilot simply needs to vigorously crank away to generate enough electricity to complete the flight.”
Vettellini explained that the jetpacks to be introduced in 2014 are designed for solo pilots, although future models may be available to accommodate children, pets or even tandem flights.
“How romantic would that be? An exhilarating flight under the moonlight on a jetpack built for two,” said Vettellini.