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Giving people a reason not to drive and use mass transit option by creating something new, innovative, completely green, fun and effective!

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Propel Indianapolis to become one of the most innovative, greenest and cleanest cities in the world thru hydrogen fuel cell technology and utilization of city’s natural waterways. 

People need a reason to use mass transit, creating a new innovative transportation option using the White River and  zero-emissions vessels, just might be the thing to motivate Hoosiers to embrace using mass transit! 

My concept utilizes the White River to transport people through the city, as an alternative to existing municipal mass transit system. Expand the usage of White River via water vessels powered by zero-emission energy sources. Integration of the existing city bus system and the newly created water vessel system along the river will support a newly created public transportation system that allows people to move easily and quickly through the metro area reducing the existing stress on the city’s roadways and harmful vehicle emissions.

Water Vessel Idea: Introduce water vessels powered by zero-emission energy sources as a means to reduce stress that exits with the city’s mass transit system. Leverage fuel cell technology powered by hydrogen gas generated on-demand and on-board the water vessel. As an expert in the area, I’ve received three U.S. patents in fuel cell technology, while an engineer at General Motors, I believe this technology is future for zero-emission energy. The fuel cell converts the hydrogen to electricity to power electric motors propelling the water vehicle. The only emissions from fuel cells are steam and water. 

The hydrogen generation process includes adding water to a 90% aluminum alloy to generate hydrogen on-demand. Due to generating hydrogen on-demand, the hydrogen gas does not require remote mass generation, transport, storage, or dispensing. To activate the aluminum alloy to release hydrogen, water has to be applied to its surface. The water source can be the river, as a result the vessel does not need to store and transport water, which reduces weight and increase efficiency. Additionally, the byproduct of the aluminum alloy is alumina, which is 100% recyclable back into the original alloy an indefinite number of times. The aluminium alloy can be made in a smelting plant along the river with wind energy from the wind mill farm north of the city. This creates a 100% completely green and recyclable energy source for the water vessels. This patented technology (by AlGalCo - Hydrogen on Tap) is currently being used by city of Carmel, IN, to reduce municipal vehicle fuel consumption and emissions.

Additional zero-emission energy sources are solar energy and wind energy devices attached to the water vessels. The water vessel may also be equipped with a device to clean the water as it travels along the river, and this cleaning may also be a zero-emission energy source by converting the energy of the water flowing through it to electricity. 

With the IndyGo Hybrid Electric bus technology I helped develop at General Motors, moving the city’s residents through our city streets, and electric water vessels  moving people up and down the river, Indy will be a leader in innovative city transport solutions and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Some likely infrastructure construction may include dredging the river to make it navigable for small vessel travel and building the transportation system along the river.

An outcome of implementing a concept like this may be Indianapolis being a leader in innovative transport of people around the city using existing infrastructure to reduce street traffic and vehicle air pollution. 


Join the conversation:

Photo of Stephen Farris

@Robert P Tweed Thanks for feedback. My vision is starting with taxi/mass transit type vessels, but eventually open to individual vessels also. This concept would require all vessels on the water be zero-emission vessels. This way the water is protected.

Photo of Robert P Tweed

Hello Mr. Farris,
With this great idea i would love to even join our minds together. My idea focuses also on the individuals health being increased. Would it be able to have individual vessels or would the they be only a taxi service?

Photo of Alexander Hoffmann

Stephen Farris This is outstanding, I look forward to this being part of our propose phase. What other transit systems out there are using waterways as public transit?

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@Alexander Hoffmann thanks! I’m not sure of any others, this was just an idea I came up with after a discussion with a friend. There may be other cities doing it, but none are doing it with a completely green solution. What is your role with this program?

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Stephen Farris That makes a lot of sense. Providing a fully green solution would definitely set Indy apart from others in this space. As for me, I am currently the Product/Platform Design lead for the City:One team.