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It’s time for the US to get more animal-themed transit

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I’m putting my foot down about this very important issue


China’s just began testing its first ever “sky-train” earlier this week. The suspension railway is currently zipping around on a monorail track in a province in Southern China, reaching speeds of up to 60 kmh (about 37 mph). When it launches, the train will be battery-powered, entirely autonomous, and capable of carrying 200 people.

It also looks like a giant panda — if the panda was a little square.

This isn’t the first time that East Asia has launched some kind of public transit that’s on the cute and fuzzy side. We’ve also seen Hello Kitty-themed bullet trains in Japan, which feature bright pink and Sanrio-themed everything, from the walls, to the headrests, to the window curtains. The train even has a car dubbed the “Kawaii! Room”, featuring, among other things, a mega-sized Hello Kitty Plush. And of course, we can’t forget about the Catbus.

Other continents have also been toying with the idea of turning their transportation into some kind of adorable beast. Just look at Europe’s Beluga airbus — which, yes, looks pretty darn similar to its namesake whale.

Asking around the Verge offices, a few staffers seemed to side with cat-themed transport, but others got a little more creative, suggesting that they’d rather catch a ride in a whale- or hippo-type train.

I, for one, could deal with more animal-themed transit on our own continent. Right now, in New York, the closest thing we have are the occasional rats scurrying across the subway tracks, or the dogs that face the wrath of the MTA. It’s about time that we stopped looking at these animals as pests, and started slapping them onto the outside of our public transportation.


Which one of these would you use to catch a ride?

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Update July 27th, 11:45AM ET: The article has been updated to include Airbus’s adorable (and lumpy) Beluga-themed plane.