Imagine a mass transit system powered by people!
In this system, gondolas are hooked up to chain drive. People can hop on and off of the gondolas, taking them to any destination along a fixed track.
The gondolas are powered by human beings pushing cranks in an outdoor park. A system of gears allows people to push a crank with whatever force they can generate. If you can only push a small amount of weight, you walk a larger circle with your crank. If you can push more weight, you walk a smaller circle pushing with more force. Gamify this system so that people do their normal thing and compete with each other. Or maybe a group of friends meets up to push at night, just because why not, it’s kind of fun and social.
Solar power and a battery provide energy when there are not enough people available to push the cranks.
When people show up to push on the cranks, they can use a mobile app to keep track of their progress, and are rewarded with credits on the transit system. When people use the transit system, they can pay with the credits they’ve generated, or just pay the cash cost of the energy it takes to power the system while they’re on it – and a little extra for maintenance.
We are moving to a world of technological abundance. We will still work hard – but mostly because we want to, because we like to show each other up, and because there is satisfaction from contributing to society. I can think of no better metaphor for this than the visual construction of gears, shafts, cranks, and brightly colored gondolas moving human beings along under our own effort – with a little help from technology and a lot from our friends.