Columbia Tube

This “bridge” moves people in a weather-resistant elevated pipeline.

The enclosed cycleway can also generate renewable energy. With some modification, it might carry autonomous shuttles, linking Vancouver and Hayden Island to the Expo Center Yellow Line.

Some 125,000 vehicles cross the Interstate Bridge daily. Why not siphon 10%-15% of that freeway traffic onto mass transit? The five MAX lines averaged a total of 120,140 weekday passengers in March, with only 12,770 on the Yellow Line and 54,930 on the Blue Line.

The Tube wouldn’t require sophisticated autonomous vehicles to provide driverless transportion. It could be a boon for business on both sides of the river.

Not unlike the High Line going through Hudson Yards in NYC. Bechtel’s Airport Max line might be a business model.

An upscale version might be modeled after the Køge North Station in Denmark.

It offers views of Mt St Helens and Hood, a warm wood-lined interior, and protection from sun and rain.

This tube is wide enough to allow small shops in the enclosed pedestrian walkway. Shared electric vehicle transit could zip people between the Expo Center and Jantzen Beach on the south leg.

Small shops provide rental income. Like an airline concourse.

You can see the Vancouver’s United Grain Terminal in upper left on this shot of Portland’s Union Station.

Guess what. The “last mile” problem has already been solved. Autonomous shuttles will be here long before a new I-5 bridge.