Transportation Startup Aims to Ease Commuter Pain With Crosstown Flight Service
Imagine if your view during your morning commute to
work was of traffic from above, rather than from in the midst of it.
- New service offers commuter flights from East to West Side
- Called FLOAT; it stands for 'Fly Over All Traffic
- Currently a subscription service, FLOAT encourages people to sign up on website
Janice Orlando could get used to the idea. She regularly drives from her home in La Habra to do business in Downtown Los Angeles or Santa Monica.
"I have to allow two and a half hours in each direction, just to make sure I’m always on time. It’s ridiculous," she said.
"We’re looking for the commuters that are traveling say 50 miles or more per day," said Arnel Guiang, founder of FLOAT, an acronym for "Fly Over All Traffic."
Guiang wants super-commuters to fly to work, soaring above rush hour traffic on a highway in the sky while passing L.A. landmarks like Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood sign, and Downtown L.A., leaving the rest of the work to the pilots up front.
"There is a demand of people flying in that want to get from the east, from the Inland Empire and Riverside that want to get to Hawthorne and Santa Monica," he said.
Guiang recently invited passengers on a demo flight that went round trip from Brackett Field near Pomona to the Santa Monica Airport on a Cessna Grand Caravan, which can carry up to nine people.
"If you’re lucky, it’s an hour and a half, right? But usually it’s closer to two hours," Orlando said.
The flight got to Santa Monica in about 15 minutes and flew back. Orlando was amazed.
"So fast and easy round trip!" she exclaimed.
Initially, FLOAT will be a subscription based service for about $1,250 a month from a commuter's home airport to their destination Monday through Friday. That breaks down to about $30 each way.
"From what I’ve heard so far, it seems very affordable and totally worth the time," Orlando said.
Ultimately, Guiang and his partners envision a network of flights utilizing municipal airports all across Southern California.
"We have sign-ups of people that want to go from Van Nuys to Santa Monica. It must be less than 10 miles, but they want to avoid the one or two hours of traffic that they’re going through," he said.
And in a city crippled by congestion...
"I'd like to see this like Union Station, so hundreds of people are commuting from here out of the airport on the tarmac and going to work every single day," Guiang said.
FLOAT is encouraging people to sign up on its website, so it can determine the most popular routes and the demand. Depending on feedback, they hope to launch the service this summer.
For more information, click here.
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