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CSULB Professors Meet with Elected Officials About Maglev System 

Two representatives from California State University, Long Beach’s Center for Commercial Deployment of Transportation Technologies (CCDoTT) met with legislators in February as part of a regional effort to take tens of thousands of trucks off Southern California freeways by establishing an alternative means of moving freight containers from local ports.

CCDoTT Program Administrator Steven Hinds and Engineering Professor and CCDoTT Technical Coordinator Ken James participated in the two-hour private meeting on Capitol Hill organized by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-46th District).  Along with Rep. Jim Oberstar, chair of the Congressional Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and a bipartisan group of Committee members including Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-38th District) and Rep. Laura Richardson (D-37th District), the meeting was attended by representatives from San Diego-based General Atomics and officials representing 60 Southern California cities.  They discussed establishing an elevated conveyor system to move freight containers from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. James and Hinds shared information about how the Electric Cargo Conveyor System (ECCO) works. 

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“The overall idea behind this meeting was that we are going to need a freight corridor and ECCO is one technology that can help,” said James, who has been developing the system for the past four years.  “ECCO is a Maglev-based conveyor system that efficiently moves freight.  It is nonpolluting, alleviates congestion and will pay for itself just like a toll road does. The response from everyone at the meeting was very positive.”

Ultimately, plans call for a Maglev or magnetic-levitating system that would run from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the 710 Freeway then north and inland to a proposed port in Victorville.  The next step is to create an authority that would oversee the project.  James and Hinds will continue to work closely with the authority.

CSULB’s CCDoTT is a research and development center that was created in 1995.  It was formed to enable the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and other sponsors to leverage advanced technologies in solving defense and commercial transportation infrastructure problems; conduct research and development for commercial- and defense-related infrastructure issues and provide a technology transfer/dual use bridge between government, military and commercial maritime industry interests.