This Hybrid Boat-plane Could Transform the Way We Travel Between Major Coastal Cities

As lawmakers take steps toward improving the infrastructure of roads and railways across the country, Boston startup Regent has set its eyes on another target: the sea. The company hopes to turn sea lanes along the east and west coasts into high-speed transportation corridors, cutting commutes in half between some of the biggest and busiest metropolitan areas in the United States. Still in its early stages, Regent already has the backing of some of Silicon Valley's biggest investors, who have pledged to help fund the endeavor. Imagine skipping long lines at the airport or avoiding gridlock on the highway and still making the journey between New York and Boston in two hours. Consider decreasing the normal 2-hour trip between Los Angeles and San Diego to just 50 minutes. Regent's seagliders could make that possible. When traveling at high speeds, Regent's hybrid vehicles will hover a few feet above the water, but once they reach their final destination, they can rest on the water just like every other boat at port. The first version of the seaglider will only carry up to 12 passengers. The company's founders estimate that the cost per ticket per trip will be anywhere from $50 to $80. When the 50-passenger seaglider enters the market, that price could drop to $30 to $40. The prototype will be one-quarter of the seaglider's real size, and by 2023 the company will begin testing full-scale seagliders.