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"A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."
- Theodore Sturgeon

Public Vehicle Tube  
  Underground transportation tubes.  

This is the Boring Company product line come to (fictional) life. Leave the surface for use by people, and put transportation underground.

Farr paid his fare, summoned a one-man car to the dock, jumped in, dialed his destination, and relaxed into the seat. He could not marshal his thoughts. Visions seeped through his mind: the regions of space, Iszm, Jhespiano, the many-podded houses. He sailed in the Lhaiz to Tjiere atoll. He felt the terror of the raid on the fields of Zhde Patasz, the fall down the root into the dungeon, the confinement with the Thord—and later, the terrible experience on Zhde Patasz’s experimental islet… The visions passed, they were a memory, far away, farther than the light years to Iszm.

The hum of the car soothed him. His eyes grew heavy; he started to doze.

He pulled himself awake, blinking. Shadowy, phantasmagorical, this whole affair. But it was real. Farr forced himself into a sober frame of mind. But his mind refused to reason, to plan. The stimuli had lost their sting. Here in the tube, the sane normal underground tube, murder seemed impossible…

One man on Earth could help him: K. Penche, Earth agent for the Iszic houses, the man to whom Omon Bozhd brought bad news.

The car vibrated, jerked, and shunted off the main tube toward the ocean. It twisted twice more, threading the maze of local tubes, and coasted finally to a stop.

The door snapped open and an uniformed attendant assisted him to the deck.

From The Houses of Iszm, by Jack Vance.
Published by Better Publications in 1954
Additional resources -

Compare to the single vehicle tunnel from Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov, the pneumatic tube station from Exiles of the Moon (1931) by Schachner and Zagat, the submarine tube from An Express of the Future (1895) by Jules Verne, the sub-Atlantic tube from Ralph 124c 41 + (1911) by Hugo Gernsback and vacutubes from Double Star (1956) by Robert Heinlein.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Houses of Iszm
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Houses of Iszm
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Public Vehicle Tube-related news articles:
  - Elon Musk's Traffic Tunnel Challenge Is Boring

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