LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Flying over bumper-to-bumper traffic is a common daydream as drivers move at a snail’s pace on the 405 or 101 freeway during the morning commute, but one startup is hoping to make that dream a reality as soon as this January.
FLOAT, which stands for “Fly Over All Traffic,” believes they can leverage the numerous small airports across Southern California to beat traffic.
So-called super commuters spend more than 90 minutes getting to and from work. Southern Californians who live in, for example, south Orange County or in the Inland Empire can easily spend two hours getting to downtown L.A.
“The lost productivity for people just sitting in traffic on a daily basis in just almost incalculable,” FLOAT co-founder Rob McKinney said.
FLOAT says they can cut those commute times down to just 15 or 25 minutes with a $30 flight. The startup is testing routes to determine areas where there is most demand with a goal of taking flight in January.
It’s worth noting that commuter flights is not the first attempt at disrupting Southern California’s endless traffic jam. SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk bored a tunnel under Hawthorne as a test for underground commuting at 300 mph after he says he was inspired by the “soul-sucking traffic on the 405.” A former USC student has also proposed a fleet of ferries that could make stops in Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.
Southern California traffic is so bad, that a survey of commuters earlier this year found that some drivers are changing jobs just for a shorter commute.
More likely, however, is drivers may end up paying a toll of sorts just to get into high-traffic areas like Downtown LA and West LA. Metro is exploring several models of congestion pricing ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics.