02/24/2015 05:31 EST | Updated 04/26/2015 05:59 EDT

Are ET3 magnetic levitation tubes the future of Vancouver Island transit?

Technology company ET3 is advocating for a futuristic tube transportation system on Vancouver Island, that could move passengers from Nanaimo to Swartz Bay using magnetic levitation.

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"It is literally space transport on earth," Daryl Oster, founder and CEO of U.S.-based ET3, told On The Island's Gregor Craigie.

"It's car-sized vehicles that are magnetically levitated and they operate in a network of tubes that have almost all of the air removed from them, to remove almost all of the friction associated with transportation."

Oster said those cars would move at around 600 or 700 kilometres per hour. One 1.5 metre diameter tube can handle the equivalent of 23 lanes of freeway traffic of cars, he added.

"Eventually the whole island can be covered for less money than is already being proposed for light rail," he said.

Company ads touting the evacuated tube transport technology appeared in local newspapers over the weekend. Oster said full-scale prototypes of up to 15 metres have already been built and tested.

To hear the full interview with Daryl Oster, click the audio labelled: Space travel touted for Vancouver Island.