Turns out, the guy who invented CyberTran was a classmate of mine at the University of Arkansas. That doesn’t mean I think it’s right to spend Richmond’s scarce monetary resources subsidizing the privately-owned company’s public relations efforts.
Then I get bashed for it by CyberTran and the Post News Group. See From Space Weapons to Space Age Transportation, and the article below from Post News Group, “Richmond Mayor Opposes Solar-Powered Light Rail Company Mayor Butt seeks to kill local transit innovation.” The Post News Group story noted, “Richmond Mayor Tom Butt after a recent city council meeting posted a blog attack on local company CyberTran International, Inc.”
So what exactly is CyberTran International, Inc? The company is an Idaho corporation registered with the Idaho Secretary of State at 922 E. B Street, Moscow, ID 83843, presumably the home of Jason Dearien, the son of the inventor, the late John A. Dearien. Jason Dearien is a senior software engineer with Schweitzer Engineering, in Moscow, Idaho.
Cybertran, 922 E. B Street, Moscow, ID 83843
The “inventor” of CyberTran was Dr. John A Dearien, who was born in San Diego but grew up in Arkansas. He earned a Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in 1964, which makes him a classmate of mine, although I did not know him personally (I was at the University of Arkansas 1962-67). He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 1968 and started working on CyberTran while working for the Department of Energy in Idaho before retiring and returning to Arkansas in 1999. Dearien died at age 64 in 2005.
CyberTran may be a great idea, but its fiscal foundations appear to be shaky, and its claim of a special relationship with Richmond that will bring a space-age transportation system to our city with hundreds of jobs is just one of similar promises made to other cities.
Cybertran’s most recent annual report filed with the State of Idaho indicates that the president is Dexter Vizinau and the secretary is Jason A. Dearien. Directors are Harry Burt, Reginald R. Reeves and Neil G. Sinclair.
Cybertran International, Inc. filed with the California Secretary of State to do business in California in 1999, but according to Business search on the California Secretary of State website, the corporation has been suspended and forfeited by Secretary of State and the Franchise Tax Board.
Cybertran lists its business address as 1301 South 46th Street, Building 112 #4, Richmond, CA 94804, but the company has no Richmond business license.
Dexter Vizinau is listed as the president of Cybertran and is its public face in the Bay Area. Vizinau is a Richmond resident. He is a promoter and pitchman for numerous business interests in the Bay Area, including Oakland Maritime Support Services, PCC Logistics, De Viz Enterprises. To his credit, Vizinau also a community volunteer and the author of a biography of his remarkable mother. Vizinau also has a number of tax liens from various cities and counties, and he declared bankruptcy in 1997.
Despite Vizinau’s claim if a “public-private partnership” with Richmond and his declared loyalty to Richmond with a commitment to locate jobs and manufacturing facilities in Richmond, he appears to be playing the field with lots of other cities, including Lathrop and Davis (“CyberTran is considering both Lathrop and Davis as potential locations for
the high-speed test track”).
I continue to be willing to lend non-monetary support to CyberTran, and despite what the story below says, I have consistently voted for non-monetary support for CyberTran. The Post statement, “However, Mayor Butt has a seat on the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC), and he is doing everything within his power to kill the idea” is not accurate. CyberTran has been trying to get its unproven system earmarked for public funding by Contra Costa taxpayers, and that is what I have opposed.
What gets to me about CyberTran is the away they twist the facts or make up facts to support their agenda. I’m getting a little tired of it.
Richmond Mayor Opposes Solar-Powered Light Rail Company
Mayor Butt seeks to kill local transit innovation
An Ultra Light Rail train car and CyberTran Executive Vice President Dexter Vizinau.
By Post Staff Posted 1 hour ago
Special to the Post
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt after a recent city council meeting posted a blog attack on local company CyberTran International, Inc.
(CTI) and the company’s president Dexter Vizinau. CTI is a transit innovation development company that for close to 20 years has been working to bring Ultra Light Rail Transit (ULRT) systems to market. In comparison, BART was first envisioned in 1946 and began a demonstration project in 1971.
BART technology could not have been implemented without government funding.
The light-rail system, if fully deployed, will eventually be in direct competition with BART. Butt’s company works as a consult for AC Transit, which is in competition with CyberTran.
Butt is against any government monies supporting such technology and has repeatedly refused to provide any letters of support even though he claims to support the technology.
Publicly, he has voted to support the efforts, but his actions demonstrate otherwise.
In his blog statement, Butt starts off by stating the company is not a legal company. CTI, a legal corporation since 1994, had a brief administrative mishap and is currently in good standing as a legal corporation.
Mayor Butt states that CTI has never built or tested anything.
According to Vizinau, all but one of Richmond’s City Council Members have visited the company’s facilities including Butt and have even sat in the 2nd generation prototype.
The system has already been built and tested with over $6 million dollars having been invested in the development of the technology. ULRT was designed to reach speeds up to 150 mph and has been analyzed by the American Association of Railroads.
According to CTI Board Chairman Neil Sinclair, “We don’t have engineering problems, we have political problems.”
The company has taken the prototype vehicle up to 60 mph and has proven the system can climb a 10 percent grade. This means the system can go over grades such as the Altamont Pass and the Grapevine on Highway 5.
Neither BART-type systems nor Bullet Trains can do this and have to tunnel, which is very costly. A study conducted by BART concluded ULRT would be a quarter of the cost to build and half the cost to operate and maintain, compared to a BART type of system.
BART is PG&E’s biggest customer, while ULRT will run on solar and generate eight times more energy than it consumes. The system is a power grid with a transit system in it that provides clean renewable energy to surrounding communities everywhere it will be installed.
ULRT is disruptive technology. According to Vizinau, there is no shortage of status quo groups that don’t want to see this technology move forward.
“Panic is setting in because we are so close to funding so there is a push to discredit ULRT,” said Vizinau.
In 2011, the Richmond City Council voted unanimously to explore a public-private partnership and seek ways to include the system in the city’s general plan. Since Richmond has taken steps to potentially be the first the city to deploy ULRT, the company has made great progress in Washington, D.C.
Washington is only interested in demonstrations that lead to deployment says Vizinau. Somebody has got to be first.
According to Richmond Councilman Eduardo Martinez, “We want to capture the opportunity to create good well-paying jobs in Richmond and be the first.”
However, Mayor Butt has a seat on the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC), and he is doing everything within his power to kill the idea.