A firsthand look at the concept of air taxis, which CEO says would make short trips in a fraction of the time

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Air taxis could one day be an option to get you to and from the airport to the suburbs in just minutes.

We first reported last week on a company hoping to be in the air by 2026 is testing out their capabilities in Chicago. On Wednesday, CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar got a look a firsthand look at the operation.

De Mar joined Andre Stein, chief executive officer of Eve Air Mobility, on a helicopter ride from Tinley Park to the city. It is a simulation of what Stein hopes will someday be 240 air taxis along 150 routes flying high across the Chicagoland area.

‘We don’t intend to solve all the traffic problems. That’s not it,” Stein said. “The idea is to bring another option of urban air mobility.”

Short trips in a fraction of the time for about $100 — that’s is the allure of the eVTOL, or electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. Stein outlined what could be some uses.

“You have two meetings in different parts of town; you have to catch a flight and you don’t want to be late to your flight,” he said. “It’s not every day. It complements.”

Since the eVTOLs aren’t federally approved to fly, the company is using helicopters until the end of the month to replicate the experience and gather data. One big question is how the electric air taxis will coexist with airplanes and drones.

“The idea of flying above the city – it’s not exactly new. I grew up with ‘The Jetsons,'” Stein said. “Anybody who has been stuck in traffic has thought about flying over it.”

What is new and disruptive to travel as we know it is how the aircraft takes off like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane — and seriously cuts down a commute. Stein and De Mar got to the city from Tinley Park in just over 15 minutes.

Anybody can book a demonstration ride in a helicopter with Eve for $150. If you’d like to, follow the instructions at this link.

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