I saw at least one attack on the SkyTran proposal by a handicap-advocacy group, as well as more self-interested complaints by public transportation consultants that SkyTran wouldn't meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I believe this complaint is short-sighted, for three reasons.
Blind people who today bravely launch across streets facing all kinds of unknown hazards will simply speak a destination into a microphone and speed to any destination. Similarly IndependentElderly. Also, retarded adults who could do useful jobs, enjoy leisure activities and live halfway decent lives -- are denied these opportunities by the difficulty and expense of providing adequate supervised transportation. Children who need to go to specialized schools spend hours of their day on buses, not learning much of value. With some simple adaptations (see SafeTran), SkyTran could give all these groups back their dignity -- give them the maximum possible degree of independence; let them play useful roles in the world instead of being helpless and a burden to others. All together, we are talking about a significant fraction of the population who can live much better lives. Of course, there is also a major economic impact (both directly positive by letting people work, and by making problems like the Social Security crisis more solvable). However, this is one of many possibilities that convince me that SkyTran isn't just about economics or city planning: it's about millions of people having better lives.