A vehicle system (10) for high-speed passenger transport between metropolitan centers comprises a guideway (12) having a pair of parallel guideway tubes (18A, 18B); a plurality of carriages (14) levitated and propelled by pressurized air stored within one or both tubes (18A, 18B); and a passenger car (16) connected to ride atop the carriages (14) and tilt relative thereof. The passenger car (16) and carriages (14) cooperate to define lateral air cushion zones (156A, 156B) under the floor (17) of the passenger car (16) for supporting and tilting the passenger car (16) by air pressure. The carriages (14) have pluralities of lift cells (30) partially surrounding each guideway tube (18A, 18B), with active peripheral skirts (32) for minimizing air leakage. Pressurized air stored within the guideway (12) is used to supply the lift cells (30) and cushion zones (156A, 156B), and also to propel and brake the carriages (14). Ram air is collected during vehicle motion to help supply the lift cells (30) and cushion zones (156A, 156B).