Popping the Hyperloop Bubble

Remember to ask the hard questions when presented with silver bullets.

1 minute read

February 28, 2018, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Hyperloop

Melpomene / Shutterstock

Angie Schmitt expects the excitement and fawning support for the Hyperloop to over promise and under deliver.

The fawning most recently also meant funding, when "[c]ivic leaders in Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Congressional reps Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan, were on hand for the signing of a $1.2 million grant, funded in part with $200,000 from the Cleveland Foundation, that kicks off a six-month study of Chicago to Cleveland Hyperloop service."

Yet Schmitt sees more reasons to be skeptical than speculative:

Right now, the Hyperloop consists of a short test track in the Nevada desert. It has never carried a human any distance. Would it be a comfortable way for people to travel? Would it carry enough passengers to be useful for the public? Could the infrastructure be constructed at a competitive cost? No one knows.

Schmitt offers a few more questions for people to ask before they get to excited about promises of futuristic mobility comes riding into town with a catchy pitch and their hand open.

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