Planning in Earnest for a Hyperloop From Pittsburgh to Chicago
"Officials from Virgin Hyperloop One and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission are in Pittsburgh this week to brief local officials on the progress of plans to send people and freight from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 48 minutes in low-pressure tubes," reports Ed Blazina.
"The planning commission awarded two contracts last month, one to AECOM to study the feasibility of installing a hyperloop to connect the two cities by way of Columbus and the second to WSP USA for a preliminary environmental impact study," adds Blazina. The Mid-Ohio project is one of ten proposed routes moving selected by Virgin Hyperloop One to explore the potential of the technology. It is the only proposed route to launch both feasibility and environmental studies.
According to Dan Katz, the company’s director of global public policy and North American Projects, quoted in the story, Virgin Hyperloop One expects a system in Mumbai to launch the first commercial operation of a hyperloop system, sometime next decade. "But it is important to have other projects ready once the Mumbai system is operational," Katz told Blazina.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission expects the feasibility study to last a year, with the environmental study taking a year. "Once the studies are done, the next step would be to determine the cost — for construction and for travelers — and the availability of funding," according to Blazina. "The commission is convinced the technology will work, but it’s an open question whether it can be delivered at an affordable price for riders."
Not everyone shares the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission's confidence.