Planning in Earnest for a Hyperloop From Pittsburgh to Chicago

Funded studies of the hyperloop concept are underway in the Midwest.

2 minute read

July 19, 2018, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Acela train at Wilmington station in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Passenger Rail Revival Is Here

For the first time in decades, multiple rail projects are moving forward that could have a transformative impact on train travel in the United States.

May 21, 2024 - Route Fifty

California Governor Gavin Newsom announcing funding for tiny home shelter project in front of quick-build tiny home shelter unit.

California’s Tiny Home Pledge Still on Paper, One Year Later

A promise to fund 1,200 tiny homes for unhoused residents in four cities as a way to rapidly and cost-effectively provide shelter has yet to yield tangible results, but projects are moving ahead in some cities.

May 24 - CALmatters

Residential neighborhood in Colorado with fall foliage and snowy mountains in background.

Colorado Ends Non-Family Occupancy Limits

Local jurisdictions will no longer be able to limit how many unrelated adults can live in a household, a move that supporters say will help lower housing costs and help older adults supplement their incomes and stay in their homes.

May 24 - Strong Towns

A white crosswalk painted by Crosswalk Collective LA in Los Angeles, California.

Guerilla Urbanism Spurs Action From Cities

Rather than take a hostile approach to DIY urbanism, some cities are using guerilla efforts as an opportunity to understand critical infrastructure gaps.

May 24 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.