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Tampa Area Spending $1 Million to Study the Hyperloop

Another regional transit authority isn't as skeptical about the Hyperloop as many critics in the transit and technology press.
September 29, 2020, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The [Florida] Legislature appropriated an initial $1 million for the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority to take the lead in Florida in studying alternative transportation for the state, including the Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop bullet train," reports Phil Fernandez.

The state chose TBARTA as the agency to study the Hyperloop concept, responding to requests from around the state to explore futuristic transit concepts. 

Fernandez, for worth its worth, seems just as excited about the prospects of the Hyperloop as the Florida State Legislature. "Forget a boring old road," Fernandez writes. 

The company tapped for the study is California TT, which is already at work with development projects already in the works overseas, as noted both in the article and on the company's website.

The proposed project in the Tampa region would track the Interstate 75 corridor, building the project in three phases. The first two phases would connect Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Bradenton, according to Fernandez. The third phased would connect Tampa to Miami going through Naples. 

TBARTA joins the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) in running with the Hyperloop idea for a corridor that would connect Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Columbus, Ohio. Though the feasibility study for that project has faced scathing criticism for inaccuracies from the transit and technology press, Fernandez cites the study as evidence of how much the TBARTA study might cost. 

Other Hyperloop planning efforts are underway in Missouri and Colorado.

The following articles are a sample of skepticism for the Hyperloop expressed over the years:

  • Don't Let 'FOMO' Ruin Transportation Planning (June 2019)
  • Editorial: Skip the Hyperloop—Texas Should Stick to the Basics (August 2018)
  • Popping the Hyperloop Bubble (February 2018)
  • Average Commute Times Won't Change Because of the Hyperloop (August 2017)
  • A Boring Lesson for Planners (July 2017)
  • Reality Checking Elon Musk's Hyperloop Nothing Burger—Again (June 2017)
  • The Hyperloop Hype Machine (April 2017)
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