Hyperloop Feasibility Study in Tampa Bay

Hyperloop Feasibility Study in Tampa Bay

February 4, 2020 0 By Looper

There is a new transportation study coming. It has been commissioned by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA). It is a regional transportation agency of the state of Florida in the U.S., created on July 1, 2007.

The authority is going to spend $1 million appropriation from the Florida Legislature that it has received in June on a feasibility study. It is a part of $2.5 million received by TBARTA from Gov. Ron DeSantis and the main focus is put on studying and possibly developing some novel transit options for the region. The board has already approved conducting a feasibility study on hyperloop and other innovative solutions like autonomous vehicles and zero-emissions transit. The goal of this study is to examine if they could work in the Bay area. Estimations suggest that it could take about a year and the cost of it is expected to be around $220.000.

Those kinds of research activities are vital because they cover route types, corridor profiles and connections, travel demand, environmental considerations, safety considerations, regulatory considerations, an overview of the technologies alongside comparable technologies and innovations, costs and sector financing opportunities. And this one will compare a few high-tech solutions, one of which is hyperloop.

With hyperloop pods traveling with the speed of 750 miles per hour it would be possible to get from Tampa to Orlando in approximately 10 minutes.

Anything else about the plan to build a hyperloop still remains unknown. Especially with a Brightline train, formerly known as Virgin Trains, that might be on the way as the company was given the go-ahead from Tampa to Orlando.

One of the companies interested in having their projects done in Florida is Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT). Company’s executives mentioned that they might consider building a short pilot project in Tampa Bay, possibly connecting Tampa to nearby St. Petersburg.

Beth Alden, executive director of Hillsborough County MPO, said that this hyperloop project would be even more beneficial to the area than the Brightline option but as much as she is in favour of this idea, her organization is going to be looking at less expensive options. However, she said that TBARTA is doing a good job looking into more innovative ideas that might be implemented over time.

With the latest funding that was granted to TBARTA, now is the time for lobbyists to move forward and do their work in Tampa Bay.