The Great Lakes Hyperloop – Is It Too Good to Be True?December 16, 2019
What if you could travel from Cleveland to Chicago in only 28 minutes? With the hyperloop connecting The Great Lakes region it might just be the case.
The Great Lakes region is a binational district in North America and Canada which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. And why is exactly this district worth exploring when it comes to possible hyperloop routes? Great Lakes is said to be representing a $15 billion transportation market with tens of millions of tons of cargo and millions of passengers travelling to the cities each year. It seems like an excellent choice when it comes to the profitability and also the opportunities for people living in those areas.
Just to make it clearer: the least time-consuming way of travelling from Cleveland to Chicago is by a plane. That takes around an hour and a half and costs roughly $90. The distance between those cities is around 334 miles (554 km). Hyperloop technology could make it possible to reduce this time (having the same distance) to 28 minutes! It is also worth noticing that the whole concept for this means of transport is to be inexpensive as well, so it makes it look even better.
There are two companies, forming a partnership, working on this project right now. Those are Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (also known as HyperloopTT) which is a global transportation and technology crowdsourcing company comprised of more than 800 engineers, creatives and technologists in 52 multidisciplinary teams, with 40 partners and The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) which is the transportation and environmental planning agency that represents state, county, city, village, and township officials in Greater Cleveland. Together they have formed a hyperloop research and development center in Toulouse, France.
The partnership also resulted in a $1.2 million feasibility report conducted in collaboration with third-party transportation planning firm Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc. The aim of it was to determine the viability of this idea and make sure that the project is economically justifiable and worth the investment.
“The Great Lakes Hyperloop Feasibility Study is the most comprehensive study of a hyperloop system ever conducted” said Andres De Leon, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
The study involved over 80 regional public and private organizations which provided support and resources and were a part of the consortium.
Although HyperloopTT has shared the preview of its report the full study will be presented to the public at a press event on December 17, 2019, in Cleveland, Ohio. But for the time being it is already known that the project is not only feasible but also of great economic benefit for the whole region. The most vital findings found in the study include:
- operational costs that require no subsidies,
- over 900 000 jobs created over 25 years,
- injection of tens of billions of dollars into the regional including increased real estate values, wages, and expanded tax base growth over a period of twenty-five years,
- decrease in carbon emissions by 143 million tons over the period of 25 years.
The best way to sum up the work on The Great Lakes Hyperloop system might be with NOACA executive director Grace Gallucci words:
“Once the study is completed, NOACA and partners will pursue an environmental impact statement followed by the construction of the project. This project is years – not decades – away from becoming a reality”.