Coalition keeping dream of Missouri Hyperloop route alive

Coalition keeping dream of Missouri Hyperloop route alive”

The study is being supported by Hyperloop One, the Los Angeles-based startup that has been working to realize Elon Musk's dream of almost supersonic, tube-based transportation.

A group of Missouri governmental and private organizations have formed the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition to advance the building of a Hyperloop route along the I-70 corridor, connecting Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis.

"It is clear from our conversations with Hyperloop One that they were impressed with our initial proposal", said Andrew Smith, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

The hyperloop system would use electric propulsion to move travelers in pods through a low-pressure tube. The pods could have screens rather than windows with augmented-reality capabilities. The feasibility study is expected to cost between $1 million and $1.5 million, according to Patrick McKenna, commissioner of Missouri Department of Transportation. The private aspect of this partnership enters into play here, since Missouri will seek funding for the feasibility survey from the private sector, "given state budget constraints".

Weber said once the coalition has raised enough money, MoDOT will lead the study. "We are committed to bringing this innovative mode of transportation to Missouri".

Missouri proposed the I-70 route to Hyperloop One two years ago as part of MODOT's "Road to Tomorrow" project to promote innovation along I-70.

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

A new public-private alliance wants to raise as much as $1.5 million to study the feasibility of building a pioneering transportation system aimed at moving people and freight from St. Louis to Kansas City in less than 25 minutes.

The KC Tech Council is supporting the coalition.

Missouri landing a Hyperloop would be transformative for the regional economy, said Ryan Weber, president of the KC Tech Council.

Missouri's prospects for landing a Hyperloop route apparently aren't off the rails after all. It would also connect with the city of Columbia, the home of the University of Missouri, which is about halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City.

It might still seem utterly futuristic and the technology is still really to be proven, but more and more government bodies around the world are getting behind the idea of a hyperloop.

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