Kansas City to St. Louis in 23 Minutes? Hyperloop One Could Make It Happen
It takes 23 minutes to watch your favorite sitcom; in the near future, you could travel 240 miles from Kansas City to St. Louis in that time.
The route is one of 35 semifinalists in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, which asked cities from around the world to propose solid evidence that the futuristic transportation system should be implemented there. The challenge gathered more than 2,600 applications from 100-plus countries. The Hyperloop Missouri Team, which is one of 11 teams from the U.S., consists of Missouri Department of Transportation representatives.
Hyperloop One, a private company based in Los Angeles, plans on selecting three to five routes to initially build out. The new transit system would be something straight out of a sci-fi movie with pods in a huge tube propelled by a custom electric motor. The pods would be slightly levitating on the track with strategically placed magnets. The low-pressure tube will glide silently with no turbulence. While you can’t look out into the beautiful sunset, the windows will have augmented-reality capabilities, giving the illusion of seeing the world outside the pod. According to its website, the Hyperloop One will move people and things at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket. The system can use renewable energy sources like wind, solar and kinetic energy, which reduces cost.
Nick Earle, Hyperloop One’s senior vice president of global operations, told the Kansas City Business Journal that Missouri appealed to the company because of its government buy-in, ample traffic, strong business case and unique features like its seventh largest state highway system. Kansas City and St. Louis are also home to the second and third largest rail hubs, and St. Louis is the third largest inland port.
Not only does Hyperloop One want to transport people faster, but with the rise in e-commerce, it wants to transport freight faster. This would reduce the number of trucks on the road, help roads last longer and prevent traffic jams.
Hyperloop One tested its motor in May 2016 and hopes to test the full system early this year. The goal is to move cargo by 2020 and passengers by 2021.
To learn more, visit hyperloop-one.com.