A public-private partnership has been formed with the aim of assessing the feasibility of building a Hyperloop route between Kansas City and St Louis. Several groups are involved in the partnership, including the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Kansas City Tech Council, and the St Louis Regional Chamber. The collaborators will be conducting a study to work out if this far-reaching idea is really possible. Hyperloop One, the L.A. based startup tasked with making the dream project a reality, are supporting the study.
The coalition will oversee the study and provide the necessary expertise needed, but the funding will be coming from the private sector, costing somewhere in the region of $1–$1.5 million. If successful, the route could serve up to 5 million residents, and would cut the 248-mile journey time down from three hours and 40 minutes by car to roughly 25 minutes.
It could be a major step forward for the Hyperloop project. At present Hyperloop One is the only company to have built a fully operational system. It recently held a Global Challenge to decide on the top ten routes in the world that could be suitable for a Hyperloop. While Missouri wasn’t originally on this list, the coalition think they are still an excellent candidate.
Andrew Smith, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, feels that the door is open for Missouri. In a statement he said: “It is clear from our conversations with Hyperloop One that they were impressed with our initial proposal. Our proposed route connects two major metropolitan areas in the same state along with a major research university, and we have the most favorable regulatory and cost environment of any proposed build site. Hyperloop One is encouraging us to take the next step with an engineering feasibility study.”
While a fully functioning Hyperloop is still a long way off, if the results of this study are that Missouri is a winner then it will be another big step forward.
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