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Clean Transport

Published on September 27th, 2018 | by Jake Richardson

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Could Apple’s Hometown Of Cupertino Get A Hyperloop?

September 27th, 2018 by  


If you’ve ever spent any time in Cupertino, CA, you know it is the home of Apple headquarters, and that it’s a small city with 60,000 residents. Eventually, over 13,000 Apple employees will work at the Cupertino location, reportedly, “With Apple’s redevelopment, it is anticipated that there will be approximately 13,200 employees at Apple Park, an increase of 3,400 people.”

According to WIRED, only 10% of Apple’s headquarters employees live in Cupertino, which means thousands are commuting there and adding to local congestion. In order to cut down on gridlock and tedious, time-consuming drives, the idea of building a local Hyperloop has been discussed. “We are talking to Hyperloop to have a line. If this comes to a realization, it would only take five minutes from DeAnza College to downtown San Jose instead of a couple hours,” said councilor Barry Chang. Taxing local large companies like Apple to help pay for new transportation solutions  has been discussed.

(The distance between DeAnza, which is in Cupertino, and San Jose is about 10 miles, but during peak traffic driving between them can take a very long time.) However, it may not be necessary to whiz from the community college to San Jose in less than 5 minutes, though it sounds futuristic and ‘cool’ to talk about it.

Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul said, “It’s in a very early discussion phase. Right now we need to see what our options are. Personally, I’d like to see forward-looking technology that is cost-effective to make and maintain.”


 

As of now, hyperloop technology is untested, so choosing it as a critical transportation solution seems premature.

Is building a hyperloop between Cupertino and San Jose necessary? It doesn’t seem like such a reasonable plan. There’s already a train from the neighbor city Sunnyvale to San Jose, which is a short distance from Cupertino.

If BART extends into San Jose, it might be possible to ride a shuttle from Cupertino to Sunnyvale, and then take a train to BART where riders could board to go to North San Jose, Milpitas and Fremont — or even beyond.

Ideas like staggering employee schedules, and allowing more telecommuting are relatively dry and boring. They won’t generate headlines, but they might be more effective and don’t cost anything compared to building new transportation infrastructure. What if all the high-tech companies in Cupertino allowed 50% of their employees to telecommute on Mondays and Fridays? Why not try such a pilot program to see if it would make a dent in local traffic?

Furthermore, it may turn out over time that building a huge complex in Cupertino will prove to have been something of a mistake because in the future more and more employees will work remotely.

 Therefore, building a hyperloop as well might be not be such a great follow-up idea.

Image Credit: Daniel L. Lu, WikipediaCC BY-SA 4.0 
 


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