Virgin Hyperloop One is commercially viable, study shows
A feasibility study conducted by Virgin Hyperloop One in the United States has determined that the hyperloop is commercially viable and will have “enormous” socio-economic benefits, the company announced on Wednesday.
The independent report, which was authored by global infrastructure solutions company Black & Veatch, analysed a proposed route through I-70, a major highway in the state of Missouri.
The report’s hypothetical system connected the cities of Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis.
Among the report’s findings were that there would be an 80 percent increase in ridership from 16,000 to 51,000 riders per trip, and $410 million per year in savings from less time spent on the road.
Additionally, the hyperloop was found to significantly cut travel time. Between Kansas City and St. Louis, for example, travel time went down from 3.5 hours to 28 minutes, while trips from Kansas City or St. Louis to Columbia could go down from nearly 2 hours to 15 minutes.
The cost to travel on a hyperloop could also be lower than the cost of driving, based on the cost of gasoline alone.
“We are thrilled at the results of this study,” said Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. “A feasibility study of this depth represents the first phase of actualisation of a full-scale commercial hyperloop system, both for passengers and cargo in the United States.”
Two other US states – Ohio and Colorado – are conducting hyperloop feasibility studies. Ohio is also participating in a hyperloop-focused environmental impact study, while Texas has also announced its intention to begin the process.
In August, Virgin Hyperloop One announced its intention to open an office in the UAE – the first outside the US – as it develops plans to transport people from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes.
The proposed scheme will see high-speed pods transport passengers at up to 1,200 kilometres per hour along a vacuum-sealed track.
In April, Dubai's giant port operator DP World signed a deal with Virgin Hyperloop One to create a global firm that will build high-speed cargo delivery systems.
The new company, DP World Cargospeed, will create futuristic transport systems using Hyperloop's tube-based technology to deliver goods and link existing road, rail and air transport infrastructure.