Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop in Missouri Hopes to Accelerate Support on Capitol Hill

    Missouri is edging closer to having an approximate 30-minute hyperloop trip from St. Louis to Kansas City. The newly formed Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop gained momentum on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. the summer before the panel is expected to release its report in September of 2019.

    The Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop was formed by the Speaker of the Missouri House to explore the specifics of funding and construction. The public-private group, chaired by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, is tasked with finding ways of making Missouri the location of the nation’s first Hyperloop track.

    Representatives from the Missouri panel joined Virgin Hyperloop One, the only company to successfully test its technology at scale, for its “Hyperloop on the Hill” event on Capitol Hill. The event was intended to showcase the company’s technology to members of Congress and federal stakeholders

    “What we’re trying to do right now is put the people who have the authority to regulate this together with the people who have the motivation to get it done,” said Andrew Smith, Vice-Chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop.

    Building off of the momentum of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao’s newly-formed Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council to support new and innovative transportation projects like hyperloops and self-driving cars, Virgin Hyperloop One’s event was held to offer an inside look at current U.S. developments, including in Missouri, Ohio, Nevada and Texas, and provided an update on making these projects a reality.

    Smith was among representatives at the state level participating in the event to give support for the technology.

    “From releasing results on the first hyperloop feasibility study in the U.S., to launching a Blue Ribbon Panel to explore a hyperloop funding mechanism, Missouri is building upon its legacy as a transportation innovator,” saidSmith. “Missouri’s hyperloop initiative is led by a broad public-private coalition including the Department of Economic Development, MoDOT, the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, the KC Tech Council, and the University of Missouri system. With the federal government’s help, we can take the next transportation leap and build the future here and now.”

    “It is time to seize the opportunity that hyperloop technology presents to bring people and economies closer together through more efficient, affordable, and seamless travel,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One. “We are now seeing the groundswell of support that’s needed to realize the hyperloop revolution with the formation of the NETT Council and support from lawmakers across the country. As hyperloop moves toward reality it’s becoming clear that it will not only transform how we travel but also create an entirely new industry with thousands of new jobs for Americans.”

    U.S. Project Updates

    Missouri: The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition has released results from the first hyperloop feasibility study in the U.S., confirming the viability of a St. Louis to Kansas City route

    Midwest: The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is conducting a feasibility study of hyperloop technology along a Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh corridor, followed by components of an environmental impact statement along the same route

    Texas: The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council has launched a hyperloop feasibility study of a Fort Worth to Laredo route and an environmental impact study along a Dallas to Fort Worth corridor

    Nevada: DevLoop, Nevada’s hyperloop test site, continues as an active test site

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