The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission recently unveiled the results of their Midwest Connect study exploring a Hyperloop connection between Columbus, Chicago and Pittsburgh.
The study was conducted as part of the commission’s Rapid Speed Transportation Initiative.
It found that such a route, utilizing Virgin’s Hyperloop One technology, could create $300 billion in overall economic benefits and reduce CO2 emissions by 4 million tons.
After analyzing engineering complexity, public right of ways, environmental constraints, ridership volumes and travel behavior, the commission felt the project was viable.
The potential Hyperloop, which uses a combination of electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation, could connect Chicago and Columbus in under 45 minutes for about $60. Columbus to Pittsburgh would take less than 30 minutes and run $33.
Next steps will involve the creation of a travel and economic demand advisory panel to further analyze and refine the planned route.