CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW)– More than a year after first proposing a revolutionary mode of transportation that can theoretically take passengers from Cleveland to Chicago in well under an hour, the idea appears to be moving closer from concept to reality.
Hyperloop Technologies Founder and CEO Dirk Ahlborn is in Cleveland to reveal preliminary results of a feasibility study that he says will show a hyperloop could have a dramatic economic and environmental impact on the region.
The $1.2 million study was a shared venture between Hyperloop TT and NOACA, The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.
It is intended to study both the technological and financial impacts of a proposed hyperloop that could connect Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago by 2028.
Hyperloop envisions transporting people through an enclosed cylinder at near the speed of sound.
The concept envisions transporting people from Cleveland to Chicago in as little as 31 minutes.
“You have to imagine a capsule similar to an airplane without wings hovering inside a tube and moving really, really fast; basically just below the speed of sound from one point to another,” said Ahlborn.
The study predicts an employment growth in the region of as many as 900,000 jobs, a property value increase of $74.8 billion, increased income of $47.6 billion and a dramatically increased tax base.
The company on Monday revealing preliminary details from a 300-page feasibility study it expects to release in December to get public input for the more formal report.
“We are very pleased with what came out and it’s the first study ever done at such magnitude on a completely new mode of transportation but I think that the possibilities there for the region are quite astonishing,” Ahlborn told FOX 8 on Monday.
His company is already working on the first commercial application of the hyperloop in the UAE.
For passengers, he believes the new technology would be cheaper for shorter trips than flying on a plane and less expensive.
“It’s definitely something that can be done and, you know, you need to start; someone has to be the first in the U.S. and we are hoping it’s going to be between Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Chicago,” said Ahlborn.