Hyperloop One just announced 10 major finalists from its global competition to identify the best potential Hyperloop routes, but it’s already entering into a formal public-private partnership agreement with one of those candidates. The Colorado Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Hyperloop company to conduct a feasibility study of its proposed route linking Cheyenne with Denver and Pueblo, a path that spans 360 miles and connects 10 urban centers in the state, with potential to reach 4,831,000 Colorado residents in total.
Colorado has been aggressive in its pursuit of a Hyperloop project, and has brought in support from the state DoT as well as from infrastructure engineering, construction and manufacturing giant AECOM, which will be helping with this feasibility study as well. AECOM supports half of the teams who won the global competition, in fact, but this is the most mature of the field in terms of formal progress.
“This is unprecedented and demonstrates how quickly the public-private sectors can partner to make Hyperloop systems a reality around the world,” explained Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd in a press statement. “Studies like this bring us closer to our goal of implementing three full-scale systems operating by 2021.”
Colorado’s DoT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt also noted that Hyperloop could help the organization’s dual goals of improving mobility and safety within the state. Colorado has also positioned itself as a global technology and startup hub, and an alternative destination to Silicon Valley, and a Hyperloop network connecting communities would definitely help continue to build out that image.
The feasibility study will seek to identify ridership demand, quantify potential economic benefits, identify regulatory requirements and work on mapping actual routes and physical infrastructure requirements. Hyperloop One didn’t outline a timeline for the study’s completion, but it maintains its 2021 target for the launch of its first commercial Hyperloop routes.