Elon Musk’s Boring Company is ready to take a step closer towards making Hyperloop, the proposed high-speed transport system, a reality. Musk claims the vacuum-tube transport system that will connect New York and Washington, DC can go beyond 600mph, transporting passengers within approximately 29 minutes. If such technology pushes through, The Boring Company’s Hyperloop will help solve many public transportation problems many citizens and tourists are experiencing in New York and other linked cities.
Musk, who is also Tesla, Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), claims he has already received verbal government approval for The Boring Company to build the NY-DC Hyperloop, which includes Philadelphia and Baltimore in its path. While many government officials say the approval is not yet official, Musk is confident it will happen soon. “Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval,” he posted on his Twitter account July 20, “but (I) am optimistic that will occur rapidly.”
“City center to city center in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city,” the billionaire innovator followed up in the same Twitter thread. The White House has stated they have had “promising conversations” in regards to the project on local, state, and federal levels.
Rich Barone, vice president for transportation in New York City’s nonprofit transportation group Regional Plan Association, expressed concern. “They’re once again creating an entirely new mode and right of way,” he said. “We’re not building off the legacy system that we already have,” he continued, conveying that he would rather improve upon already existing transportation solutions and systems being used in NYC.
On average, travel time from NYC to DC takes about four and a half hours via Greyhound, Bolt Bus, and Mega Bus, and about three hours via Amtrak’s Acela Express train. The proposed 29-minute Hyperloop NY to DC corridor is, by far, the speediest land travel option.
NYC Crippled by Congestion
According to the January 2016 report by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, DC, the entire state of New York has been facing issues in transportation most especially in its larger urban areas. As a result, commuters are robbed of time and money, while businesses often pass their increased costs onto commuters as well.
These issues currently faced by New Yorkers within the city and towards DC highly impact many aspects, perhaps more than people realize. The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) released their 2015 Urban Mobility Report, showing the annual congestion cost and lost hours for the average motorist in New York’s major urban areas. NYC has the highest, with $1,739 congestion cost and 74 lost hours a year, followed closely by Albany with $991 and 42 hours, and Buffalo with $918 and 40 hours.
As an alternative to driving, people most often rely on trains for speedy transport within and outside of their locations. However, both New York’s subway and the Washington Metro, the leading rapid transit systems in the U.S., are notorious for having delays.
For NYC, their main issue is handling too many passengers at a time. While the New York subway isn’t famous for efficiency, almost always experiencing delays and various transportation woes, it faced even more public backlash when in July about 500 passengers were forced to leave stalled trains and walk back to safety through dark subway tunnels. For DC on the other hand, people are eventually staying away from the Washington Metro due to the rise of car hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, and the sudden popularity of telecommuting.
With all these issues regarding commuting within both NYC and DC, as well as transportation to and from both cities which are about 200 miles apart, it’s no shock that investors like Elon Musk are bent on making Hyperloop happen. In addition to Musk’s project with The Boring Company, three other companies are in Hyperloop development phase, namely Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), Hyperloop One, and Arrivo, all of which are founded on the Hyperloop architecture. It should be noted that these are all independent of each other; however, it is apparent they are all striving to create cost-efficient, high-speed transportation solutions across the U.S.