What Costs More than the Colorado Hyperloop? Lots of things!

First, Colorado Hyperloop has a new Facebook Page! It can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/coloradohyperloop 

There is a great tumblr on what costs more than space exploration. The writers of the blog first pick a subject:

It’s impossible to say exactly how big the economic impact of the 2014 California Drought will be, but what is certain that it will be really, really expensive.

Then they compaire it to some type of space exploration:

Approximately eight days from now, the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory (GPM, for short) will launch on board an H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

With that they contrast the difference of the two costs and how space exploration can minimize the cost of the chosen subject. I believe it is pretty effective.

However, since the hyperloop isn’t built yet, it is pretty hard to compare prices. But here is a comparison that can be found here by Brad Plumer:

And here’s the best part: Musk claims a Hyperloop would be ridiculously cheap, with tubes from San Francisco to Los Angeles costing just $6 billion or $7.5 billion (depending on whether the pods could transport cars). That’s just one-tenth the cost of California’s tumultuous high-speed rail project.

What’s more, even if the price tag did end up 200 percent higher than what Musk is promising, that might be still a bargain.
This is more just a general note of caution. Early cost estimates for big new transportation projects are almost always wrong — and, at least if history is anything to go by, that’s not something that better technology will necessarily solve.

 

 

Colorado Hyperloop Will Be Popular

More people in the United States are taking public transit, according to this NYTimes article by Jon Hurdle. The reason for the increase is complex but identifiable.

Stronger economic growth is playing an important role in the increased use of public transit, as more people are using the systems to get to an increasing number of jobs, the association reported, and transit agencies are nurturing growth by expanding their systems or improving services.

“We’re seeing that where cities have invested in transit, their unemployment rates have dropped, and employment is going up because people can get there,” Mr. Melaniphy said.

Could a Colorado Hyperloop be a jobs magnifier for the state? The article continues, not on New York City’s mega subway, but with RTD!

In Denver, the Regional Transit District topped 101 million passenger trips last year, its most ever, helped by an improving economy and an increasing acceptance that public transit is an attractive alternative to the automobile, said Scott Reed, a spokesman for the district.

One of the challenges is simply getting people to try public transportation, Mr. Reed said, but when they do, “they find it is so much easier than they had feared.”

The 14-mile light-rail W Line connecting Denver, Lakewood and Golden, Colo., opened in April, and by the end of the year, it was carrying about 15,000 passengers a day, as planned. The line is part of a FasTracks expansion program, which will consist of 122 additional miles of light and commuter rail, 18 miles of a bus rapid transit system and a doubling of park-and-ride facilities, all scheduled for completion in 2016.

The estimated $7 billion cost is being paid for in part with a 0.4 percent sales tax, which voters approved in 2004. Nationally, taxpayers are increasingly willing to finance public transportation improvements, Mr. Melaniphy said.

In the last two years, more than 70 percent of transit tax initiatives have succeeded, he said.

I think the tax debate muddles the article, but it is clear, if you build transport systems, people will use them. The Front Range is incredibly car heavy right now. We need to move to ultra fast, medium to far distance, cheap transportation. Coloradans have to start planning future transport like the Hyperloop.

I-25 Federal Upgrades vs Federal Experiment for Colorado Hyperloop

I-25 map in the United States

 

If I-25 is so busy, why isn’t there other transportation systems in place to relieve the volume?

The Colorado politician that now seek Federal funding for upgrades for I-25 once said that the Federal Department of Transportation isn’t needed.  Should we have confidence in our politicians to think a Colorado Hyperloop a priority?

The latest news on the situation, by Erin Udell of the Coloradoan, notes that communities along Northern I-25 section don’t even want the “upgrades.”

“Those communities worked tirelessly to make I-25 a priority and successfully got additional lane capacity, which they planned for, raised money for, worked hard for,” said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway. “Now, you have CDOT coming in saying, ‘Well, we need to add lane capacity up to Highway 14, and we’re going to toll it.’ ”

“That’s where the disagreement comes in. We’re saying it’s unfair,” Conway said. “These communities … they deferred projects, they prioritized I-25 and were reaping the benefits of years of planning when CDOT came in and said they want to take existing free lanes that have been bought and paid for by taxpayers, and they want to toll them.”

CDOT does not have the funds,  so the communities along I-25 are planning independently.

The communities involved in the coalition — Windsor, Mead, Berthoud and Johnstown — all line the north I-25 corridor and, according to Conway, must give CDOT their approval before it can move forward with any possible changes. Other communities that line the corridor include Erie, Fort Collins, Loveland, Dacono and Frederick.

“There isn’t a north-south split. It’s quite the contrary,” Conway said. “Fort Collins and Loveland have been very open-minded about discussing how we can deal with this issue.”

“I think, with the collaborative effort that’s been shown, we can come up with some creative solutions – some that are destined for success.”

The Colorado Hyperloop could possibly be a creative solution for the entire state!

The fight’in Greeley Tribune ends this post with their article: Gardner will try to secure federal funding for Interstate 25 improvements

He said he agrees with concerns raised by the North I-25 Coalition at a meeting this week and pledged to initiate discussions in Washington, D.C., regarding including I-25 in the transportation bill.

“At a time when the I-25 corridor has seen its traffic population grow by more than 425 percent over the past 20 years, it is now more important than ever to ensure that northern Colorado has the infrastructure to support our evolving economy,” Gardner said in a news release. “Local officials have estimated that the outdated interstate system has cost the area $56 million, proof that it is far past time to address this issue.”

Says the man who wanted to disband the Department of Transportation.

Will the cost in upgrading I-25 be more than the cost in building a experimental Colorado Hyperloop that follows the same route?

Perhaps we all could look into the future and see a need for a I-25 mirroring Colorado Hyperloop.

Colorado’s “retro-futuristic” Hyperloop

Hopefully the Hyperloop will not be based on Londons plans in the video above but something more reasonable below…

Sure the Hyperloop looks like a subway that is above ground. But what sets it aside from the retro subway is the “futuristic” speed and high quality efficacy.

In order for the hyperloop to be built, we need to look around the world at other transport systems. If we will find a piece of one system that sets it apart from others, in a good way, those elements should be included in the hyperloop.  The Colorado Hyperloop should be a “transport enthusiast’s paradise”.

The “retro-futuristic” comes from an article from the Guardian this morning:

Cities in motion: transport is as key to urban character as buildings or accents

Kicking off a new series on how people move through cities, we look at how trains and traffic reveal the way a place sees itself

The author of the article, Colin Marshall, is an expert in cities and culture. Strangely, he has not written a blog post on the hyperloop. Yet, he nails what has already been built:

 “American cities don’t usually represent themselves with elements of transit – apart, that is, from the classic yellow school bus.

Regular American city buses, marginalised due to the supposed poverty of their riders, often end up providing an even more inconvenient, unpleasant riding experience than its school buses. Gearing public transport towards the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, especially a bottom seen as isolated from or in conflict with the majority, impedes the popularity and thus implementation of improvements. Dedicating a bus lane in Los Angeles has proven a task comparable to the labours of Hercules.

The bicycle in America has only just begun to escape similar associations. Most designations of bike-friendliness have gone not to proper cities but college towns: Davis, Boulder, Long Beach, Iowa City – places that, while pleasant enough, command little national, let alone international import. Modest Portland, Oregon, the US city in which I most enjoy cycling, feels like a Tokyo or Seoul by comparison. Yet despite its reputation as a paradise for alternative transport, I always notice suspiciously few normally clothed riders on the road there with me. Ride a bike in any of America’s supposedly top cities to do so, and you come to know the still-strong American genius for branding, as opposed to the faltering American genius for execution. When Los Angeles laid down its first high-profile cycle lane, the rain washed it mostly away within months.

Even as a city’s forms of transport empower us, they limit us, reducing us to a narrow set of obsessions: New Yorkers’ compulsive but futile questions about when the train will come; Angelenos’ sad, Sisyphean quest for free parking; Copenhageners’ budgeting for their next bicycle when their current one inevitably gets stolen; Londoners’ ceaseless insistence that the whole of their infrastructure lies more or less in ruins. Yet they can also make manifest the human ingenuity that makes such improbable accretions as cities work in the first place.

This goes a fair way to explaining the seething frustrations of many American cities, composed in large part of poor people in cars, made ever poorer by their associated costs. Peñalosa has also spoken of our “need to walk, just as birds need to fly”, suggesting a city’s need for “pedestrian infrastructure shows respect for human dignity”. And indeed, you can learn as much about a city from observing how people walk in it as how they ride, cycle, and drive. I did so in London, whose citizens cross the street any time they please, regardless of what the traffic signal says. Me and my Los Angeles compatriots remain, alas, too cowed by the pricey threat of jaywalking tickets, the monstrously aggressive (and in my experience mythical) spectre of the “LA driver”, and the sheer width of the roads to do the same.

We can learn from London, I told myself, and the thought cheered me. It had to, as I’d wound up stranded by the tube strike, an illuminating transport phenomenon which had me revising my opinions about the city all over again. We can learn from London, yes, but let’s not learn everything from it.

Luckily it is people like Mr Marshall that can find the essence in the human reaction to transport. He and others will hopefully provide insight as to how the hyperloop is developed and built.

Stations of the Hyperloop

Getting ideas developed about how the hyperloop will actually work in regards to stations and boarding is ongoing. The latest big post about Hyperloop Stations comes from a Wired post and the designer Serge Roux. The images of the station are amazing.

Serge Roux Hyperloop Station

Amazing. There are alot of great ideas in this post.

The main advantages of this solution are as follow:
Reduced footprint. Achieving peak flow rates by multiplexing platforms and turntables (initial intent) would requires anywhere from 100% to 200% more footprint depending on implementation.

System simplification. By removing the need for turntables and potential multiple airlocks, the system is robust and less prone to local failures

Increased embark/disembark time. This station design allows 20% more time to embark or disembark than the original intent (from 2.5 to 3minutes), without sacrificing throughput

Design consistency. This station makes Hyperloop, well, an actual loop.

 

Read more here: http://dev.sergeroux.com/?portfolio=hyperloop-passenger-station

Hyperloop needs more publicity, LA subway/light rail Map in the Near Future

LA futuristic subway map

Saw the below Gizmodo article based on the the movie Her. The image above is from the blog post, and is a  subway map of their current system plus futuristic additions. However, it lacks a hyperloop. There needs to be more of a push for films, anime and other sci-fi mediums to put hyperloop designs into their media.  The public needs to think that hyperloops are the future…

Keep in mind this is a fictional work of design, created for a film, so it’s not geographically accurate, but you have to appreciate the vision and wit in this map that most of us have been fantasizing about for decades. The system ranges from the Angeles National Forest to Malibu over five lines, with stops at some familiar places and some completely invented (I especially love the stations named “Nail Spot” and “Hair Salon”). A new neighborhood, Melrose Center, which I would guess to be around modern-day Koreatown, has become a major hub, bigger than present-day downtown. And for those who bemoan our current transit options at the airport: The train not only goes to LAX now, but it makes THREE stops!

Most notable are the paths of some of the lines. While the gold/teal path almost traces the real-life Gold and Expo Lines (which will bring light rail to Santa Monica in 2015), others seem to mimic current freeway routes. There’s a junction named 101 Freeway Axis, and the orange line running over the Sepulveda Pass looks like it basically traces the 405 Freeway. Who knows? With this system up and running, we might be constructing the light rail lines over abandoned freeways in the future.

McFetridge would especially like to call attention to the fictional transit authority named Los Angeles Metro Light Rail (LAMLR) and the logo he designed for it: “From the Summit to the Sea.” Not a bad tagline to aspire to, L.A.

Gizmodo and Reddit

 

The Future Is Already Under Construction

The title of this post, The Future Is Already Under Construction, came from an exhibition called Rights of Way: Mobility and the City at the BSA Space Center for Architecture and Design.

The Future Is Under Construction photo
The Future Is Under Construction

I think it sums up the Colorado Hyperloop pretty well. I will be going back there to take more notes. Below is a description of the exhibition from:

 

Exhibition Opening:
December 5, 2013

Exhibition Closing:
May 26, 2014

Rights of Way: Mobility and the City is a global exploration of mobility and transportation in cities. The exhibition features dozens of examples of visionary urban thinking, showing how the city is shaped by the ways people move through it.

Curated by James Graham and Meredith Miller of MILLIGRAM-office, Rights of Waydemonstrates that our urban environment is the result of constant negotiation among designers, policy makers, the private sector, and individual residents. By claiming that access to mobility is access to opportunity and that everyone has his or her own “right of way,” this future-oriented show reveals how those public rights are always at play in the shared commons of the city. The exhibition examines large-scale urban futures, contemporary examples of innovative design for transit and public space, historical attempts at remaking the city, and individual adaptations of mobility systems. Rights of Way also includes three projects from the 2012 Audi Urban Future Award, focusing on three megaregions: the Pearl River Delta in China’s Guangdong Province; São Paulo; and the Boston–Washington, DC (BosWash) Corridor. Displays include renderings, drawings, photography, videos, infographics, and a media library that allows visitors to delve further into the issues raised by the exhibition content.

 

 

Kazakhstan will have Trains, Colorado will have Hyperloops

In deciding how to fund the construction of the hyperloop (and assuming that it can generate a profit after being built) we look to other models of economic growth, this time with Big Oil and Gas dollars. While Colorado has extensive Oil and Gas reserves, the country of Kazakhstan has much more. Colorado, with its currently slim majority pro-fracking population http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/blog/earth_to_power/2013/11/more-than-half-of-colorado-voters.html will need to decide how revenue from the private companies can fed back into state taxes. “The Quinnipiac poll, which was primarily focused on next year’s Colorado gubernatorial election, also asked: “If a candidate for governor supports fracking, does that make you more likely to vote for that candidate, less likely, or doesn’t it make a difference?”” Anyway, beyond the short term politics, Kazakhstan is thinking ahead and so should we.

The article I read http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/21/business/international/kazakhstans-bet-on-rail.html?_r=0 gives a very interesting take that the government in Astana is basically funneling all the oil revenue into creating a rail road state owned mega industry.

“The rail business, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, better known by its initials as K.T.Z., reached a deal this summer to build a $100 million freight and logistics center on the coast of China at Lianyungang port, roughly halfway between Beijing and Shanghai. The goal is to bring goods in and out of Central Asia through a combination of rail and sea freight, and help the region diversify its exports beyond an overwhelming dependence on Russia that has lasted for more than two decades after the demise of the Soviet Union.

The railroad has opened a second line from Kazakhstan to China that runs through a southern mountain pass that is less prone to the high winds and blizzards that bedevil a Soviet-era border crossing farther north built under the Soviet leaders Khrushchev and Brezhnev. The company is frenetically building new rail lines within Kazakhstan to distribute goods, too, and has more than quadrupled its annual investment in the last four years, to $3.1 billion this year.

Kazakhstan faces a difficult challenge in trying to spend its oil wealth in ways that will create prosperity beyond the city limits of the capital, Astana, and there is no guarantee that its emphasis on the rail industry will work.”

What if Colorado voters decided to funneled Oil/Gas taxes into a Colorado Hyperloop industry? The front range will be a key backbone of trade from Wyoming to New Mexico. I have no evidence, but I believe the investment in hyperloop technology will spur other industries and will have a larger return than even the Oil and Gas industries of Colorado.

Hyperloop is the Tubes of the Internet Age

What if we didn’t have broadband, high speed rail (still do not have it in the USA) or airplanes?

Pushing for change is hard. Luckily, when the head of a federal depart, such as the FCC, wants change, things can happen pretty fast. However, they would also be in charge of regulating, and if that person(s) do not know what the hyperloop does or how it works, it will be bad.

I was happy to read this from the NYTimes article.

” “History has shown that new networks catalyze innovation, investment, ideas and ingenuity. Their spillover effects can transform society — think of the creation of industrial organizations and the standardized time zones that followed in the wake of the railroad and telegraph.”” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/business/media/fcc-chairman-calls-for-transforming-the-technology-used-by-phone-systems.html?hpw&rref=technology&_r=0

The Hyperloop is the broadband of the internet speed development. Take for example this sentence from the head of the FCC:

“The transition to broadband and I.P. services that has already begun is driven by consumers who are moving to the Internet and choosing to connect in ways not imagined just a decade ago.”

…and can be altered to…

““The transition to broadband high speed rail and I.P. airplane services that has already begun is driven by consumers who are moving to the Internet hyperloop and choosing to connect live in ways not imagined just a decade ago.”

So what if we transitioned to Hyperloop technology? What if the government in power were to push for the hyperloop?

Lets just hope we don’t get the same guy in government that thought the Internet was “a series of tubes.” Because that’s the Hyperloop.

A Colorado Hyperloop

Welcome to Colorado Hyperloop blog.Hope this will be a place where people can share ideas and come together to implement a hyperloop system for Colorado.

Lots of news yesterday of Musk’s announcement as well as other news articles from all over discussing the roots of the hyperloop system starting in Colorado with et3.com .

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2013/08/hyperloop_daryl_oster_elon_musk_colorado.php

Probably a 300 mph line between Boulder and Denver @wind4me. You do the RTD equation.
— ET3 Transport (@ET3Transport) August 12, 2013