Making Hyperloop Public

Colorado Hyperloop and the Colorado State Capital in Denver

Below are some current questions and ideas that the citizens of Colorado have and we hope this elevates the civic discourse around Hyperloop in Colorado.

Will Hyperloop add to (car) congestion?

Hyperloop is being built as an on-demand and direct service as stated by both Arrivo, Hyperloop One and other Hyperloop groups. Colorado has a lot of auto congestion along its major highway arteries that serve the cities along the Front Range. Adaption of Hyperloop in Colorado will probably increase travel between these cities. But would a sustainable, rapid transportation option be bad?

However, as stated in the original Hyperloop Alpha white paper,  Hyperloop has benefits that current modes of transport do not have:

The corridor between San Francisco, California and Los Angeles, California is one of the most often traveled corridors in the American West. The current practical modes of transport for passengers between these two major population centers include:
1. Road (inexpensive, slow, usually not environmentally sound)
2. Air (expensive, fast, not environmentally sound)
3. Rail (expensive, slow, often environmentally sound)
A new mode of transport is needed that has benefits of the current modes without the negative aspects of each. This new high speed transportation system has the following requirements:
1. Ready when the passenger is ready to travel (road)
2. Inexpensive (road)
3. Fast (air)
4. Environmentally friendly (rail/road via electric cars)

What about passenger rail in Colorado?

ColoradoHyperloop.com is interested in passenger rail in Colorado! We view passenger rail as one transportation layer, among other layers like pedestrian infrastructure and a future Hyperloop infrastructure layer. Rail has been an important solution to making a more green and efficient transportation solution for the Front Range and it services as a lifeline to smaller cities on the Eastern Plains. We are interested in the current legislation (Senate Bill 17-153) in the Colorado State Capital. However, Hyperloop has major differences than rail. Specifically, it is on-demand and direct, environmentally friendly, less expensive and a totally different technology.

Is Hyperloop a waste of a State’s Department of Transportation’s time and money?

Colorado’s rapidly growing population and booming economy make for the ideal location for the development of Hyperloop systems.  The opportunity and potential of Hyperloop companies coming to Colorado with test facilities, employees, and direct investment, is a testament to the culture of Colorado innovation that drives the regional economic engine.

Learn more about the Colorado Department of Transportation and their work on the Hyperloop: https://www.codot.gov/programs/roadx/projects-in-motion

People often believe that CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) maintains local and residential roads, including neighborhood streets. However, cities and counties are responsible for local and residential roads—not CDOT.

Why not focus on bike, pedestrian, and public transportation before new transportation systems? What about other transportation and social problems?

The great thing about Hyperloop technology right now is that it is currently being developed! Anyone can help shape how it is developed! If you have an idea of how Hyperloop could have publicly owned bus, bike and pedestrian pods, then there should be more promotion of those ideas! There should be more focus on the engineering and economic impact of those public centered features of the Hyperloop system.

What if RTD (Regional Transportation District for Denver) or CDOT operated Hyperloop pods like they do with the Bustang® interregional express bus service?  Bustang® connects major populations, employment centers and local transit entities along the I-25 and I-70 corridors. “Connectivity, convenience and comfort are the hallmarks of Bustang’s success in helping further CDOT’s multi-modal mission” and should also be the hallmarks and goals of a Colorado Hyperloop system.

Want to play a part and shape Hyperloop development? There are various companies hiring right now! New Hyperloop focused nonprofits and global groups want you to help them too! You can even assist with public policy outreach for ColoradoHyperloop.com!

What is the projected timeline for connecting Pueblo and Denver with Hyperloop or other regions?

That is a good question. The Hyperloop concept is disruptive as it forces citizens to have a discussion on how do they want to get around the state in 2, 5, 10, 50 years from now. It’s not easy thinking about cities in 10 to 50-year timelines but hopefully, it will change the political discourse and help solve the problem of funding infrastructure in Colorado.

Dis-information about the Hyperloop concept.

Yes, cynical disinformation seeks to inflame existing tensions by putting out viral web stories that would then be republished by local news outlets and on social media to distort political debates about wedge issues (like pedestrian or biking infrastructure, auto and bus infrastructure, or use of high-speed rail). The use of trolls, cynicism, and false information often amplifies and distorts the very real problem of lack of investment in infrastructure in Colorado and they seek to degrade confidence in existing institutions and new technologies.

ColoradoHyperloop.com has reached out to these groups to start a dialogue and will continue to do so in the future.  No matter what other groups say, whether you’re getting information out of them, out of others, even out of your crazy uncle… the best way to respond to them is with a positive story.

The citizens of Colorado are well-educated and because of that, we are very resilient to such attempts. But Hyperloop technology does have one thing that fuels the detractors; the game-changing speed of Hyperloop (classic) pods velocity of 670 miles per hour and Hyperloop-ish levitating sleds traveling 200 miles per hour.

ColoradoHyperloop.com has in the past has had meetups and will soon start an online hangout (details to be forthcoming soon, but let us know if you want to assist in this) to make Hyperloop information more public. We are excited to have a positive discussion based on non-hyped facts and real engineering. We agree with the ethos that building good transportation systems today doesn’t exclude researching good transportations systems of tomorrow.

Be sure to sign up for the Colorado Hyperloop newsletter or contact us directly.

Finally, take a look at just a sampling of local reporting about Hyperloop technology in Colorado:

  • http://gazette.com/gallery/articleid/1615235/pictures?display=flexFullscreen&galleryTheme=lightTheme
  • http://gazette.com/colorado-hyperloop-challenges-3-major-hurdles-among-big-possibilities/article/1612230
  • http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/22/colorado-hyperloop-one-cost-24-billion/
  • http://www.chieftain.com/business/local/hyperloop-test/article_0e97161c-c9a2-11e7-a87a-f771ab41cbd4.html
  • http://www.chieftain.com/news/pueblo/front-range-rail-rolls-forward/article_23df5fe8-aff4-5141-b3dd-3e96515aecc9.html
  • http://www.westword.com/news/hyperloop-plans-in-colorado-9524478
  • http://www.westword.com/news/hyperloop-one-and-importance-of-tunnels-9555475
  • http://www.westword.com/news/colorado-wins-hyperloop-like-arrivo-test-track-9693161
  • http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/denver-to-colorado-springs-in-9-mins-colorado-could-build-one-of-first-hyperloop-routes-in-world
  • http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/where-would-colorados-hyperloop-stop-how-much-would-it-cost
  • http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/cdot-partnering-with-calif-company-to-build-hyperloop-style-test-track-in-colorado
  • https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2017/11/14/colorado-lands-multimillion-dollar-investment-from.html
  • https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/video/B1ZHBvYzE6MvcNHk3TCQdl9776KCqfir
  • https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2017/09/14/how-colorado-landed-on-hyperloop-one-s-top-10-list.html
  • http://www.9news.com/travel/heres-the-next-step-for-colorados-hyperloop/475703822
  • http://www.9news.com/news/travel/company-plans-to-build-hyperloop-test-track-east-of-denver/491665682
  • http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2017/11/15/denver-to-test-200-mph-hyperloop-inspired-track-with-tech-startup-arrivo.html
  • http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_31301612/cdot-distance-from-interstates-was-boulder-countys-hyperloop
  • http://www.dailycamera.com/guest-opinions/ci_31479183/alec-wyand-an-alternative-route-through-mountains-hyperloop
  • Letter to the editor: http://www.dailycamera.com/letters/ci_31463175/craig-jones-how-about-direct-east-west-hyperloop and http://www.dailycamera.com/editorials/ci_31462507/from-editorial-advisory-board-tube-travel
  • Not local but interesting read: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/nation-now/2017/10/30/colorado-hyperloop-plan/813214001/

Market Validation: I-25 is a great location for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

(Courtesy Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc.)
An artist’s rendering of a “hyperloop.”


Great CPR audio interview titled ‘Hyperloop’ Supporters Envision 15-Minute Trip From Fort Collins To Pueblo with Greg Henk of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Ryan Warner(CPR).

Great discussion of the technology and other hyperloop groups like Team HyperLynx, but location of the hyperloop is discussed in the last minute of the interview with I-70 first but then I-25. To which Greg said that I-25 is a much better market for a hyperloop.

Hyperloop Stations will Benefit from Google Investments

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Newly created, and Google funded, Sidewalk Labs has an interesting mission.

The New York Times has a great article about them:

Sidewalk Labs, Mr. Doctoroff said, planned to work in “the huge space between civic hackers and traditional big technology companies.”

While big technology companies take a “top-down approach and seek to embed themselves in a city’s infrastructure,” he said Sidewalk Labs would instead seek to develop “technology platforms that people can plug into” for things like managing energy use or altering commuting habits. He pointed to New York’s bike-sharing program as an early example of a technology-assisted innovation in transportation.

Big infrastructure projects like the hyperloop are going to need to be as agile as possibe, or else the communities, and politicians won’t want to spend money on them.

It seems like the US is needing to catch up to other innovative cities around the world. Hopefully Google will help make hyperloop projects in their own backyard.

Below is the original press release post from Larry Page:

Many of you are reading this post while living in a city. And you can probably think of a ton of ways you’d like your city to be better—more affordable housing, better public transport, less pollution, more parks and green spaces, safer biking paths, a shorter commute… the list goes on!

Many cities around the world have already made a lot of progress in some of these areas—for instance, developing dashboards to measure and visualize traffic patterns, and building tools that let residents instantly evaluate and provide feedback on city services. But a lot of urban challenges are interrelated—for example, availability of transportation affects where people choose to live, which affects housing prices, which affects quality of life. So it helps to start from first principles and get a big-picture view of the many factors that affect city life. Then, you can develop the technologies and partnerships you need to make a difference.

So I’m very excited about +Sidewalk Labs​, a new company we’ve announced today. (The press release is at www.sidewalkinc.com if you want to read more).  Sidewalk will focus on improving city life for everyone by developing and incubating urban technologies to address issues like cost of living, efficient transportation and energy usage. The company will be led by Dan Doctoroff, former CEO of Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York. Every time I talk with Dan I feel an amazing sense of opportunity because of all the ways technology can help transform cities to be more livable, flexible and vibrant.  I want to thank +Adrian who helped to bring Dan on board.

While this is a relatively modest investment and very different from Google’s core business, it’s an area where I hope we can really improve people’s lives, similar to Google[x] and Calico. Making long-term, 10X bets like this is hard for most companies to do, but Sergey and I have always believed that it’s important. And as more and more people around the world live, work and settle in cities, the opportunities for improving our urban environments are endless. Now it’s time to hit the streets and get to work!

Colorado Capital Can Roll Back Hyperloop via Renewable Energy Standards

News from the Colorado State Capitol of a Senate bill that would effect a solar powered Colorado hyperloop. Senate Bill 44.

The Denver Business Journal reports:

The bill would roll back Colorado’s renewable energy goals, currently set at 30 percent by 2020 for investor-owned utilities, to half of that — or 15 percent. The goal for rural cooperatives, which currently need to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020, would be rolled back to 15 percent under the proposal.

It is ironic that a small group Colorado citizens would want a small portion of their energy bills to contribute more to the “Brown Cloud” along the front range where most of Coloradans live.

RTD Too Expensive? Go Ride a Bike or Ride the Hyperloop!

Colorado Hyperloop Bike

 

There are always grumblings on RTD’s cost of tickets. An even bigger complaint is how complex they are in figuring out which one to buy. 9News and the Denver Business Journal follow up;

…pay for bus and train rides in the Denver area is probably going to change soon.
The Denver Regional Transportation District is working on a plan to simplify its fare system because it decided the current structure is just too complicated.

“It’s a mess,” argues rider Kathy Procopio ofArapahoe County. She has a point: there are three different kinds of bus fares depending how far you go, transfers to keep track of, and the light-rail system has four different zones with different prices.

So if people can’t figure out what to pay, how will they get the energy to use RTD? What if RTD needed a temporary fix for congestion? Well 9News and the Denver Business Journal have the scoop again:

If you drive along U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder, you know It can be tough to maneuver around the construction. A new program, though, is aiming to cut down on the number of cars on the highway.

It would combine RTD public transportation with employees who work in this corridor, and it won’t cost those workers a thing.

Programs like this have been shown to be a very effective way to change commute behavior,” said Audrey DeBarros, executive director of the non-profit “36 Commuting Solutions,” which is administering the program.
The EcoPass pilot program combines two things: RTD transportation, like buses and light rail, and employees who work at companies within a quarter of a mile of a Park-n-Ride station along U.S. 36. The idea is to get as many as 1,000 workers in this corridor to ditch their cars in favor of public transportation– at no cost to them.

Very novel idea, but I fear RTD has not done enough of this across the entire RTD network.

Also, to add to the confusion, people think the organization is confusing bus rapid transit into the US 36 corridor.

BROOMFIELD — That Bus Rapid Transit system being installed as part of a $438 million retooling of U.S. 36 from Denver to Boulder isn’t what local transportation officials say it is.

At least that’s according to a nonprofit group that helps develop sustainable transportation efforts across the globe. The New York-based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy promotes Bus Rapid Transit efforts and certifies projects deemed truly BRT.

What’s being developed on U.S. 36 and being promoted by the Regional Transportation District is not truly BRT, said Annie Weinstock, the institute’s regional director for the U.S. and Africa.

“I would urge them not to call it BRT,” Weinstock said.

The problem for Weinstock is that specially made BRT buses will share an express lane on U.S. 36 with High Occupancy Vehicles and motorists willing to pay a toll.

BRT systems certified by the institute mimic rail transit and travel only in dedicated lanes not open to other vehicles.

Thanks for the input, but the corridor will still be promoted as including BRT, say RTD and local officials.

“If it’s true that U.S. 36 is not actually BRT, then that’s fair to say,” said Boulder Mayor Matthew Appelbaum. “But it’s also fair to say that this is a good mobility solution that can include most of the positive characteristics of BRT for less money and it’s an approach that works best in an area like this.”

“If they don’t like us stealing that name, then help us come up with something else,” Appelbaum added.

The U.S. 36 Express Lanes Project calls for building an express lane in each direction of U.S. 36, in addition to two free general-purpose lanes. The BRT vehicles are boarded from rail-like platforms that are level with bus doors and also tend to carry more passengers and run more frequently than standard buses.

As part of the U.S. 36 project, new electronic display signage will be in place at BRT stations, while new, widened shoulders will allow buses to operate between interchanges to decrease bus travel time.

Crews will also install Intelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS, for tolling, transit and traveler information and incident management.

The whole idea behind the revamped U.S. 36 corridor is to provide people with options for travel, including BRT, standard bus service, toll lanes and even a continuous bike path, said Pauletta Tonilas, RTD’s spokeswoman for its FasTracks program.

“This is going to be a great example of a multi-modal transportation system,” Tonilas said.

Cheap multi modal transport is still a new idea in the US. The Colorado’s hyperloop will be built and connected to every single transport mode RTD has to offer, and other modes like biking. The below video is missing future transportation initiatives, like the Hyperloop.

All modes of transport should cost as little as possible for the user and be good for the environment. Thus, is also interesting to see the recent initiative to build recreational bike trail from Wyoming to New Mexico. It is a goal set by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. From the bill itself:

MANY COLORADANS ENJOY BICYCLING AS A RECREATIONAL
8 ACTIVITY, THAT BICYCLISTS USE BICYCLE TRAILS ALONG AND ON EXISTING

9 ROADWAYS FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES AND TO ACCESS ADDITIONAL
10 RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, AND THAT SUBSTANTIAL PORTIONS OF NET
11 LOTTERY PROCEEDS ARE CONSTITUTIONALLY DEDICATED FOR OUTDOOR
12 RECREATIONAL PURPOSES AND MAY BE EXPENDED TO CONSTRUCT AND
13 EXPAND RECREATIONAL BICYCLE TRAILS ALONG AND ON EXISTING
14 ROADWAYS;

Interesting and noble, but 9News also states, that its not a done deal:

DENVER (AP) – A recreational bike trail from Wyoming to New Mexico is a goal set by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

A proposal before the Colorado Senate Thursday could play a part in that goal.

The Senate Finance Committee starts work on a bill to encourage both the Division of Parks and Wildlife and local governments to spend a portion of the net lottery proceeds they receive to construct and expand recreational bicycle trails.

The bill wouldn’t be a mandate.

The sponsor is Republican Sen. Larry Crowder of Alamosa. He says bike trails should be a priority in spending lottery proceeds.

In conclusion, I think the trump card will still be speed of service. 

Sustainable Development Priorities for the Colorado Hyperloop

Sustainable development will only be achieved by honoring the priorities of Colorado citizens. Focusing on the users is important to any architecture and transit system. The below video highlights this focus, and defines it as The Human Scale.

While nobel, this goal is hard to reach. That is why he nonprofit Sustainable Colorado would a great facilitator for discussions of the sustainability of the Colorado Hyperloop.

Below is a wee bit about their organization:

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado (the Alliance) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming sustainability from vision to reality. Serving as the backbone for sustainability in Colorado, the Alliance forges decisions, secures commitments, accelerates implementation, and mobilizes a growing movement in sustainability activating collaboration and convening thought leaders. Envisioning a Colorado where connected, empowered, and sustainable communities have fulfilled their potential economically, environmentally, and socially, the Alliance offers programs, tools and demonstration models to meet this vision.
We work to make Colorado the national leader demonstrating that sustainability can be a reality by being Colorado’s Hub of Sustainability and changing paradigms.

As Colorado’s Hub of Sustainability, we connect changemakers to increase their impact and innovative ideas toward advancing sustainability.  We provide shared office space and programming to enhance the productivity and innovation of The Alliance Center tenant-partners.  We also conduct educational events that share examples of what’s working.  The environment of The Alliance Center is one that enables important collaborations to happen organically, which is what is truly needed in order to advance sustainability.

Sustainable Colorado would need to clarify the intended meaning of “sustainable” and whether they could sponsor legislation for the “sustainable” Colorado Hyperloop.

Making everyone more aware of the sustainability goals of the Hyperloop will avoid:

“justified confusion, scepticism and even public and academic cynicism about the subject. This confusion should not, however, be allowed to undermine the benefits of the work done to promote poverty alleviation and environmental protection.”

The Triple Bottom Line

 

Could the Colorado Hyperloop be sustainable? A measure will be whether the C.H. has what is called the Triple Bottom Line.  From an online course via FutureLearn on sustainability from The University of Bath.

Note: Colorado State University has a great MBA course on Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise that also includes the Triple Bottom Line.

Its a mix between Economic, Social and Environmental or as the CSU course states; people, planet and profit.

Economic impact is the easiest to measure and include:

  • Profitable business
  • Sustainable profit margins
  • Fairly paid jobs
  • Properly paid taxes
  • Suppliers paid appropriately
  • Investment in research, development and training
  • No bribery or corruption

Social impact, with some overlap of the economic impacts:

  • Working conditions
  • Product safety
  • Paying suppliers on time
  • Good community relations
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Training and Education

Environmental Impact:

  • Efficient use of energy and other resources
  • Minimising waste and emissions
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Avoid hazardous materials and waste

The Colorado Hyperloop’s sustainability plan should always refer back to the triple bottom line, and should be a focus on any transportation project. More posts to follow on this topic.

Cleaner Hyperloop Innovations

Because its easy to make critiques at every new technological advancement, see the LED debate below, the Colorado Hyperloop would like to congratulate Gary Truesdale’s latest Hyperloop Efficiency Concept. The video below shows how he made a device that could reduce overall energy use of each hyperloop pod and tube sections by forcing air circulation in the Hyperloop system.

Hyperloop Test Fixture V2 information, Credit: Gary Truesdale
Hyperloop Test Fixture V2, Credit: Gary Truesdale

Good job Gary, keep up the innovations!

With innovations like the one above, the Colorado Hyperloop will be using the most energy efficient and lowest carbon renewable energy technology currently available. So it was interesting to read this Op-Ed in the New York Times about the recent Nobel Prize for the blue/white LED.

The winners, Shuji Nakamura, an American, and Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, both from Japan, justly deserve their Nobel, and should be commended for creating a technology that produces the same amount of light with less energy.

But it would be a mistake to assume that LEDs will significantly reduce overall energy consumption.

The I.E.A. and I.P.C.C. estimate that the rebound could be over 50 percent globally. Recent estimates and case studies have suggested that in many energy-intensive sectors of developing economies, energy-saving technologies may backfire, meaning that increased energy consumption associated with lower energy costs because of higher efficiency may in fact result in higher energy consumption than there would have been withoutthose technologies.

That’s not a bad thing. Most people in the world, still struggling to achieve modern living standards, need to consume more energy, not less. Cheap LED and other more efficient energy technologies will be overwhelmingly positive for people and economies all over the world.

But LED and other ultraefficient lighting technologies are unlikely to reduce global energy consumption or reduce carbon emissions. If we are to make a serious dent in carbon emissions, there is no escaping the need to shift to cleaner sources of energy.

New York Times

I agree. Determining whether new energy efficient technology increases overall energy demand is a mute point. The more people there are on the planet the more energy will be used. So we must use cleaner energy.

But this is having it both ways. They really need to make it clear that the formula is: efficiency gain vs cost (monetary and environmental).

For example, just as the individual LED is wonderful, more breakthroughs in lighting are just around the corner with OLEDS.

The next big thing in lighting could be glowing sheets that use half as much energy as an equivalent fluorescent fixture and can be laminated to walls or ceilings. The sheets will contain organic LEDs, or OLEDs—the same kind of technology used in some ultrathin TVs and smartphones.

OLEDs could be used in large sheets, because organic light-emitting molecules can be deposited over large surfaces. They also run cooler than LEDs, so they don’t require elaborate heat sinks, making a lighting structure simpler. OLED lighting is 10 to 100 times more expensive than conventional lighting, but as costs come down, it could eventually replace conventional fluorescent fixtures. MIT Technology Review 

The LED Op-Ed writers are from The Breakthrough Institute, which produces a journal that focuses on many things but also on Renewables, Innovation Policy and something called EcoModernism. From their website:

RENEWABLES

Renewable energy technologies – including solar, wind, hydroelectric, and bioenergy – are essential tools in the path towards modern, low-carbon energy systems. But like all energy technologies, they have significant costs and impacts. Understanding their scalability and effects on the landscape will prove essential in crafting renewable energy innovation policy.

INNOVATION POLICY

Economists have long recognized innovation’s central importance to economic growth, but have still not come to terms with the reality that “general-purpose” technologies like electricity, microchips, and the Internet often emerge from long-term public-private partnerships. And since no two technologies are exactly alike, case studies of successful innovation policy must be carefully analyzed to spur similar successes in the future.

ECOMODERNISM

Ecomodernism is a pragmatic philosophy motivated by the belief that we can protect beautiful, wild places at the same time as  we ensure that the seven-going-on-ten billion people in the world can lead secure, free, and prosperous lives. Ecomodernists are optimistic about humanity’s ability to shape a better future – a “good Anthropocene.”
TheBreakThrough.org

Anyway, they have a lot of smart people in that institute but they have yet to publish any findings on a future Hyperloop. Hopefully, the Colorado Hyperloop will be of interest to them.

Commuting via Hyperloop

A Colorado Hyperloop Ad

The morning commute to work or school is an experience that most of us would rather not have to do. In a car company sponsored post on the website Good.is, we learn that countries spend money (shock! Perhaps earned from taxes?!) on commuters for the infrastructure that they use!

Whether they get to work by lanes, trains or ferries, commuters around the world are increasing in number, and cities are taking notice. The investment in public transportation, in the infrastructure and convenience of daily travel, is not cheap, currently ranging from a cost of $2,492 in Istanbul to $9,229 in New York per commuter. …
By expanding their networks, however, cities around the world are getting ready for a booming return on their investment.

The infographic that goes along with the article projects an increase in ridership (and walking and bikership) by 2030.

What if commuting on the hyperloop meant that you would get paid for your ride? If congestion gets so bad on roads and highways as well as above ground trains, the hyperloop would harness its energy efficient, fast and safe transportation to undercut the expensive, dirty and unsafe other transportation. Just check out the latest advertisement from the Colorado Hyperloop.

A good deal?
A good deal?

Recommends High Speed Rail, More Project Finance for Colorado Hyperloop

Great to see that there is still public support for infrastructure improvements. The New York Times  Editorial Board published this today, Making the Case for High-Speed Rail:

Most American passenger trains, including Amtrak’s popular Acela service, run at speeds that are far slower than the superfast European and Japanese trains that can zip along at 200 miles per hour or more. The main reason is that, despite modest investments, American lawmakers have not given high-speed rail the priority it deserves.

Critics argue that such services cannot survive without public subsidies and that the United States has few of the dense urban areas that have made such train services successful in places like France and Japan. But these arguments fail to acknowledge that most forms of public transportation are subsidized somehow by the government; the federal government puts up most of the money to build the interstate highway system. Skeptics also greatly underestimate the country’s long-term transportation needs. The Census Bureau estimates that the American population will cross 400 million in 2051, and the country is becoming more urban, not less. California’s population is predicted to top 50 millionin 2049. That growth will put an incredible strain on the nation’s highways and air-traffic system.

At the end of the opinion page is this nugget on private infrastructure:

In some states, the promise of high-speed rail remains alive and well. California recently started building the first phase of an ambitious project in the Central Valley, and it won an important legal victory that should help clear the way for an $8.6 billion bond issue. It has also dedicated a quarter of the revenue from its cap-and-trade program, which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to the undertaking. Meanwhile, in Florida and Texas, private businesses are planning to build and operate lines between Orlando and Miami and Dallas and Houston. These efforts should be an inspiration to Congress.

 

Just yesterday Mohamed El-Erian, on NPR On Point, talked about On Our Uncertain Economic Future. Some economic arguments for investing in infrastructure are at 13min.


Mainly he says there are lots of common agreement areas amongst citizens but the politicians in DC are too divided. This seems to be common theme.

I will be posting more on in the coming week on a course I took (but did not get a grade) on Financing and Investing in Infrastructure by Stefano Gatti. The focus of these posts will be what I learned on the course and how they can be applied on a hypothetical Colorado Hyperloop. Below is a video by Stefano Gatti that gives lots of info on what happens in infrastructure projects.