Colorado Hyperloop: Legislative Loop

Colorado Hyperloop and the Colorado State Capital in Denver

 

Today is Election Day 2017, with various Colorado ballot measures and races, we thought it fitting to start keeping everyone in the Colorado Hyperloop: Legislative Loop.
Colorado Hyperloop is tracking current and future elected representatives who support, and those that do not, a future Colorado Hyperloop. Below is a brief outline as we start reaching out to these people as citizen lobbyists.

… government of the people, by the people, for the people…

-Abraham Lincoln

Mission:

Get in touch with people running for elected office in Colorado and ask them what they think of very fast hyperloop transportation system along with a North-South alignment from Fort Collins to Pueblo connecting all major cities and airports along the corridor.

The Problem:

The population boom along the front range overloads current transportation systems. Elected officials might not have heard about Hyperloop technology, so we want to inform them and ask them what they think of this solution. If the person running for office doesn’t like Hyperloop, we will ask them what they might suggest as an alternative and how infrastructure might look like to them in Colorado in the year 2040.

Summary Timeline:

The Colorado Gubernatorial Election is on November 6, 2018. In this month of November 2017, we will be contacting all candidates and will publish their responses at the end of the month.

Thank You:

Politics, like anything else in life, ultimately comes down to people.

Take Back Your Government – Morgan Carroll

Colorado Hyperloop wants to thank all the candidates running for office for being willing to work hard for us. We also want to build a rapport and relationship between future needs, suggestions, and input on how the Colorado Hyperloop can help all Colorado.

If you have any questions or would like to help out, please contact us.

Colorado Hyperloop Impact Art

Are you a citizen of Colorado that wants to see the development of the Hyperloop and make Colorado better?

Are you interested in the opportunity to participate in one of the most dynamic technical and societal impact-focused events of the year, where you’ll get to meet and collaborate with other hyperloop visionaries, entrepreneurs, and other changemakers?

Colorado Hyperloop, as a Hyperloop One Global Challenge Semi-Finalist, is seeking to show leadership-level participants and judges YOUR input.

Here’s how it works:

  • How can we illustrate with art the impact of generations, racial, socioeconomic, geographic – to create a hyperloop system that works for everyone?
  • Transform your vision of what and where you want to see Hyperloop and how it would look. Give your art (text, video, etc) context in the following cities if possible:  (Fort Collins, CO ↔ Greeley ↔ Loveland ↔ Longmont ↔ Boulder ↔ Westminster ↔ Denver ↔ Centennial ↔ Monument ↔ Castle Rock ↔ Colorado Springs ↔ Pueblo)  Amaze us! Are you a school age kid or city planner or community organizers or new immigrant or a woman or teacher or a person? Then submit some art!
  • Upload your masterpiece to your social media accounts and tag them #COHyperloopHere so we can track them across the interwebz.
  • If we like your vision (or if it at least makes us smile), we’ll repost on our own channels and tag you.
  • When you see it on our socials, go encourage your friends, family, coworkers to upvote/share/like/re-tweet your masterpiece as we want intersectoral viewpoints!

Good luck, and we can’t wait to see your creations!

 

 

Teams to follow in the SpaceX Pod Competition

These teams have been actively developing community and prototypes for the SpaceX Pod Competition. The SpaceX is helping with a design weekend January 15-16th in Texas, and the final hyperloop competition June of 2016. More posts to come on the teams, as well as updates in how they hyperloop will look like in Colorado, along the front range.

Team HyperLynx

Mechanical Engineering seniors design team at the University of Colorado, Denver will be building a Hyperloop pod and testing it at the Hyperloop competition

EuroLoop

Connecting Europe with the speed of vacuum, A Hyperloop forecast, designed by 10x Labs

rLoop

rLoop is a the non profit, open source, online think tank. Now designing a Hyperloop pod for SpaceX competition

 

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!

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.

CO Hyperloop Reality

HyperLoop Transportation Technology Map

 

Yes, they Colorado Hyperloop will happen*! A flurry of news articles have been published today on the press release of Dirk Ahlborn’s Hyperloop Transportation Technologies on the JumpStart Funds website. Key points from the Wired article:

*Maybe!

Car infrastructure or new Colorado Hyperloop?

cdotLogo

Questions of whether we should build a Colorado Hyperloop shouldn’t be a zero sum game.

If you don’t know what zero sum means in game theory, look at this video by President Clinton.

So lets imagine a future different from the past. Cars will forever be around. Rail will always be around. Hyperloop will be new, but it will show our interdependence on the other forms of transportation. A hyperloop will reveal that we are interdependent to each other as well.

Colorado relates to this important higher level of thinking because CDOT will be embarking on some major infrastructure projects that will affect people. The 9News report below shows that interdependence of other transportation links are important, but more so are the people and lives that these projects change.

The reason why we must avoid the racist highways/transit projects that divided our cities for years goes back to what Clinton was saying in the above video. We have to believe in interdependence and we have to believe that we will be better off when we work together. Below is the report related article from the 9News article:

DENVER – Mayor Michael Hancock joined a group of other Denver city council members and other regional officials to express support for the $1.8 billion dollar project to improve I-70 east of I-25.

The Colorado Department of Transportation hopes to begin work on the project in 2016. Mayor Hancock sent a letter to CDOT asking the agency to study ways to minimize the negative impact of the project on people who live in the neighborhoods that will be directly affected by it.

“My number one priority is to ensure this project supports the Elyria, Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods,” Hancock said at a news conference Friday. “I am concerned that the impacts of this project could be born disproportionately by the surrounding minority and low income communities.”

CDOT calls its plan the “Partial Cover Lowered Alternative” because it will put a section of I-70 underground and establish parks and landscaping on top of it.

When I-70 was originally built through the area 50 years ago it created economic hardships for residents of the neighborhoods due to property values and other negative impacts of an interstate highway, which was a common issue for the U.S. interstate system when it was built.

Mayor Hancock believes the new project is an opportunity to “…really elevate the people in this area who really have been victims of environmental injustice from over 50 years…” He called the improvements to I-70 “a chance to redevelop these neighborhoods, improve their quality of life and create job opportunities and create access to healthier living opportunities including fresh food in the neighborhoods as well as a way to improve their standard and quality of life in these areas.”

We need a higher level of feeling and thinking. The Colorado Hyperloop would enable people to go along the whole front range, fast, unfettered and at very low cost for the masses. This would relate to another Elon Musk possible project:

This post was provoked by a NYTimes, Mark Bittman op-ed section below:

So we should not be asking, “How will we feed the world?,” but “How can we help end poverty?” Claiming that increasing yield would feed the poor is like saying that producing more cars or private jets would guarantee that everyone had one.

Modular Colorado Hyperloop

The future is modular?

Perhaps it is, but the key takeaway from Project Ara, a modular function mobile device, is that they are trying out the idea rapidly. It is based out of something called Phonebloks:

Phonebloks began as a college project. It was an idea more than it ever was a business. It was an idea Phonebloks hoped would spread across the internet and someone would grab it and run with it. In the last year or so, the idea has spread, and now multiple companies are using this idea to drive their business. One of those companies is Google.

Project Ara took shape with the acquisition of Motorola. Motorola and Google took the idea of Phonebloks, a modular phone with swappable parts, from idea to concept. And even though Google is in the process of selling Motorola to Lenovo, they are keeping Project Ara in house.

Watch a couple of minutes of this presentation to see how the project has come about:

Modularness is the main point, but the whole project is driven by the developer/maker community.

There are plenty of themes that the Colorado Hyperloop can use for its development. But in reality, in order for the Hyperloop to be built along the front range, it will truly have to be developed in conjunction with community input. The tube and loop system should be as modular and customizable as possible.

The wider community facilities development and that is why the hyperloop should demonstrate different modular designs.

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?

China’s Model Train – 中国的模型火车, 科罗拉多超级圈

Rail map of China.svg
Rail map of China” by HowchouOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Model both as a toy and as a way of doing things. The high speed rail of China and its universal development in all corners of its country is a model that the Colorado Hyperloop could copy. But before we wholeheartedly take its at face value lets look at some current news on why they build these system:

Riding Beijing’s subway end to end: 88km of queues and crushes on a 20p ticket

With bullet trains as a new Silk Road, China tightens embrace of its restless West

URUMQI, China — The brand-new bullet train slices past the edge of the Gobi desert, through gale-swept grasslands and past snowy peaks, a high-altitude, high-speed and high-tech manifestation of China’s newly re-imagined Silk Road meant to draw the country’s restive west ever tighter into Beijing’s embrace.

With growing determination, China is spreading its wings to the west, across its own, vast and resource-rich province of Xinjiang, and toward Central Asia and its huge reserves of oil and natural gas.

The $23 billion, high-speed train link, which is still being tested in winds that can sometimes reach up to 135 mph, is just one symbol of that broader determination: to cement China’s control over its Muslim-majority Xinjiang region through investment and economic growth, secure important sources of energy and escape any risk of encirclement by U.S. allies to the east.

So it is a tool of energy production and extraction and social hegemony. The United States did the same in its history. But the Colorado Hyperloop might seem to initially be a human transport system only. In reality it will be a human transportation vehicle but also will be a energy (with solar panels along the top of the Hyperloop tubes) and quite possibly a efficient material transportation system similar to the paper delivery tubes at banks.

Another development besides above ground trains from Shanghai to London is the incredible subway of Beijing.

Riding Beijing’s subway end to end: 88km of queues and crushes on a 20p ticket
Beijing’s metro system has already grown bigger than the London Underground – and by 2020 it will more than double in size again.

Work on the Chinese capital’s first line started in the 1960s and the vast majority of it opened in the last decade. Yet, at 465km long, it has already outgrown the Tube network by more than 50km. By 2020, an extra 400bn yuan (£40bn) of investment will see it more than double to 1,000km, according to Chinese media. The addition of 17 new lines will make it one of the world’s longest networks.

Each day 9.75 million passengers ride the lines across Beijing: nearly three times as many as take the London Tube and twice as many as use the New York system. The subway’s phenomenal expansion reflects that of the city it serves. Over the last decade or so, Beijing has grown by roughly half a million inhabitants each year – the equivalent of adding the entire populations of Sheffield or Tucson annually. The city is already home to 21 million; by 2020, a report warned last year, it is likely to have added another four million, on a conservative estimate.

The subway is clean and punctual and has seen no large scale fatal transport disasters in recent years, though several workers have died during construction since 2007 and two passenger have died due to escalator collapse and electrocution, in addition to a number of suicides. (In 1969, the year it opened, a spate of fires killed between three and six people and injured at least 100 more, resulting in a two-year closure for reconstruction.)

But the strains it now faces reflect the country’s challenge in maintaining a decent quality of life in increasingly packed cities. At Xierqi, one of the busiest stations, platform attendants help to push commuters into carriages during rush hour. There’s a little shoving at the doors, but it’s a remarkably calm and polite scene given the crush of bodies.

Mao declared the city needed a subway after he visited Moscow. But the system was initially intended more for civil defence than commuter transport, said Wang. In the event of air raids – like the US bombardments of North Korea and Vietnam – the trains would be used to evacuate residents to the Western Hills, on the capital’s outskirts. From there, they could be dispatched overground to safer parts of China. A sample line was even built at China’s atomic test site at Lop Nor, to check the tunnels would withstand nuclear bombs.

The engineering team was supposed to travel to Moscow to study its metro. But as bilateral relations deteriorated, the Soviet Union withdrew its experts and halted cooperation. Wang and his colleagues finished the designs of the subway without ever having ridden on one.

China’s biggest cities are struggling to cope with their swollen populations, choked by traffic jams and pollution. They have attracted huge numbers of migrants – to clean the streets, construct homes and staff restaurants – but have not adequately catered for them or their children.

Now the government wants to accelerate urbanisation to boost domestic consumption; city dwellers spend more than rural residents. But its new strategy also seeks to tackle some of the problems that have emerged, creating a more sustainable model for city life.

The spending spree on urban rail follows similar binges on highways and high-speed trains, and will help to shore up economic growth. In just four months of 2012, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s economic planning body, approved 840bn yuan worth of underground and light rail construction; 22 cities already have subways and another 16 will have systems operating by the end of 2018. One official has said subway networks across China will total 7,000km of track by 2020.

Improved public transport should also reduce smog and traffic. Reforms to household registration will improve migrant workers’ access to services. But they are also designed to encourage people to move to smaller cities: the bigger the city, the harder it will be to register there. Even so, there is little doubt that the lure of the capital will endure.

“Ever since the 1980s, the [Beijing] government has been trying to limit the fast growing population, but all these efforts have failed. China has 1.3 billion people. Big cities like Beijing are bound to attract a significant part of the huge population,” said Li Tie, director general of the NDRC’s China Centre for Urban Development.

Tokyo accommodates 36 million residents in a smaller area, he noted: in theory, Beijing should be able to absorb another 10 million. But it does not feel like that to those who live and work here.

Even Wang, the tunnelling expert, believes much of the answer to China’s urban transport problems lies above ground. He would like to see more bus use and new rail links between the busiest train stations. He is unimpressed by the frenzy of excavation around the country: monorails cost around 150m yuan per kilometre to construct, he said, compared to the 500-700m yuan required per kilometre of subway.

“Second-, third-, fourth-tier cities … those cities don’t need to build subways,” he said. “Even if they can afford to build them, they can’t afford to run them. But a lot of places think that if they have a subway, then they are a big city.”

Anyway, it is an incredible Guardian article. Lets home Colorado can learn from from the Chinese.