KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A new study shows Kansas City to St. Louis would be an ideal place to launch the first Hyperloop in the United States.
Hyperloop is the brainchild of Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla.
The technology involves a tubular track through which a train-like pod carries passengers at speeds up to 640 mph.
Missouri leaders and engineers took a look and decided this bold new mode of travel could work in the state along the Interstate 70 corridor.
“It’s relatively straight. You can have twists and turns, but it’s straight and relatively flat and you are talking about one state,” said advocates Ryan Weber with Kansas City’s Tech Council.
That could cut down on the red tape on such a project. The thought is developers could run Hyperloop right in the median. There are no houses to move or other hurdles that other cities and states might face.
“For us to connect this system across the United States, you have to meet in the middle. So that’s where we should start this project,” Weber said.
If Hyperloop is built in Missouri, it would take only 15 minutes to travel from Kansas City to Columbia and only 30 minutes from Kansas City to St. Louis.
Weber says Hyperloop could transform Missouri’s economy.
“You have access to a whole new work force. Kansas City has two million people. Kansas City to St. Louis is five million people, so that great opportunity for the entire state,” Weber said.
Hyperloop has never been fully constructed. There is a small test track out in the Nevada’s desert.
India will be the first to build a Hyperloop, and other countries are expected to follow. Four other American cities and states are considering the project.
The cost to build is between $30-40 million per mile. So, overall price tag would be somewhere between $7.2-9.6 billion.
Advocates say it would be a blend of private investors and public funds. The hope is the cost for a ticket would be cheaper than the gas it would take to drive there.