Columbus connection named as finalist for Hyperloop transportation

Tired of commuting between his Dublin home and Chicago office, Tim Powell is excited about how Hyperloop Onecould help him — but he has lots of questions.

“Is it safe? Would I throw up?” Powell, 45, asked.

Powell and central Ohio inched closer Thursday to getting to Chicago in 29 minutes using the tube transportation touted by Hyperloop One. The company selected the Chicago-to-Columbus-to-Pittsburgh suggested route as one of 10 international finalists.

The company issued a challenge, seeking the best place to build the new mode of transportation. Initially, 2,600 private-public partnerships registered from 100 countries to try to convince Hyperloop One they were the best place for the project.

Hyperloop One seeks to build something like a pneumatic tube that can move pods of people or goods at speeds up to 671 miles per hour. That means trips to and from Pittsburgh would take 18 minutes and the 360-mile trip to and from Chicago could take 29 minutes. The idea is to provide the capacity of a train at the speed of a plane.

That would be ideal for Powell who lives in Dublin with his wife and three children. A consultant to food service and restaurant companies, Powell spends about 40 percent of his time in a Chicago office. When there, it takes him 45-90 minutes to drive seven miles from where he stays to that Downtown Chicago office, far longer than the projected 29-minute commute from Columbus using Hyperloop.

“That would be awesome. I’d take that in a second,” Powell said. “If it’s 29 minutes, I could go home every night. That would be a huge convenience.”

Still, Powell is concerned about the overall cost of building the system that would link the three cities and their millions in population. He wonders if individual tickets will be comparable to airfare, and he’s particularly curious about how passengers will be protected.

“I’d also want to know the safety of ... going 671 miles per hour in a tube,” Powell said.

There aren’t answers to many of his questions. The price of the system is unknown as is how it will be paid for and when it will be completed.

Thursday’s finalist selection is the latest transportation win for Columbus.

Read the full article originally published here.