Missouri Is One Step Closer to a Hyperloop with In-Depth Feasibility Study
A Q&A with some of our partners from the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition.
Missouri has always been a leader in transportation – from establishing the first leg of the U.S. interstate system to the historic flight of the “Spirit of St. Louis.” Today, the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition announced an agreement between Virgin Hyperloop One, the University of Missouri System, and the global engineering firm Black & Veatch to move forward with an in-depth feasibility study for an ultra high-speed hyperloop route along the I-70 corridor between St. Louis and Kansas City. The route would turn the economic power of the state’s two largest metro areas and the University of Missouri System into an interlinked economic powerhouse in the Heartland of the U.S.
We spoke with Ryan Weber, President of the KC Tech Council, and Andrew Smith, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, who are both members of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition. We discussed how hyperloop could fuel their local economies as well as build a collaborative, economic ecosystem for businesses across the state, and make Missouri a worldwide leader in transportation technology.
VH1: What’s the current the relationship between Kansas City and St. Louis and how might hyperloop affect this dynamic?
Ryan: One of the dynamics in the state of Missouri is that Kansas City and St. Louis have always been very competitive with each other. Now that we're going to be able to be in St. Louis in under an hour, I think rather than competing, we're going to start cooperating more so than ever. I was just joking with my peers in St. Louis about this project specifically and how nice it is actually working together on something because we're always competing against each other.
Andrew: You know, it's been really fun working with Ryan. When I met Ryan in Kansas City for the Governor's Innovation Task Force, we both ended up talking a lot about hyperloop and so we continued to push it through the process and then when it finally made it into the report, he was the first person I reached out to and said "If we're going to do this, we've got to do this at the state level. We’ve got to show people what can happen when Kansas City and St. Louis work together.”
VH1: From the “Road to Tomorrow” initiative to the Governor’s Innovation Task Force, Missouri is one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to seeking innovative new approaches to fund infrastructure needs. How does hyperloop in particular fit into the state’s broader vision?
Ryan: Hyperloop fits perfectly, because...
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