Hyperloop could make Pittsburgh-Cleveland trip in 20 minutes - at a cost of billions

Target 11 talks to project leaders of the hyperloop to Chicago

PITTSBURGH — The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and the Los Angeles-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will release a study Monday detailing the benefits and the costs of a hyperloop route connecting Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago.

“Does this sound like pie in the sky? Sure it does, but if we want to get a slice of that pie, we have to start thinking big. The same old, same old will get us just that,” Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said.

The study found that a Hyperloop system between the three cities would create 900,000 jobs and pump billions of dollars into the economy.

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“The results of this study are unprecedented. The study reveals and shows that Hyperloop is profitable, and also brings massive economic benefits to the region,” Hyperloop TT CEO Andres de Leon said.

According to the feasibility analysis, which was conducted over 18 months and cost $1.3 million, the route could get passengers from Pittsburgh to Cleveland in less than 19 minutes and from Cleveland to Chicago in just over half an hour. The study said the hyperloop would increase income along the Cleveland-Chicago-Pittsburgh route by $47.6 billion, expand the tax base of affected communities by $12.7 billion and increase property values, mostly through new development, by nearly $75 billion, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

“All of this means it’s a financial system that requires no subsidies - local, state, federal - at all. And that it can support its entire capital cost by itself,” study leader Chuck Michael said.

But the cost of construction would be significant — at least $24.7 billion for the entire route, with costs only going up from there.

CLICK HERE to read more about the hyperloop project from the Pittsburgh Business Times