Several Missouri groups who want an ultra-fast tube-like transportation system to take commuters from Kansas City to St. Louis in 31 minutes might not need to fundraise as much for a feasibility study. KC Tech Council President Ryan Webber, who’s helping with fundraising efforts, tells Missourinet some engineering firms have offered their expertise.
“Many of them have even offered doing some of the work on the feasibility study pro bono. Even though the entire study is estimated to cost between $1 million to $1.5 million, that does not necessarily mean that will be in cash.”
Webber says the study would take about one year to complete and would help to determine if a system like Hyperloop is practical in Missouri.
“I think for those organizations specifically, they see this as potentially the future of transportation and getting a chance to work alongside the Hyperloop One team is very exciting to them,” says Webber. “It’s a sexy project. If this is the future of transportation, I think for a number of different companies they want to be at the ground level of that.”
Ridership forecasts and determining how much state money would be needed to back the operation could be included in the study. State officials say the transportation mode would be a private venture that would not raise taxes.
MODOT, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the University of Missouri System and the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia are working together to further the Hyperloop vision.
Part of the state’s pitch to lure Amazon to build its second headquarters in Missouri involved the possibility of a future Hyperloop One route moving goods and workers up and down I-70 quickly. Webber says Missouri’s proposal to the online giant did not prompt the coalition to begin raising money for the study.
Since the state would want a private company to finance billions to build and operate a potential Hyperloop route, it’s unknown if Missouri officials will ask a multi-billion dollar innovative-thinking corporation like Amazon to bring the whole George Jetson concept to life in Missouri.