Due to a new partnership between Colorado officials and an LA hyperloop company, drivers in Colorado could be the first in the country to escape traffic.
Brogan BamBrogan, founder of company Arrivo, joined transportation official leaders of Colorado on Tuesday. It was announced in Denver that a partnership was formed in order to create roadside tube networks in the city that will send drivers and their vehicles to their destination at 200 mph.
the test site for these networks of tubes will be near E-470 with groundbreaking scheduled to be in early 2018. Arrivo, the Colorado Dept. of Transportation and Public Highway Authority of E-470 are the players working together to make this happen.
Arrivo’s founder BamBrogan thinks that the first commercial system could be completed by 2021. The timeline depends on the predictability funding, public perception and regulatory.
DOT officials of Colorado speculate that such tubes to carry cars could potentially turn a one hour and ten minute to DIA into only 9 minutes with the Arrivo ride. The one hour drive between Boulder and the Denver highway corridor would drastically decrease to an 8 minute drive.
“We’re the tech partner in what would be a big partnership involving lawmakers, real estate people and others, but our job is to show that we can help provide a positive ROI (return on investment),” BamBrogam told USA TODAY. “Traffic is something people are very eager to solve.”
According to BamBrogan, the idea of it all is to use the existing highway right of ways in order to install the above ground tubes. By doing so, it is helping commuters to “cheat traffic” with express trips in their own vehicles.
When asked why he doesn’t just build a train, BamBrogan had the following statement. “I have a young son, and my car is filled with everything I need for him so not taking my car often isn’t a great option,” he said.
This isn’t the first time we are hearing an idea like this. In 2013, Elon Musk (Tesla CEO) came up with the more sci-fi idea called hyperloop. In Musk’s vision, the tubes would be under or above ground. The tubes would be vacuum sealed and magnetically levitated pods would travel up to 700 mph. It sounds very similar to how they travel in the popular show Futurama.
The systems are aimed to cover hundreds of miles with short time frames. They could turn a 6 hour trip into a mere 30 minute time frame. BamBrogan’s company is more logistically focused on the “regional and super-regional solutions, which is typically a lower pressure environment”.
“Denver was a natural fit, since the place is urbanizing fast and there is a need for a traffic solution,” he said, adding that the company plans to hire 40 to 50 people in Denver next year as it puts between $10 and $15 million into its test track site.
Arrivo will be opening a new Tech and Engineering company in the Denver area. “Colorado’s rapidly growing population and booming economy makes for the idea location for the development of an Arrivo system,” John Hickenlooper said in a statement.
Since the inception of hyperloop, Elon Musk has started drilling tunnels for his alternative transport system using his other company, The Boring Company. While Musk hasn’t confirmed himself, Maryland has stated that they welcome Musk’s drills.
Even though Elon Musk’s vision for transportation is a bit cloudy, The Boring Company has an animation of a vehicle being lowered into a high speed platform before continuing on its way. The video can be seen on The Boring Company’s website.
In part of his engineering career, BamBrogan worked in helping to build Musk’s rocket company SpaceX. BamBrogan would go on to join with Shervin Peshivar and cofound Hyperloop One. He would eventually leave after a number of angry lawsuits.
Hyerloop One is now building a test track around the Las Vegas area along with studies of feasibility in the Middle East and Russia. They recently announced that Colorado is 1 of 10 finalists in a competition for the best launch date. The project would transport people or freight in pods that go as fast as the speed of sound, stretching across the state from north to south.
Executive Director of Colorado’s Department of Transportation, Shailen Bhatt, thinks that any such project would find naysayers but also that no one is against solutions to get away from gridlock.
“I’m sure some people will say this is a waste of money, just put down more asphalt, but my job is to partner with interesting private companies and see what could work best to help with our problem,” said Bhatt. “Our issue is a familiar one. We have infrastructure that was designed in the 1950s, built in the ’60s and planned for a population of the ’80s that already doubled since then.”
While growth in Colorado has slightly decreased since last year, the state is among one of the fastest growing nations in recent years as it has added 100,000 residents annually. Along with linking travelers to key destinations quickly, Arrivo would also be able to take 80% of tractor trailers traveling through Denver going north off I-25.
“Our philosophy is whether it’s public transit, light rail, connected vehicles or a hyperloop type system, we want it all,” he said. “There may be all sorts of hurdles to this, but also great possibilities.”