Mayor Rham Emanuel is dead-set on building an express train that could make the trip from the Loop to O'Hare in 20 minutes or less, but there's an even more interesting transit project in the works in Chicago. Last week, Crain's reported that California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is launching a feasibility study for a subterranean tube that would transport passengers from Chicago to Cleveland in 28 minutes.
According to a release from Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, the company is partnering with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and the Illinois Department of Transportation to conduct the study. The project utilizes technology popularized by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, which sends pods through low-pressure tubes buried underground at speeds of up to 730 miles per hour.
Though it's unclear how the project would ultimately be financed, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies worked with representatives of Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to send a formal letter to President Donald Trump requesting infrastructure funding support to develop the system.
While the launch of a feasibility study doesn't necessarily mean that this project will come to fruition, it's a sign that states like Illinois and Ohio are beginning to recognize the value of high-speed inter-state travel and the viability of new technologies. Take a look at the proposed route for the hyperloop line below and stay tuned—Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is expected to announce more details about the project in the coming months.