Frequently Asked Questions
What is hyperloop?
Hyperloop is a system that moves people and goods at unprecedented speeds safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Passengers and cargo capsules will hover through a network of low-pressure tubes between cities. Proprietary passive magnetic levitation and a linear electric motor combined with a tube environment in which air has been drastically reduced allow the capsules to move at high speed with nearly zero friction.
Has this been tried before?
The basic idea, and most of the technology, to make Hyperloop happen has been around for a long time. However, our ability to bring everything together has emerged only recently, supported by the growing interest of government and industry in developing sustainable transportation. Both the time and the technology had to be right, and that time is now.
The progress of many aspects of technology used in Hyperloop has advanced to the point where a profitable system is possible now that would not have been possible even a decade ago. These aspects include advancement in battery technology, solar power efficiency, communications and automated control technology.
Why hyperloop now?
The advantages of Hyperloop travel are transformative as we will be connecting people and goods at high speeds, potentially up to the speed of sound (760 mph | 1223 km/h), allowing people to live further from cities and their jobs, changing travel time from hours to minutes. Hyperloop is faster and easier to board than a commercial airplane and it will solve some of the key long-term challenges faced by modern society: overpopulation, traffic congestion, and pollution.
What is a feasibility study?
A Hyperloop Feasibility Study assesses the technical, financial and regulatory feasibility of a proposed commercial Hyperloop corridor. The study covers the following: Route Options, Travel Demand, Environmental Considerations, Technology, and Financial Scenarios to determine if a proposed commercial Hyperloop corridor is feasible.
Is it safe?
Yes. The Hyperloop system is safe, completely automated with advanced technologies that only require monitoring from humans. The system is electrically powered, with no need for fuel on board, and is protected from the environment. HyperloopTT has created tiered emergency plans and redundant escape procedures and systems in the event of any incident. The HyperloopTT’s system was deemed “feasible and insurable” by the world’s largest reinsurance company Munich Re. A full scale testing system has been completed in Toulouse, France, while HyperloopTT is on track to fully operate a completed system in Abu Dhabi by the end of 2020.
What about passenger comfort at such high speeds?
Due to its use of passive magnetic levitation and high speed within a controlled and depressurized tube system, there would be no turbulence along the travel, and the capsules would be pressurized to ground level air pressure. The capsules have been designed with special attention to maintaining a high level of passenger comfort throughout the trip, including methods of limiting the force felt by passengers during the critical acceleration and braking phases.
How does hyperloop affect the environment?
Hyperloop produces zero emission. The HyperloopTT system is powered by a combination of alternative energy sources to ensure sustainability. The entire HyperloopTT system has the potential to generate excess energy through solar panels located along the lines and stations, in addition to energy recovered during regenerative braking.
Can the hyperloop be profitable?
Even by conservative analysis the HyperloopTT system can quickly become profitable. It presents the ability to build a mass transit system that would not require government subsidies.
The Hyperloop system would have a low cost of implementation, as compared to other high speed transportation methods. It is a simpler, lighter weight, and less energy intensive system. In regions where road and railway infrastructure is currently scarce Hyperloop can be a leap over 20th century technology directly into the 21st century. In regions with developed infrastructure Hyperloop can easily integrate and complement current and future road and rail networks.
Why the Great Lakes?
The Great Lakes megaregion is the gateway between the Midwest and the Northeast. Our vision to connect the United States begins here. The Great Lakes Hyperloop will take the region's over-stressed infrastructure into the 21st century and establish a network for this $15B expansive transportation region.
What is the proposed cost for a passenger on the Hyperloop?
While the exact fare structure would be determined much later in the process, the fares would be similar to commuter rail costs today for the average user. The Hyperloop is intended to be affordable for all users.
What is the public-private partnership?
NOACA is responsible for the transportation and environmental planning studies, which includes the feasibility, environmental impact statement (EIS) and other analysis to determine the need for the fifth mode of transportation for the Midwest Megaregion. Once the studies are deemed acceptable by all federal, state and local government municipalities, HTT will begin the construction and operation of the private system.
What is NOACA?
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is a transportation and environmental planning agency that represents state, county, city, village, and township officials in Greater Cleveland. NOACA addresses the transportation, air quality, and water quality needs of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. The agency and its partners cooperatively develop and implement plans to ensure that travel throughout the region is safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound.
NOACA’s vision is to STRENGTHEN regional cohesion, PRESERVE existing infrastructure, and BUILD a sustainable multimodal transportation system to SUPPORT economic development and ENHANCE quality of life in Northeast Ohio. We are active with working with our local, regional and national government and elected officials to make sure we're making good on our long-term vision for the future by implementing projects within our region to connect people but also with highways, ports, planes and travel to strengthen and grow our economy.
Are public dollars going toward the construction of the Hyperloop?
No. NOACA has embarked on the feasibility study with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT), with both entities sharing that cost. If the system proves to be feasible, the system would be built with private dollars, similar to the way commercial airlines invest in public airports, or how railroads were initially constructed by private companies. Neither tax dollars nor any NOACA funds would be used in the construction of a Hyperloop system. NOACA's involvement at that point would be to work with HyperloopTT to ensure the system (stations and tubes) would be located in areas that would most benefit the region while causing the least disruption to the community.
Why Hyperloop instead of High Speed Rail?
Hyperloop offers many advantages over High Speed Rail. Hyperloop’s innovation has shown to be better for the environment than High Speed Rail, in addition to offering the potential to be a producer of solar energy. Hyperloop’s closed system also means less disruption of other adjacent surface transportation modes, allowing traffic flow to continue both on the surface routes and within the Hyperloop system. The average speeds offered by Hyperloop greatly exceed those offered by High Speed Rail, greatly reducing travel times. Finally, Hyperloop would be entirely privately funded, allowing public transportation dollars to be used for other transportation initiatives.
Where would stations be located?
As part of the feasibility study, several environmental alternative analyses are under review to determine the most feasible system route including 1) a system above ground along the toll roads; 2) underground; or 3) hybrid of both above and underground. Once the ideal route is determined, station locations will be reviewed for public input. Some suggestions along the route include downtown Cleveland, Youngstown, South Bend, Pittsburgh and Chicago as anchors, with a few stations in between depending on population and access. The fewer the stops, the faster the time for connections. At this time, however, no station locations have been specifically identified.