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Hyperloop just hype? National publication questions viability of Columbus-less route

Traveling to large midwestern cities in 30 minutes or less via a sleek metal tube would unquestionably be amazing—but is it possible?

Slate.com published an article last month fleshing out both Ohio Hyperloop hypothesis in the pipeline right now; one from Chicago, to Columbus, to Pittsburgh and the other from Cleveland to Chicago.

Reason 1. There isn’t a prototype

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is the company working on the Cleveland to Chicago route and although their recent and dramatic promotional video boasts they’ve already got a prototype, Slate says they don’t.

Hyperloop One, the company working on the Chicago, Columbus, Pittsburgh route does and did a 240 mph test run in December.


Reason 2. Officials leading project lack experience

“What Hyperloop Transportation Technologies lacks in nuts and bolts, it more than makes up for in Hollywood flair,” wrote Grabar.

“Andrea La Mendola, the company’s chief global operations officer and chief engineering council member for the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies isn’t an engineer,” wrote Grabar. He was a filmmaker before his work with the Hyperloop.

“The company’s co-founders have similarly little experience in transportation or infrastructure.”

Bibop Gresta, HTT’s chairman was also heavily involved in the media in his past and Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT, founded a crowdfunding project called JumpStartFund.

Conclusion

Grabar does highlight the company’s strongest quality: “900 volunteers so enamored with the idea of a functional hyperloop that they deploy their time and expertise suggesting materials, building simulations, or developing marketing in exchange for stock options.”

Will a bevy of determined and hopeful individuals be enough to make the seemingly impossible possible?

“It sounds almost too good to be true,” he wrote in closing.

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