The critical question about the wisdom of investing billions into developing Hyperloop lines is one of demand, said Dr. Megan Ryerson, who studies intercity transportation at the University of Pennsylvania. She points to the fact that there is only one daily passenger train between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and just four non-stop flights.
“The airlines are private companies — they are looking for city pairs where they will make money,” she said. If more people needed to get cross state quickly, there’d be more flights — especially considering that Philadelphia International Airport is a hub for American Airlines…
According to Ryerson, the buzz around the Hyperloop echoes an earlier era in American history, when cities rushed to build and expand airports in the 1920s. The run on runways had long-lasting consequences to municipal budgets in smaller cities where there simply weren’t enough air travelers.