“We’re pretty excited. It’s been a good day for us,” said William Murdock, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, which coordinated development of the regional proposal. “As a winner … [Hyperloop] told us we get to go from selling ourselves to studying the feasibility of putting a project in place.”
In its proposal, Midwest Connect stressed the amount of freight that already moves between the cities and how that is expected to increase. About 5.9 million tons of freight worth $16.7 billion moved between the three cities in 2015 and that is projected to increase to 9 million tons by 2040 even without Hyperloop. In addition, the 488-mile loop would be available to 13.8 million passengers who live in and between the cities, making it possible to work in Chicago and live in Pittsburgh. Pods, prototypes of which are being developed at universities across the country including Carnegie Mellon, could hold 20 to 40 people.