Missouri forms public-private partnership to advance Hyperloop One route

Darrell Etherington

One of the projects seeking the prove that they have a viable route for building one of Hyperloop One's very first actual hyperloop routes has formed a formal public-private partnership to help keep the project moving forward. Missouri's Department of Transportation, teamed with the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the Kansas City Tech Council, the University of Missouri System and the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia have entered into a partnership to explore the building of a route that would link Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis.

The route would have a potential reach of around 5 million Missouri residents, and cut down the commute time to under 25 minutes. The next step will be producing an RFP for a feasibility study for the route, with the estimated cost of the study set somewhere between $1 - $1.5 million. The private aspect of this partnership enters into play here, since Missouri will seek funding for the feasibility survey from the private sector, "given state budget constraints."

On the Hyperloop One side, CEO Rob Lloyd said in a statement that the "public-private partnership demonstrates Missouri's commitment to building one of the first Hyperloop systems in them world." In past conversations with Lloyd, he's emphasized that Hyperloop One will seek to work on project where strong government and regulatory support for a hyperloop route is in place, since this helps with some of the most challenging aspects of the process.

Hyperloop One revealed its top global entires for proposed hyperloop routes in September, and also announced a feasibility study to be conducted with Colorado on their route plan.