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Hyperloop discussion on the agenda for Friday transit meeting

Bill DeYoung



The future of public transportation in Florida – maybe the not-too-distant future – will be the topic of discussion Friday at a meeting of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority.

The public is invited to attend, and hear a representative of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies make a plea for building a low pressure vacuum-tube system along the Interstate 4 rail corridor.

The hyperloop capsule would travel at 750 miles per hour, at a fraction of the cost of airline travel. The concept, which has not yet been put into practical use, was developed by Elon Musk and open-sourced.

HTT co-founder and CEO Dirk Arlhorn extolled the virtues of the technology at Tampa’s Synapse Innovation Summit in March. Public transportation, he insisted, is long overdue for a technological revolution.

“The problem I have with where we are today is that we’re treated like animals,” Arlhorn told Business Insider. “We can do things better.”

Using the Hyperloop system, passengers could get from Tampa to Orlando – and vice versa – in about 20 minutes.

The Florida Department of Transportation is also considering high-speed rail service between the two metropolitan areas – a roughly one-hour journey, at 250 miles per hour. Brightline already operates several high-speed rail routes in South Florida.

The July 13 “Connecting the Markets” meeting is scheduled for noon at Hillsborough Community College’s Trinkle Center, 1206 North Park Road in Plant City.

It’s a joint sponsorship between the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Metropolitan Planning Organization Chairs Coordinating Committee, and the Central Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization Alliance.

Comments from the public will be heard pertaining to Action Items on the agenda for this meeting. People wishing to speak must complete a “Speakers Introduction Card.” Each speaker is limited to two minutes.

Along with the presentation by Hyperloop Technologies, there will be presentations by Rick Homans, Executive Director of Tampa Bay Partnership, and Tim Giuliani, Executive Director of2. Orlando Economic Partnership.

Panelists include Whit Blanton, Executive Director of Forward Pinellas, and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.






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