By Barry Eitel
SAN FRANCISCO (AA) – Maverick entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday he received “verbal” government approval to build a high-speed Hyperloop transit network between New York City and Washington DC.
Musk’s concept for a Hyperloop, a theoretical high-speed transportation system that would use sealed tubes to send vehicles at extreme speeds, was released in 2012. Several companies have sprung up to capitalize on the concept, but no such Hyperloop networks have been built.
In a series of mysterious tweets, Musk said he approval to build an underground Hyperloop between New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. His tunneling venture, The Boring Company, would reportedly build the infrastructure for the project.
He tweeted the Hyperloop would travel between New York City and Washington DC, a trip that currently takes about 3.5 hours by train, in just 29 minutes.
“[There is] still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but [I] am optimistic that will occur rapidly,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
He added that he has plans to build a Hyperloop system around Los Angeles to help alleviate that city’s notorious traffic congestion. He also wants to build a network connecting tht city to San Francisco, as well as one that runs throughout the state of Texas.
Musk did not reveal which government body gave the approval but one media outlet later reported the approval came from the White House. A source within the administration of President Donald Trump did not say whether Musk was approved to start building or simply submit a proposal.
Obviously, a next generation transportation system spanning the 354-kilometer (220-mile) distance between New York City and the nation’s capital would likely cost billions of dollars and require years to complete.