A ride from Dallas to Fort Worth in less than ten minutes could be in the works for the metroplex.
The emerging technology is called Hyperloop. North Texas transportation planners are exploring how to make it a reality.
Hyperloop estimates the route between Dallas and Fort Worth would run around 360 miles per hour and would take approximately 6 minutes. Faster speeds of more than 600 miles per hour would be used on longer routes.
Billionaire Richard Branson backed Virgin Hyperloop One much like a first class jetliner cabin. Magnetic levitation propels the vehicle and lifts it about a half inch so there are no wheels or moving parts.
“The cool part is this is on demand,” said Michael Morris with the North Central Council of Governments. “So once you get a few of your friends on it the vehicle, it leaves."
Members of the regional transportation council have been to the Nevada test track to see it. Some see Hyperloop as a game changer in transportation.
"It moves people and goods so it helps develop a business model on how we pay for it,” Morris said.
There's already a plan for high speed rail between Dallas and Houston. That's not going to change.
But high speed rail may be in a race with Hyperloop between Dallas and Fort Worth.
About $5 million have been approved for an environmental study. And if Hyperloop wins out, it could become part of transportation routes to other parts of the state.
"We're starting with other urban regions to do concept feasibility of high speed rail and Hyperloop technology coming out of Fort Worth going to Waco, Temple-Kileen, Austin, San Antonio and Laredo,” Morris said.
The Hyperloop cabin will hold about 20 passengers. The system is on demand so it’s ready to go when passengers are ready.
The study will take about three years.
The company developing Hyperloop still needs government certification, so it is still several years away.