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  • Adam Schell

The Hyperloop

There’s a stretch of highway that runs for just over 380 miles between Los Angeles to San Francisco called the I-5. Now, the speed limit on the I-5 is 70 miles per hour which means that under ideal traffic conditions if you wanted to drive from LA to San Fransisco that it should take you a little under six hours. But if you’ve ever driven on the interstate in LA, you know there’s no such thing as ideal traffic conditions. So the truth is that if you want to drive from LA to San Fransisco it’ll probably take you at least eight hours instead of six.

Now, you could try to cut down some of your travel time by flying. And the actual flight time from LAX to San Fransisco is about an hour. But that doesn’t take into account your drive to the airport or having to arrive a couple of hours to make it through TSA. So flying from LA to San Fransisco would probably end up taking you about 4 hours.

And that’s not bad. It would cut your travel time in half. But still, you’d figure that there would be a better way to travel around California. I mean this is California we’re talking about. This is the home to Hollywood. So surely the place that came up with ideas like having Scotty beam you up, or Hans Solo taking the Millennium Falcon into hyperdrive could come up with a quicker way to get around.

Well, that’s exactly what California — and Los Angeles specifically — has been trying to do for years. In March of 2021, the city of LA awarded over $130 million in funds to further explore developing a monorail system to run over some of its busiest highways or a subway system to run under them.

But as much as commuters in LA might appreciate a monorail or subways system, there is one other idea that’s in development right now to ease the traffic problems in California that might change transportation forever.

Now, I told you a minute ago that it typically takes about eight hours to drive the 380 miles from LA to San Fransisco. And I told you it would take about four hours to fly from one of these cities to the other. But there is one idea that is currently in development that would allow you to travel from LA to San Fransisco in 34 minutes.

You heard me right, there is an idea in development right now that would allow you to travel 380 miles in 34 minutes. This idea is called a hyperloop, and it kind of works like the vacuum tubes that your bank uses at the drive through when you want to deposit a check…only it works a lot faster. It goes 670 miles per hour.

Bibop Greta, who was the chief operating officer for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which started this project, has said that the hyperloop is “the closest thing to tele-transportation” we’ve ever created. And that this project will “change humanity.”  

Now, that’s a pretty bold claim, saying that the hyperloop will change humanity. While it might help us get our bodies from one place to another nearly as fast as the speed of sound, the Hyperloop won't necessarily make our world a better place. And that because there's a difference between transportation and transformation, there’s a difference between commuting and character.

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