DALLAS-FORT WORTH — The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council plans to explore hyperloop technology for two major transportation initiatives across the state. This announcement follows a recent visit to Virgin Hyperloop One’s full-scale test track in the Nevada Desert, where the delegation examined the next-generation technology firsthand, and met with engineers at the company’s Innovation Campus in Los Angeles.
Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation that allows vehicles to travel at very high speeds with minimal aerodynamic resistance by operating in a low pressure environment utilizing next-generation magnetic levitation technology.
“The RTC is all about bringing innovation to the transportation system in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and hyperloop would be an exciting technology to add,” Tarrant County Commissioner and Chair of the Regional Transportation Council Gary Fickes. “I think the future’s very bright for hyperloop and its use in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.”
The RTC has served as the metropolitan planning organization for regional transportation planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1974. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties.
“The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council has proven itself as forward-thinking agency that wants to give its region a competitive edge by leveraging next-generation technology,” Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd said. “Virgin Hyperloop One is excited to pursue these projects, which would transform what are now separate metropolitan areas into one economic megaregion connected by high speed transport.”
Later this year, the RTC will issue a Request for Proposals for a consultant team to complete the Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement for a high-speed corridor connecting Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth. The RTC wants to consider both hyperloop technology and traditional high-speed rail in the environmental study of the route. A preliminary analysis by Virgin Hyperloop One engineers estimated a six minute hyperloop trip between Dallas and Ft. Worth.
“As our region grows from 7.2 million people now up to 11.2 million by 2045, we are planning a transportation system that offers choices to our residents. Adding an option like hyperloop to the existing system of roadways, rail transit, bicycle/pedestrian facilities and high-speed rail to Houston would expand the system in an exciting way,” Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, said. “Connecting other regions in Texas through hyperloop would open up economic opportunities throughout the state.”
In addition, the RTC has provided funding and has obtained additional funding commitments to undertake a conceptual feasibility study of high-speed technology including hyperloop to connect Fort Worth, Waco, Temple-Killeen, Austin, San Antonio and Laredo. This corridor will be requested to move into a more detailed Tier 2 EIS following the feasibility study.