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Cleveland To Chicago In 28 Minutes? Hyperloop Study Will Determine Feasibility

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
A rendering of a hyperloop station.

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency is holding a public meeting Monday on its plans to build a high-tech, high-speed link between Cleveland and Chicago. NOACA plans to fund up to half of a $1.2 million feasibility study for the hyperloop project.

The hyperloop route between Cleveland and Chicago would take just 28 minutes one-way.

Grace Gallucci became NOACA’s executive director in 2012 after working in finance for the Chicago Transit Authority. She says the Hyperloop could give people easier access to jobs far away from the city.

“When I worked in Chicago, I will tell you there was not this sense of dependency on a person’s job that I see here. And that was because people had a lot of choices," Gallucci said.

NOACA has already raised some of the money toward the feasibility study. It will split the cost with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Most of NOACA’s share will come from private grants, with the rest coming from the agency’s operating budget. Gallucci said it's likely the Trump administration will give federal dollars to the project.

“The White House has certainly demonstrated that they have an interest in advanced technology that provides efficiency and effectiveness, and Hyperloop definitely demonstrates those points," Gallucci said.

Monday's public meeting, at the Great Lakes Science Center, will include executives from HTT. They’re a competitor of Hyperloop One, which is working on its own Hyperloop concept linking Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh.

That project, which is being spearheaded by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, has entered a study phase, with a $2.5 million effort to study the feasibility of a hyperloop and other passenger rail projects between the cities.