COLLEGE PARK, Md. - How does a commute from Washington D.C. to Baltimore in 15 minutes sound? It could eventually be reality as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has thrown the state's support behind Elon Musk's Hyperloop project.
The Hyperloop would use pods inside vacuum tubes that will theoretically transport passengers underground up to 250 miles an hour.
Gov. Hogan has announced he is backing Elon Musk’s underground transit system plans saying Maryland needs to act now or be left behind on "rapid electric transportation."
"The idea is eventually for the first leg to go from Washington to Baltimore or Baltimore to Washington – they are actually starting in the middle and going in both directions,” said Hogan. “The eventual plan is to go from Washington to New York in 24 minutes. Sounds like a pretty exciting proposition."
Digging for the 10-mile tunnel below the state-owned portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County has already started, according to the governor's office.
A team of 72 students from the University of Maryland known as UMD Loop are actually competing to design and build the Hyperloop. They have built scaled-down working Hyperloop pods that people could travel in.
"You take a vehicle and you stick it inside a vacuum tube and because of that, you can go really fast without a lot of air drag slowing you down,” said University of Maryland senior student Kyle Kaplan. “Because of that, we can connect cities [that are now] 30 minutes apart to an hour apart in minutes and really connect people from downtown to downtown.”
The Maryland Department of Transportation has already given their approval for a permit for the digging of the tunnel. The agency said Musk's company can dig miles of tunnel under state roads to be used for the privately-financed Hyperloop.
However, some local governments in Maryland have expressed concerns about the project. Prince George’s County officials said they would like more information about the project if it goes through their jurisdiction.