Some Ohio University students could someday be traveling to their hometowns by a vacuum tube.
The company backing the project, Hyperloop One, was founded in 2014 and has raised $160 million for the project.
The project uses electromagnetic technology to transport people and cargo in pods through a vacuum tube traveling up to 670 mph. The 488 mile long Hyperloop One route in the midwest would connect Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh. It’s one of 11 proposed routes in the U.S. Three routes may be open as soon as 2021.
Because many OU students are from both of those areas, a transportation option of this nature could affect their commute to and from OU.
Grace Brezina, a freshman from Chicago studying strategic communication, said she would take the bus to the Columbus airport to fly home.
“For me personally, it won’t be too much of a hassle getting home, but not having direct transportation really limits how much I can and will go home,” Brezina said.
Samantha Muslovski, a sophomore from Chicago studying graphic design, said driving home takes nearly 8 hours and flying takes a total of about 5 hours.
Alicia Heninger, a sophomore from Chicago studying Spanish education, said she takes a bus to Chicago. That can take 8-12 hours because the bus makes frequent stops. If her parents drive her, it takes about 7 hours.
She said Hyperloop One would allow her to go home more often and would make traveling faster.
At the speed Hyperloop One would travel, a trip from Columbus to Chicago would become roughly 29 minutes, and a trip to Pittsburgh would be about 18 minutes.
“It would make it so much easier,” Muslovski said. “I only go home for holidays because getting back and forth is too difficult and expensive.”