Anyone who has ridden a train packed to the gills, taken a rickshaw, or tried to amble through India’s busiest city streets understands how frenetic the country’s transportation system can be. On any one street there can be a herd of goats passing, rickshaw drivers weaving in and out of a no-lane road as if they had a death-wish, along with cars, buses, mopeds, and pedestrians all jockeying for space.
The railroad system in India is notoriously disheveled and crumbling, with hundreds of people trying to fit on railways cars that were meant to hold several dozen passengers. There is likely no place on earth that could benefit more from a transportation upgrade than India – and they are likely about to get one in the form of super-fast, hyperloop system – the very same technology Elon Musk suggested the U.S. utilize to upgrade its own crumbling infrastructure.
With a population of approximately 12 billion, India is long overdue for an infrastructure upgrade. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) co-founder Bibop Gresta argues a system of high speed tubes that transport people and cargo quickly and cheaply could help ease the challenges associated with extreme population density and a dearth of infrastructure.
“The Hyperloop is based on efficiency,” Gresta says. “The cost of creating it can sometimes be one-fourth the cost of a high speed rail, and the cost of operations can be one-fifth.” He also argues that construction and operation costs, as well as projected passenger rates of $20-$60, are based on American pricing and that these costs in India would be smaller.
Gresta has met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief ministers of several states which his Hyperloop proposal would affect, and attests that his ideas to build the hyperloop are well received. If government officials approve Gresta’s proposals, the system could be up and running in as few as 38 months.
Hyperloop’s site says that they can build infrastructure at airline speeds for bus ticket prices. They compare the hyperloop system to broadband for transportation.
The system was fleshed out in by its inventors in a garage, and could now possibly revolutionize the way India, and other population-dense cities move people, as well as goods. The system is based on the theories of vacuum technology – the very same technology that Elon Musk suggested we use to upgrade transportation infrastructure in the U.S..
Passenger capsules are propelled by electromagnetic motors and can travel up to 760 miles per hour. That means people could travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes.
If the hyperloop system is successfully implemented in India, it could completely change how people travel. Hopefully, the U.S. is next.