While it’s barely been two months since Ontario’s provincial government invested $15 million into a feasibility study for a high-speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor, TransPod would like to remind residents there’s a faster – and cheaper – way.
On Thursday the Toronto hyperloop startup released the results of its own cost study, which indicate that building an ultra high-speed line using its own technology between Toronto and Windsor, with multiple stops in between, would set taxpayers back half as much as a high-speed rail line along the same route, while delivering passengers and cargo at four times the speed.
In a statement, TransPod co-founder and CEO Sebastien Gendron said that while developing high-speed transportation for the southwestern Ontario region, which generates half of the province’s GDP, is an important step in strengthening the region’s economic growth and global competitiveness, it’s equally important that the method is “future-proof,” rather than based on outdated technology.
“Countries like China, Japan, and South Korea have already moved past high-speed rail and begun building much faster trains using magnetic levitation,” he said. “The age of high-speed rail has come and gone, and the technology will soon be obsolete.”
“We strongly urge the Government of Ontario to consider hyperloop feasibility, for its cost efficiency and speed advantages, in its next assessment.”
In fact, the company released a chart contrasting key findings from its report with those from a study introduced by Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne and conducted by former federal minister David Collenette:
In addition to cost and speed, other benefits of a hyperloop line, according to TransPod, could include:
- Environmental sustainability: As designed, TransPod’s technology is powered by renewable energies, including solar power.
- Housing affordability: TransPod’s signature proposal – a route from Toronto to Montreal – would reduce the trip to 45 minutes, so imagine the flexibility reducing commutes from London or Windsor would give employees. This, TransPod’s report argues, would encourage housing development outside Toronto.
- Commuter benefits: A hyperloop, the company’s report says, would not only encourage housing development outside Toronto, but relieve traffic congestion on major roads as well.
Gendron was both sincere and transparent about the goal of his company’s report: To pitch the government on considering a hyperloop rather than high-speed rail.
“We cannot continue to be laggards, especially in a province whose economic growth and quality of life may potentially have rippling effects across the country,” he said. “TransPod would appreciate and welcome the opportunity to work with the Ontario government to assess hyperloop feasibility.”