Toronto-Montreal corridor a strong candidate for Hyperloop travel, judges say

Item date: 
September 15, 2017
Item context: 

Transport Futures founder Martin Collier was interviewed by The Canadian Press for this article on Hyperloop technology. While it was great to have Transport Futures mentioned in the Toronto Star (front page), The Globe and Mail, Metro News, CTV Internet News, Huffington Post and several other media outlets, the journalist omitted the following substantive policy and planning information that Martin provided during the interview (and which the two published quotes were based on):

  1. the need to (a) focus on current mass transit technologies/investments (i.e. train, LRT, bus) and (b) improve intercity and urban transit through mobility pricing, smart land use planning and good governance. We should not be distracted by speculative technologies that won’t be operational for decades.
  2. challenges related to Hyperloop planning/environmental assessments/consultation, including: corridor selection/alignment (traversing existing roads, railways, utilities, green space/waterways); rural/urban land impacts and public opposition to new infrastructure and stations (farm fragmentation, urban infill); financing and funding (land purchases/expropriation and effect pricing of fares will have on passenger uptake).
  3. slow government responsiveness to transportation technology innovations in general and safety issues specifically (e.g.
    US air bag technology was patented in the early 1950’s but was not made mandatory in all vehicles until the late 1990's).
  4. demographics/driving trends/demand for new technologies (especially as they relate to differences between millennials and baby boomers).

Martin requested a follow-up interview that would result in a more analytical article about Hyperloop technology so it is considered within a much broader transportation/land use/environmental policy framework. Unfortunately, this request was denied so letters have been sent to the various news outlets that published the original article.

The Toronto-Montreal corridor has taken the prize as one of the strongest candidates in the world for a hyperloop system that could cut travel time between the cities from five hours to just 39 minutes.
But transportation expert Martin Collier says there’s no way he’s going to be the first to buy a ticket to ride in a bullet-shaped craft that would travel through a tube at speeds of around 1,000 kilometres per hour, four times faster than high-speed rail.
“I think I’ll be watching — if I’m still alive when it hits the ground and is ready to go,” said the founder of Transport Futures, which promotes education about transportation issues, on Friday.
“I’ll probably wait and see whether other people like it first. I’m not an early adopter.”...