By: Kaitlyn Schallhorn
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The bipartisan task force charged with determining the feasibility of constructing a Hyperloop in Missouri met for the first time Monday — and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said he left the meeting feeling “energized.”
The bipartisan panel — made up of lawmakers, public officials, and private businesspersons — gathered Monday in Jefferson City to discuss organizational matters of the task force meant to determine the Hyperloop’s funding and financing.
“I’m very enthused and energized and ready to work with the task force” in coming up with recommendations for the governor, Kehoe told The Missouri Times, adding that the group is made up of “great people” who are ready to get to work.
A Hyperloop would make it possible for people to travel between Kansas City and St. Louis — Missouri’s two largest cities — in just 30 minutes. Proponents have heralded the Hyperloop as allowing businesses to easily have offices on both sides of the state and for individuals to be able to live in one city but work in the other across the state.
“I’m excited and encouraged that Missouri has a plan and a wonderful set of assets statewide from engineering and design to procurement and investment,” Travis Brown, president of the Heartland Hyperloop Coalition, told The Missouri Times following the meeting.
The task force’s objective is “to present recommendations to the Speaker on how to establish Missouri as the global epicenter for the research, development, and commercialization of hyperloop technology.”
Its biggest obstacle so far, according to Kehoe, is time.
The Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop has been tasked with submitting a report to House Speaker Elijah Haahr in September. Haahr previously said the state is already “ahead of the game when it comes to this issue.”
“This project represents a transformational economic development opportunity for Missouri,” he said. “We have a real opportunity to serve as a gateway to the future of transportation.”