CDOT + The Transit Alliance
Transportation Summit 2017

October 24, 2017
Denver, CO

The 2017 Transit Summit theme was preparing for the transportation systems of tomorrow and addressing the needs of today.

Below are some bullet points from the conference as well as a breakout session that focused on Hyperloop One, titled Choice(s) Today and Tomorrow

CDOT's Shailen Bhatt, Governor Hickenlooper and Hyperloop One's Dan Katz

Shailen Bhatt, Executive Director of CDOT:

  • Understands the demand for multimodal transportation. 
  • CDOT is focused on making transportation connections for people and goods but also focused on multi-generational users. 
  • Quality of life in Colorado will suffer if we (citizens of Colorado) do not do something now regarding transportation funding. 
Governor John Hickenlooper:
  • Focused on improving the current basic infrastructure, but also inhibited by TABOR for planning for future. 
  • Focusing infrastructure projects with CDOT with job training for disadvantaged groups, including workforce development for safer infrastructure.  
  • Amazon bid and infrastructure should be bipartisan effort to make sure Colorado can accommodate future growth.
Dan Katz, Transportation Policy Counsel, Hyperloop One:
  • Hyperloop One tech requires a low-pressure tube, propulsion via wheels first, then levitating along the track with magnets.
  • Utah test track is 300 meters in the guideway, and they achieved 192 mph, with the theoretical speed of 670 mph if the Utah track was longer.
  • Feasibility study of the "Rockey Mountain Hyperloop Proposal"  is starting today, October 24th, 2017 with CDOT, AECOM and Hyperloop One! Will release it in the future to the public. CDOT and Hyperloop One feasibility focus on how hyperloop could work in Colorado, along the front range landscape/geology and which Federal/State regulatory agencies would be involved.
  • Multimodal transportation was key to the CDOT/AECOM application. Now starting deep dive in ridership, technical geography requirements and regulatory landscape in Colorado.
  • The regulatory landscape for hyperloop needs to be changed in the US, as US law 49USC20102 says that electromatic transportation is centered in the Federal Railway Administration, but Hyperloop One would like to have hyperloop regulated in a manner like the FAA and FTA. Lobbying has started in DC. 
Jeff Bridges, Colorado House of Representatives:
  • Pro technology State Legislator, wants to make regulations that will state something like: "Hyperloop exists, and will follow all laws, and if it doesn't, then it will get permission from CDOT and law enforcement" (similar process for autonomous vehicles and Uber-like ride-share agreements). 
  • He is concerned with liability rules, seniors, jobs and how automation might make more people unemployed. 
Any Colorado hyperloop questions? Ask them and we will reach out the experts! 
Hyperloop miscellaneous notes:
  • I-70 improvements and RoadX (which included the Hyperloop proposal and development) program are leading ways to find ways to increase capacity on roads but also leading edge for innovation, improve safety and quality of daily life. 
  • Highspeed rail along I-70 would have cost about $10-15 billion dollars. 
  • Hyperloop to DIA will spur new industries (read autonomous vehicles) via RoadX projects in intelligent mobility and freight. 
  • A working definition of hyperloop: "moving stuff at high speeds"
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