The study also found a hyperloop could shift nine billion auto trips off the road.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission released a study giving a thumbs up to the feasibility of the Virgin Hyperloop project linking Pittsburgh, Columbus and Chicago by super high-speed rail. 

MORPC commissioned infrastructure consultancy AECOM to study the pros, cons and possibilities of a Midwest corridor for the 500 mph rail project. AECOM and MORPC found hyperloop would connect Chicago and Columbus in under 45 minutes with an estimated ticket cost of $60, and Columbus to Pittsburgh in under 30 minutes with an estimated ticket cost of $33—far cheaper than current air travel costs. 

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The study also found a hyperloop has the potential to provide $300 billion in economic benefits and shift nine billion auto trips off the road, resulting in four million tons of reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

Now, MORPC plans an advisory panel for further refinement of the analysis and has put in a bid to host a new Hyperloop Certification Center to push along the technology and political milestones such as safety certification. 

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.