BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan has approved the first portion of the hyperloop system transportation pioneer Elon Musk wants to build between New York and Washington.
Hogan administration officials say the state has issued a conditional utility permit to let Musk's tunneling firm, The Boring Co. dig a 10.3 mile tunnel that will be under the state-owned portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway between the Baltimore city line and Maryland 175 in Hanover.
Maryland is the first state to grant a conditional permit to start building the hyperloop.
This would be the first portion of the underground system that would eventually take passengers from Washington to New York with stops in Baltimore and Philadelphia in just 29 minutes.
The hyperloop system could reach speeds of up to 700 miles per hour, which is faster than a Boeing jet.
On Facebook, Governor Hogan said he was "incredibly excited" to support the project. The governor recently toured a site in Hanover that aids say could become an entry point for the high-speed rail. He's also posted photos of himself, Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, Boring Co. executives, and Anne Arundel County Executive Seve Schuh who toured the site in Hanover.
"There is nothing about this project that I can see as a pipe dream, I do believe it is incredibly innovative everything I see is doable with technology today," said Rahn.
Some commuters tell WJZ they are excited about the possibility of cutting down on their travel time and what this could mean for the future of transportation.
"Think it would be awesome, because time is very precious, and if you could get to where you are going faster it's all good," traveler Rickie Powe said.
"If trains are going faster, you could potentially go across the country on the train and that's huge," traveler Samuel Mueller said.
For those who constantly travel between Baltimore and D.C., the hyperloop would drastically shorten the trip to 15 minutes.
"Connects us that much more quickly i think it speaks to technology in general and how we can make more of our time and resources," traveler Marissa Brock said.
The hyperloop system will be built entirely underground and will be privately financed without state or federal funds.
Administration officials say they will treat the hyperloop like a utility and permit it in the same way the state allows electric companies to burrow beneath public rights-of-way.
Officials also say the Boring Co. will start with two 35-mile tubes between Baltimore and Washington.
The company hopes to assemble its drilling machines at the site in Hanover.
There is no clear timeline on the completion of the hyperloop at this time.
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