Mumbai, November 16, 2017
Virgin Hyperloop announced its partnership with the Government of Maharashtra with an intent to conduct a preliminary study in the region. The US-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) to identify potential routes and analyse the high-level economic impact and technical viability of hyperloop transportation solutions in India.
Virgin Hyperloop One will work with its partners in the region and the PMRDA will help navigate the regulatory requirements and support the report with data. The preliminary study is intended to analyse the applicability and benefits of hyperloop technology, identify high priority routes within the State based on demand analysis and socio-economic benefits, and inform the Government of Maharashtra in any future decision to progress to the full project stage.
Virgin Hyperloop One will improve economic competitiveness, reduce congestion and emissions, andprovide citizens with greater social and economic mobility. As it is the only company in the world that has built and successfully tested a full-scale hyperloop system, there is a growing demand for a hyperloop from governments and the private sectors around the world.
"A hyperloop route requires high-density traffic to become viable as a means of rapid public transit. Mumbai and Pune, the most and seventh most populous cities in India respectively, have the potential to provide an optimal route with a high density," said Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis. "By reducing travel time to under 20 minutes, a hyperloop route will help intensify the connectivity between the metropolitan regions of Pune and Mumbai, transforming the two cities into India's first and largest Megapolis," he added.
A hyperloop solution could revolutionise the transport experience. For example, it would take just 14-minutes to travel between Mumbai and the fast-growing city of Pune, a journey that currently takes up to three hours by car. It could also streamline airport connectivity, such as connecting Pune’s new Purandar Airport to the city center or Navi Mumbai International Airport to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. It could look at connecting Nagpur, which is in the easternmost part of Maharashtra, with Mumbai and Pune to vastly improve passenger and freight transportation
"To coincide with the Digital India initiative and the pivotal role that technology will play in it, Virgin Hyperloop One can be a key facilitator," said Nick Earle, Senior VP Global Field Operations, Virgin Hyperloop One.
India has been facing major transportation challenges. According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 65 per cent of India's freight is transported on the country's strained and congested road networks. With speeds 2-3 times faster than high-speed rail, and being fully autonomous, hyperloop technology can deliver a 300-km commute in under 20 minutes and address many of these issues.
"This preliminary study will help the Government of Maharashtra provide its citizens with a cleaner, safer, and faster mode of transportation," said Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director, Middle East and India, Virgin Hyperloop One.