CLOSE

Is Hyperloop travel really the next big thing in tech, or just hot air talk? Jefferson Graham weighs in with members of the #TalkingTech roundtable podcast, for this new concept in super high-speed travel.
Video by Robert Hanashiro

Colorado drivers may be the first to escape traffic thanks to a new partnership between state officials and a Los Angeles-based hyperloop tech company.

Arrivo founder Brogan BamBrogan joined Colorado transportation officials in Denver Tuesday to announce a partnership to create a network of roadside tubes at the congested heart of the city that promises to whisk drivers and their cars to their destinations at speeds of up to 200 mph.

The public-private players include Arrivo, the Colorado Department of Transportation and E-470 Public Highway Authority, which operates a 75-mile, user-financed toll road running along the eastern perimeter of the city. The Arrivo test site will be near E-470 and groundbreaking is slated for early 2018. 

BamBrogan says Arrivo’s first commercial system could be ready in 2021 depending on funding, regulatory and public-perception hurdles.

By way of pitching the Arrivo system, Colorado DOT officials speculated the network of tubes filled with high-speed trays to carry cars could cut a one-hour and ten minute drive from downtown to the airport to a 9-minute Arrivo ride. A one-hour slog down the state’s busy Boulder-to-Denver highway corridor would take 8 minutes. 

More: This state appears poised to let Elon Musk dig ‘hyperloop’ tunnels

More: Hyperloop race gets crowded with new entrant Arrivo and maybe Musk

More: Richard Branson to invest in Hyperloop One

“We’re the tech partner in what would be a big partnership involving lawmakers, real estate people and others, but our job is to show that we can help provide a positive ROI (return on investment),”…