The Hyperloop Proposal to Connect Boston & Providence Has a Personal Mission


Imagine if you could travel from Boston to Providence in less than 20 minutes.

Considering a typical drive or train ride takes a little over an hour, the implications would be immense. It would change how people decide where to live and work. And if such transportation was affordable enough, it could have a large impact on the working class by opening up the geography of opportunities they have access to.

This is part of the grand vision of Hyperloop, the high-speed form of transportation conceived by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. But a proposal to connect Boston and Providence with Hyperloop’s electric propulsion pod travel technology is surprisingly personal and has a lot less to do with Boston and Providence than it does a small town in southern Massachusetts.

That small town is Somerset, about a 20-mile drive east from Providence, and it’s the cornerstone of the Hyperloop Boston-Providence proposal that is competing with 34 other projects across the world for a chance to get built. They were chosen out of a pool of 2,600 teams from across the world, and Hyperloop One, the company running the Global Challenge competition, is expected to announce three winning proposals by the end of the summer.

For Holly McNamara, who’s leading the Hyperloop Massachusetts project, the 64-mile proposal is about putting Somerset on the map and giving her hometown — and the surrounding area, which includes Fall River — an economic boost that it’s very much in need of. For decades, she said, Somerset hasn’t had a direct transit line to Boston. And the closure of two local power plants over the past several years have created a massive drain on jobs and tax revenue for the town. Hyperloop Massachusetts could also boost an offshore wind farm development that has been proposed off the coast of Somerset.

“We figured it would be a perfect opportunity to put the South Coast back on the map,” she said.

With the Commonwealth of Massachusetts currently working on a South Coast commuter rail plan, McNamara said the Hyperloop could serve as an important supplement. An estimated Hyperloop trip from Boston to Somerset would only take about five to 10 minutes, McNamara said, which could incentivize people to work longer distances from where they live.

“It will change our perception of time,” she said. “It will change everyone’s lifestyle.”

The Hyperloop would also be able to carry cargo, which could have major implications for logistics, as well.

After growing up in Somerset and getting a degree in civil engineering at Cornell University, McNamara moved to the West Coast and lived in California for 14 years working in various engineering jobs. Then, four years ago, she moved back to Somerset and was elected to become one of the town’s three selectmen in 2016. When she learned about Hyperloop One’s Global Challenge last year, she saw it as the perfect opportunity to improve her town and region’s economy.

The Hyperloop Massachusetts proposal has since received endorsements from several politicians, including U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, as well as state legislators and town officials from Fall River, New Bedford and Somerset


Caltrain gets $100M from budget deal: Support hinges on approval from Trump administration

From San Mateo Daily Journal-May 2, 2017 via California Rail News

The bipartisan congressional budget deal reached Sunday could provide some much-needed fuel for Caltrain’s plans to modernize the Peninsula’s heavily used commuter rail system.
The $1 trillion federal spending plan outlines $100 million for the electrification project and while there’s contingencies to those funds actually being allocated, Caltrain supporters say it’s a positive omen nonetheless.

The 2017 budget proposal includes nearly $232.8 million for new projects that are geared toward increasing capacity and which are expected to receive approval this year — a short list in the Federal Transit Administration’s pipeline that includes Caltrain. While hurdles remain before actual funding is offered, being explicitly recognized in the budget bodes well.

San Diego County Tests New Projects April 29-30

During the weekend of April 29-30th Rail service was shut down in San Diego County for work on several rail related projects. One of these projects was for testing the new 3rd track and switches at the Oceanside Transit Center. Here is a Coaster trainset on the new 3rd station track on April 30th running past the new station platform. Photo by Noel T. Braymer

How To Be More Influential shared by Fight Mediocrity and Jonah Berger

The Reset Blog

I influence anybody who is able to get through the chaos of my first impression.

Gary Vaynerchuk

How can acting like a chameleon help you win the game? Can picking a proximal peer help you move others to act on an important matter? Today’s Daily Dose, shared by Fight Mediocrity,  is a book review of Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger. Check it out below:

Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape BehaviorJonah is a PhD and marketing professional turned best-selling author. Jonah uses behavioral sciences and concentrates his work on human decision-making; his first book Contagious was an awesome study on what makes things popular in our culture. Connect with his work via his site, and on Twitter.

Fight Mediocrity is a channel created by  Malkhaz Geldiashvili, a channel which has rapidly enticed almost half a million subscribers! Malkhaz has recently…

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