Los Angeles-based startup Arrivo and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) on Tuesday announced on Tuesday their plans of building a high-speed transportation route to significantly cut travel time within downtown Denver.
Arrivo co-founder Brogan BamBrogan, who was an engineer at Elon Musk's SpaceX and Hyperloop One, teamed up with state transportation officials and the E-470 Public Highway Authority in planning to build a hyperloop-inspired transportation system that can transport people and vehicles at up to 200mph.
While it would be much slower than the 600mph speed of the Hyperloop One transport system, Arrivo's transport system can still transport up to 20,000 vehicles in an hour. CDOT officials speculated an Arrivo ride from downtown Denver to the airport to be about 9 minutes, compared to the current travel time of one hour and 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, traveling through the Boulder-Denver highway can be shortened to 8 minutes from the current one-hour drive.
Hyperloop One vs. Arrivo
The difference lies in the type of technology the two startups will use. While Hyperloop One utilizes pods and vacuum tubes that will have their own route, Arrivo would use electric power and magnetic levitation and build their infrastructure on existing tolls and highways.
The proposed plan should be perfect for Denver where heavy traffic prolongs travel times in and out of the city.
"We are reaching max roads in many cases in Colorado. Arrivo has a unique and practical approach to implementing hyperloop technology to eliminate traffic and dramatically improve the way people and goods move around the city," said CDOT executive director Shailen Bhatt.
In September, Colorado pitched an ambitious plan to bring Hyperloop One on board, traversing 360 miles from Denver, Pueblo, Vail and Cheyenne. The Rocky Mountain Hyperloop team already gave an estimate for the project, amounting to $24 billion.
Building A Test Track
The transport startup plans to build a half-mile test track at an unused toll station at the intersection of the toll road and East 96th Avenue. A groundbreaking is expected in 2018 at the two-acre site, allowing engineers and specialists to study the project's commercial viability and return of investment potential.
In addition, Arrivo will invest about $10 million to $15 million in its research facility in Colorado. The company also plans to hire about 50 engineers next year and expand its research team to around 200 by 2020.
The company has also projected potential profits using existing toll prices. If motorists would pay $15 traversing Arrivo from one end to another, capital expenditures would pay off in 20 years. However, BamBrogan has not stated an estimated amount for the project.