Alberta and transportation startup TransPod have signed a memorandum of understanding to support development of an ultra high speed monorail system from Edmonton to Calgary.
The agreement, which will be formally announced Tuesday, involves support and information sharing and no financial commitment, TransPod said. The province will also help find suitable land for a test track and participate in discussions with large institutional investors.
“Alberta’s leadership mindset and partnership with TransPod firmly places it at the cutting edge of transportation innovation,” said Sebastien Gendron, co-founder and CEO, TransPod.
“Through this strategic agreement that secures the province’s economic future without having to commit any taxpayer dollars, the Government of Alberta is investing in improving growth and quality of life in the region.”
TransPod’s hyperloop system shuttles passengers and cargo in a vacuum tube at speeds of more than 1,000 km/h. A trip from Calgary to Edmonton could be done in an hour. Their proposal to the province suggests pods could depart as often as once a minute.
The phases of the Alberta TransPod project are as follows, the company said:
- Short-term: feasibility study (2020-2022)
- Short-term: research and development phase (2020-2024)
- Medium-term: test track construction and high-speed tests (2022-2027)
- Long-term: construction of a full inter-city line between Edmonton and Calgary (to begin in 2025)
Line could take 472,000 trucks off the road
TransPod had requested money from Calgary’s investment fund back in October 2018. At that time, they’d been in discussions with the province on how to bring a test track to the province.
“Alberta’s government is supporting new and exciting opportunities for job creation and innovation,” said Ric McIver, Alberta Minister of Transportation.
“By supporting TransPod’s feasibility study, Alberta Transportation will provide important information contributing to the research, development, testing, and construction of a full inter-city TransPod line between Edmonton and Calgary. We look forward to seeing this work put Alberta at the forefront of the movement of goods and people.”
Transpod’s proposal to the government suggests that moving cargo via the hyperloop could take 472,000 trucks from Alberta roads. They say it could reduce more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, when fully operational.
The company also said that design, construction and operation of the $10.5 billion project, connecting Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, would create 38,000 jobs over the next decade.
FULL PROJECT PROPOSAL BELOW