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Come Saturday Morning: Yup, Hyperloop’s a Joke

Even the economic experts agree: Don’t believe the hype(rloop). Even the most generous outsider estimates of the cost of Musk’s plan say that he’s underestimated the cost by a factor of ten.

How silly is Musk’s hyperloop scam? This silly:

According to Musk, pods would depart LA and San Francisco every 30 seconds during peak periods. Each pod can carry 28 passengers. That means that under the maximum throughput, the Hyperloop is capable of carrying 3,360 passengers each hour in each direction.

For context, a freeway lane can carry 2,000 cars per hour. A subway running at 3 minute headways (like the WMATA Red Line) can carry 36,000 passengers per hour. The California High Speed Rail, which this project is supposed to replace, will have a capacity of 12,000 passengers per hour.

That means that Musk’s proposal can carry only 20-25% of the passengers of the California High-Speed Rail under ideal circumstances. But are those ideal circumstances reasonable? Probably not.

Now remember, one of the selling points of Musk’s hyperloop was that it would carry more passengers than High Speed Rail, in addition to costing less. (Oh yeah, and magic ponies provide the motive power.)

And that’s just one of the many, many problems with a proposal that its chief advocate won’t back with his own money.

Now why is Elon Musk, who is not stupid, pushing a plan that looks suspiciously like the old debunked “personal rapid transit” crapola that Republicans and unscrupulous Greens keep pushing?

Perhaps because, just as with PRT, the plan was crafted by people who, for various reasons, are against true mass transit (such as, oh, the head of a car company), and who want to use a fake mass transit plan to attack and destroy an actual mass transit plan?

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