Extra on Getting There: Orlando to Miami in 30 minutes?

By Ryan Harper, Real Time Traffic Expert
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 07, 2017, 6:50 PM EDT

A half-hour is about how long it takes to drive from Lake Mary to downtown Orlando on a busy morning.

Could 30 minutes also be the amount of time to travel from Orlando to Miami?

  • Orlando-Miami corridor is semifinalist for Hyperloop consideration
  • Technology propels pod-like vehicles rapidly through a tube
  • Vehicles could take passengers from Orlando to Miami in 30 minutes

As fantastical as that sounds, this could be a possibility in the near future. It's called Hyperloop, and it has government support, including Miami-Dade's Director of Transportation and Public Works' Alice Bravo.

"I thought it was a very exciting transportation solution," she said.

Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation introduced and named by SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk in 2013 that would propel a pod-like vehicle through a tube that could exceed the speed of an airplane.

Compatible technology we’re already familiar with exists, and you may have even used them before at the drive-thru of your local bank: pneumatic tubes.

"Since [Hyperloop] was larger, it would also be on some type of Maglev (magnetic levitation) track that helps eliminate friction, so the tube could move very quickly, hundreds of miles per hour,” Bravo said.

Hyperloop One is a California-based company not associated with Musk that is attempting to commercialize the industry. As such, a competition called the Hyperloop One Global Challenge is taking place as the company tries to determine which locations to implement Hyperloop first.

Bravo is trying to push a Hyperloop corridor from Miami to Ohio, broken up into multiple phases.

In fact, the corridor from Miami to Orlando is one of about 40 semifinalists worldwide for consideration. Eventually, 12 finalists will be named, followed by three winners.

"I think what's really exciting is the capability of linking the two cities in terms of commerce, in terms of moving freight, in terms of sharing capital," Bravo said.

So the Hyperloop One hype begs the question: What about the new Brightline trains still set to start running this year? Will they be obsolete? Bravo seems to think not and are still needed.

"The Brightline train is here now. Hyperloop One is still something conceptual we are looking for in the future,” she said.