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Beat The Traffic; Get To Austin In 15 Minutes

Digital rendoring of the Hyperloop. Courtesy of Transonic Transportation.

A speeding bullet may be coming to San Antonio that will be able to transport you to Austin in 15 minutes. Transonic Transportation is working on the Hyperloop, a capsule like car that will run 600 mph, and only cost $10 to ride.

The Hyperloop is still ten years away. Cars like it are being planned in multiple cities, but none exist yet anywhere in the world. Josh Manriquez is the CEO of Transonic Transportation, a San Antonio-based company.

“Usually when you’re driving down the highway you kind of notice you have wind blowing past you, and those drag forces help to slow down your vehicle, which is why you have to continue applying gas,” Manriquez says. “You know basic physics 101—an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. This uses that concept for the operations system so that you have as little holding you back as possible.”

Manriquez would like the Hyperloop, which will run on electricity, to be above ground.

“We’re not doing eminent domain,” Manriquez says. “We just believe it’s underhanded and it cheats the American farmer and American landowner out of their land for a quick buck. What we’re proposing is a royalties program that allows farmers and landowners to keep their land and receive quarterly or monthly return.”

Manriquez says this way if one year is harder than another they won’t have to worry about going without.

The project will cost nearly $1.3 billion, and Manriquez is anticipating funding to come in part from investment firms and the state and U.S. Departments of Transportation.

Louisa Jonas is an independent public radio producer, environmental writer, and radio production teacher based in Baltimore. She is thrilled to have been a PRX STEM Story Project recipient for which she produced a piece about periodical cicadas. Her work includes documentaries about spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds aired on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Louisa previously worked as the podcast producer at WYPR 88.1FM in Baltimore. There she created and produced two documentary podcast series: Natural Maryland and Ascending: Baltimore School for the Arts. The Nature Conservancy selected her documentaries for their podcast Nature Stories. She has also produced for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Distillations Podcast. Louisa is editor of the book Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her training also includes journalism fellowships from the Science Literacy Project and the Knight Digital Media Center, both in Berkeley, CA. Most recently she received a journalism fellowship through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she traveled to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska to study climate change. In addition to her work as an independent producer, she teaches radio production classes at Howard Community College to a great group of budding journalists. She has worked as an environmental educator and canoe instructor but has yet to convince a great blue heron to squawk for her microphone…she remains undeterred.