JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – House Speaker Elijah Haahr today announced the formation of the special Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop. The Blue Ribbon Panel, which will be chaired by Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, will present recommendations to the Speaker regarding how to establish Missouri as the global epicenter for research and development of the core hyperloop technology as well as strategies that could accelerate construction of the proposed Kansas City-Columbia-St. Louis route.
“This project represents a transformational economic development opportunity for Missouri,” said Speaker Elijah Haahr. “Already, hundreds of millions of people around the world have read about our state’s leadership in this area. Historically, Missouri funded the first transatlantic flight, laid the first miles of the US Interstate Highway system, and provided the technology and manufacturing expertise that launched humanity into space. Building the first Hyperloop in North America is a natural extension of that legacy. We have a real opportunity to serve as a gateway to the future of transportation.”
Members of the Blue Ribbon Panel include Senator Caleb Rowden, Senator Brian Williams, Representative Travis Fitzwater, Representative Derek Grier, Senator Tony Luetkemeyer, Director of Economic Development Rob Dixon, University of Missouri President Mun Choi, as well as a number of private sector leaders and subject matter experts from around the state.
“I look forward to working with the Speaker, members of the legislature, and the Blue Ribbon Panel to help advance this project,” said Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, a long-time champion of Missouri’s transportation and infrastructure assets.
Over the next several months, the Panel will hold public meetings in St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Kansas City. The group will present its findings to the Speaker in September.
“This is a chance for Missouri to position itself as a global tech leader,” said Blue Ribbon Panel Vice-Chair Andrew Smith of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. “Bringing this technology to Missouri would serve as a powerful talent magnet and a significant boost for our technology, logistics, and manufacturing sectors.”
“Our first-of-its-kind feasibility study demonstrated Hyperloop can work in Missouri,” said panel member Clinton Robinson, Associate Vice President and Director of State and Local Government Affairs for Black & Veatch. The study by the global engineering company concluded the Hyperloop One route along Interstate 70 would dramatically improve cross-state travel while delivering safety and sustainability benefits. “We look forward to working with the panel and the citizens of Missouri in exploring how Hyperloop can elevate how we move people and goods across the state.”