By: The OC Politics Blog With Elon Musk’s announcement of a far more technically sophisticated and purportedly faster and cheaper alternative to California’s High-Speed Rail “Browndoggle”, the city of Anaheim could have a blockbuster opportunity to look at how this 21st century technology could positively impact its resort and convention business. A little out-of-the-box thinking would see the Hyperloop as solving one of Anaheim’s (and Disney’s) oldest transportation issues — the time, cost and inconvenience of moving tourists and conventioneers from the deteriorating LAX Airport. When he was Mayor, Curt Pringle coveted the idea of a fast connection to Ontario Airport from Anaheim (about 35-45 miles by freeway) to attract air travelers who knew of the issues and delays with LAX and couldn’t use the OC’s John Wayne Airport. Ontario has all the right facilities that JWA lacks: three modern terminals, two 10k+ foot runways to handle heavy, wide-body aircraft, 24-hour service and the desire and ability to attract east coast and international flights (never mind that El Toro could have provided all this, Irvine stole that away).
Unfortunately, ONT is in a nasty political battle with the City of Los Angeles that actually owns and treats it like a red-headed step child. LA World Airports, an LA city department, has been intentionally hobbling ONT for years, preventing its growth to protect its more parochial interests in LAX. Traffic is down; flights have been reduced and those remaining are more costly.
A Buck Rogers project like Hyperloop would be just the ticket to turn ONT back into a viable portal AND dramatically increase its usage by funneling tourists, Disney guests and conventioneers into Anaheim. As well, Hyperloop would be an attraction of its own — imagine a “horizontal elevator” moving folks and their baggage to the Resort and Convention Center in a few minutes rather than using a shuttle or taxi.
Using Anaheim’s ill-conceived $174 million ARTIC train station for something useful, like a terminus for Hyperloop to ONT, would actually, finally, justify its cost and retroactively provide an non-fabricated reason for it having being built.
We can be sure that ARTIC is never going to see Brown’s Bullet Train — just this morning the Register (outside Paywall: D.C. could derail California’s high-speed train) put another stake in its coffin.
From the New Yorker, no less, is a sensible discussion of why such an idea needs to be a private affair: Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Is a Political Manifesto, Not Just a Tech Trick. Key paragraph (emphasis ours):
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