Ukraine's minister of infrastructure, Volodymyr Omelyan (L), and the CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies reached an agreement to develop a high-speed hyperloop train system in the country. Photo courtesy Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
June 14 (UPI) -- Ukraine and the U.S. city of Chicago reached agreements to build high-speed hyperloop train systems Thursday.
Ukraine's minister of infrastructure, Volodymyr Omelyan, and the CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies reached an agreement to develop reduced-pressure tubes as a basis for a hyperloop system.
"We agreed to join forces ... we'll jointly develop the technology ... search for investors for this project," Omelyan said. "It must be commercially successful; it shouldn't be another idea that is subsidized by governments. It should be an absolutely transparent business model that generates profit."
Omelyan said Ukraine hopes to launch its first tests in 2019, with a primary goal to build "at least one Hyperloop line within the next five years."
"Ukraine is at the crossroads of the new Silk Road transportation corridor and we can expect Hyperloop to play a major role in connecting Europe and Asia," Ahlborn said, according to CNET.
Elon Musk's construction company also was awarded a contract to build high-speed train service from downtown Chicago to O'Hare International Airport.
The Boring Co. outbid engineering firm Mott MacDonald, which developed a terminal at London's Heathrow airport, and an infrastructure fund backed by former basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
A tweet by The Boring Co. Thursday announced the deal.
"We're really excited to work with the mayor and the city to bring this new high-speed public transportation system to Chicago!"
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for proposals for the system last year through a public-private agreement with the city.
Musk said autonomous vehicles in the high-speed "loop" will carry up to 16 passengers and luggage at speeds of more than 100 mph, and depart every 30 seconds.
Final routes and details are subject to negotiations but the proposal said it will take about 12 minutes to make the 15-mile trip and cost between $20 and $25 per ride, which is less than a taxi or ride-sharing service.
The Boring Co. estimated the project will cost less than $1 billion.
Last month, Musk gave the first glimpse of his underground Los Angeles tunnel, and said free rides there will start in a few months. Musk, who also heads Tesla and SpaceX, first shared his idea for the hyperloop in 2016 after becoming frustrated with snarled Los Angeles traffic.