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Seattle to Portland in 15 minutes? Local venture looks to the future

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SEATTLE — Travel from Seattle to Portland in less time than it takes to drink your morning coffee?

Many say it’s possible. And one local venture is vying for the chance to help make it happen.

Pacific Hyperloop is developing a proposal to bring a Hyperloop system between the two major Northwest cities.

Hyperloop is a largely untested method of transportation that propels pod vehicles through an enclosed cylinder in a near-vacuum, allowing the pods to travel at speeds of nearly 800 mph.

The concept has been around for decades, but recently has garnered interest from high-powered investors such as Elon Musk.

Pacific Hypleroop was selected to participate in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. The company will pitch the idea of a Hyperloop route between Seattle and Portland as a viable commercial and economic transportation system. Pacific Hyperloop will compete among 35 other finalists from 17 different countries.

The winner of the contest will be considered to host the first Hyperloop network. Pacific Hyperloop is encouraging area residents to sign a petition supporting their plan.

Of course, high-speed pods traveling in vacuum tubes from Seattle to Portland are – at the very least – some years off.

But 15 minutes between Seattle and Portland as a viable idea?

We’ll take it.