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MUMBAI: July 31, 2019. The Indian state government of Maharashtra has approved a hyperloop service between Mumbai and Pune as a public infrastructure project to be implemented by a consortium of Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO) and DP World.

In a partnership that includes the state government, DP World plans to invest US$500 million in private capital to complete Phase One of the project without using public funds.

Virgin Hyperloop OneAccording to the consortium, this is a landmark announcement for building the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop - recognizing the technology for the first time alongside other forms of mass transit. The link from central Pune to Mumbai is expected to be less than 35 minutes, compared to over 3.5 hours by road.

The project partners claim it will generate hundreds of thousands of new high tech jobs, create over US$36 billion in wider socio-economic benefits, and create new hyperloop-related manufacturing opportunities for Maharashtra to export to India and the rest of the world.

“Maharashtra will create the first hyperloop transportation system in the world and a global hyperloop supply chain starting from Pune,” explained the state’s chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “We have just named DP World – Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO) consortium as the Original Project Proponent for the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project and [are] preparing to start the public procurement process. Maharashtra and India is at the forefront of hyperloop infrastructure building now and this is a moment of pride for our people.”

Currently there are approximately 75 million passenger journeys between Mumbai and Pune annually – a figure that is expected to rise to 130 million by 2026.

“The dynamism shown by the state and federal governments and public agencies in India has been visionary, and the country will reap the benefits of being a first-mover in adopting hyperloop technology,” said Harj Dhaliwal, VHO managing director India and Middle East. “Once commercialised, it will transform the Pune-Mumbai corridor into a mega-economic region moving people and cargo between these two centres in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. This process creates a blueprint for a hyperloop network spanning the entire nation,” he added.

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