Virgin Hyperloop One’s New CEO Could Make a Wooshy Future Real

WIRED | 11/8/2018 | Aarian Marshall
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Wouldn’t it be really, really nice to get places really, really fast? That’s the promise of the hyperloop, a transportation idea popularized in the 21st century by none other than its Chief Engineer/Magician/Dreamer, Elon Musk. Five years after Musk wrote a white paper on the concept of a maglev train inside a frictionless, air-free tube, hyperloop has become a sort of legitimate business. Four companies with more than $300 million in funding are competing to build the first real one. And yet: For all its promise, all its sheer coolness, a tube that might transport people or goods 350 miles at speeds up to 750 mph still isn’t a thing yet.

Today, though, the idea gets an injection of street cred, with Virgin Hyperloop One’s announcement that it has hired Jay Walder as CEO. Walder will replace Rob Lloyd, who headed up the hyperloop company for three years.

Hardcore - Transit - Nerd - Walder - Name

If you’re not a hardcore transit nerd, you might not know Walder’s name. But here’s why you should: Walder spent his early professional years working on finance and capital projects for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority—the biggest transit agency in the US. In the early aughts, Walder was the managing director for finance and development at Transport for London, which controls London’s street and transportation network. There, he helped launch Oyster card, the agency’s first-of-its kind contactless payment system, draft the city’s 2012 Olympics plan, and implement a congestion pricing scheme in the downtown.

Then it was back to New York, to serve as MTA CEO and chairman. In 2011, Walder left the city for Hong Kong, where he headed up body that operates mass, high-speed rail and develops property in the Hong Kong area. Three years later, Walder’s three-decade career in transit took a turn when he signed on as CEO of Motivate, North...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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