Virgin Hyperloop One has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) to analyse the feasibility of installing a hyperloop transportation system and identify potential routes in the state of Maharashtra, India.

Virgin Hyperloop One is set to work with its partners in the region along with PMRDA in order to fulfil various regulatory requirements following the MoU, as well as provide supportive information for use in the preliminary report.

The study will evaluate the applicability and possible benefits of hyperloop technology across high-priority routes within the state with regards to demand and a number of socio-economic factors.

The company is expected to inform the state government of any subsequent plans to advance to the full project stage after completion.

“With this report, the Government of Maharashtra will be able to identify viable routes that link commercial and knowledge hubs dispersed throughout the region with greater mobility.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “A hyperloop route requires high-density traffic to become viable as a means of rapid public transit.

“Mumbai and Pune, the most and seventh most populous cities in India respectively, have the potential to provide an optimal route with a high density.”

A hyperloop system would only take around 14 minutes to travel between the cities of Mumbai and Pune, which currently takes nearly three hours by car.

It would also streamline airport connectivity and provide rapid passenger and freight transportation to other parts of the state, thereby reducing traffic congestion and emissions.

Virgin Hyperloop One Middle East & India managing director Harj Dhaliwal said: “This preliminary study will help the Government of Maharashtra provide its citizens with a cleaner, safer, and faster mode of transportation.

“Virgin Hyperloop One is the only company in the world that has successfully built and tested the first full-scale hyperloop system.

“With this report, the Government of Maharashtra will be able to identify viable routes that link commercial and knowledge hubs dispersed throughout the region with greater mobility and unparalleled efficiency.”

In addition to India, Virgin Hyperloop One is currently working on multiple transport projects in the UAE, US, Canada, Finland and the Netherlands.