The proposal to connect Missouri’s three population centers along the Interstate-70 corridor would help create a “megaregion” that would rival the nation’s top ten metro areas, according to the study.
The tubes would connect Lambert Airport in St. Louis, Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City and the University of Missouri in Columbia.
By drastically cutting travel time, the route would essentially merge now-separate supplier networks and labor pools. Cerner, for instance, would have quick access to researchers at the University of Missouri and high-skilled workers in St. Louis.
Cutting travel time for high-paid workers is estimated to save employers as much as $561 million per year.
The study says that a test track would position Missouri as the “natural epicenter” for research, development and commercialization of the technology and dissuade other regions from duplicating efforts. In essence, whoever lands the test track first will emerge as a national leader.
“There will be no prize for second place” it says.
Smith said he views Texas and Ohio as Missouri’s top competition.