TransPod and Alberta

by Leah Sarich, Head of Story, Thin Air Labs

Many of you are today learning about TransPod and the memorandum of understanding with the Alberta Government. This MOU has the potential to change the entire narrative of this province...something we at Thin Air Labs are uniquely aware of. 

A Bit of Background

Our Design Partner Greg Hart is on the Advisory Board for TransPod. Greg and Community Partner Jim Gibson met the Co-Founder and CEO of TransPod, Sebastien Gendron, at a Rainforest event 2 and a half years ago. 

Since then, it has become clear that as Thin Air Labs works to build what’s next for the economy of Alberta, TransPod is a prime example of how to do this. Thin Air Labs talks often about the opportunity in this province. We have the experience and available investment to tackle a project of this magnitude. We also have a talent base that will get TransPod started here, and just consider the global talent that would be attracted to Alberta to take TransPod further.

TransPod is the startup building the world’s leading hyperloop system to transform and redefine how to move people and goods. Imagine travelling to Edmonton in 35 minutes! No waiting for a flight. No snowy road trips up the QE2. Imagine how that 35 minute trip between the two cities would impact businesses in this province. Imagine how it redefines the idea of a city itself!

A Bit of Context

Why Alberta? It’s not just that the province is straight and flat, making it easy to build a test track. TransPod knows that Alberta understands complex, large, engineering and infrastructure projects. For example, we’ve been building pipelines for decades. Think of TransPod as a new kind of pipeline. It will take innovation, expertise and grit to deliver on this new transportation system and that is precisely what Alberta is all about. It's what built this province. At the same time, this project injects a completely new line of work around the future of ground transportation that can help build a global reputation for Alberta.

Thin Air Labs believes the future is about building companies that benefit both people and the planet. This project is estimated to create up to 38,000 jobs, while at the same time reducing Alberta’s carbon emissions by up to 300,000 tonnes per year. 

We’ve always said we are an “and” company, not an “or.” We’re excited about this MOU with the Alberta government. It’s an investment in the future of the province, an investment in moving forward while being environmentally sustainable and an investment in future generations of all Albertans. 

To some this will look like science fiction. Lots of things around us that we take for granted started the same way - including the ‘phone’ in your hand that you might be reading this on. This is also a new category of technology, leapfrogging high speed rail and augmenting the development of active, lower footprint, compact cities. What an excellent thing for the province of Alberta to be leading this global challenge.

TransPod highlights how we can join what’s here in this province with fundamentally new technologies to #buildwhatsnext.