Image by Kevin Hackert licensed under Creative Commons.

This article was posted as an April Fool's joke.

Whether it’s intercity connections through the Northeast or Midwest, or a newly-promised urban transit system that prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists, one thing is clear: pneumatic tube transport has captivated the imaginations of investors, politicians, and Twitterati alike.

In the past, we at Greater Greater Washington have been somewhat critical of entrepreneur Elon Musk and others’ (Hyper)Loop proposals. But don’t misunderstand: it’s because these proposals simply don’t go far enough.

That’s why we’re proud to unveil our long-awaited, super-secret transportation concept: the OmniLoop. While a detailed white paper is forthcoming [1], we think the time is right to share some broad outlines.

Here, there, everywhere

The Hyperloop promises to propel goods and travelers at breakneck [2] speeds between their destinations, whether above ground or in intercity tunnels. Meanwhile, Musk has recently tweeted about a “Loop” concept that more resembles an urban subway system, with bicycle/pedestrian priority given out of a sense of “courtesy and fairness.”

To which we say: we can go bigger. Faster. Fairer. The OmniLoop is a different animal.

The OmniLoop pulls no punches. The OmniLoop cares not for the obstructionist whims of urban planners, existing residents, or the laws of mathematics. The OmniLoop is as audacious as the splitting of the atom, if not more so.

Concept rendering. Image by Esther Bubley licensed under Creative Commons.

Here’s how it works

We construct a pneumatic tube system that connects every single residence, business, and destination in the DC area. That’s right, not just door-to-door service, but floor-to-floor service.

It’s the Uber of Tubes. The Lyft of Loops. The Via of Viaducts.

After all, who wants to share their pod with unwashed hordes of potential serial killers? Travel exclusively with the person you like most: yourself.

Plus, there will be no hand-wringing about who will benefit from the OmniLoop. It serves everyone, in every neighborhood, every ZIP code, all the time. 24/7. OmniLoop.

All of our problems, solved

Current transit systems are paralyzed and inefficient. Surface road space is constrained and congested. Fanciful solutions like gondolas or bus lanes are laughable on their face.

The OmniLoop is the alpha and the omega of transport. It is the superior solution for literally every possible OmniTrip.

Need groceries? OmniLoop. Hop in your pod and emerge at the nearest Whole Foods. Even better: grocery employees will fill your order and OmniLoop it [3] straight into your kitchen. Boom.

Heading to the big game? OmniLoop. Right to your seat. Go team!

Commute getting you down? OmniLoop. From anywhere, to everywhere. Imagine millions of people arriving at their destinations simultaneously, with no congestion.

Impossible, right? Wrong.

OmniLoop is all-electric, all-autonomous, and its coefficient of friction is zero.

An airtight technical feasibility and finance plan

[Editors – please add this section once we find those damn napkins.]

The time is now

Voters are fed up with the status quo. They want a solution that is more science fiction than science reality. And that’s exactly what the OmniLoop delivers.

We’ve received verbal consent [4] from every key policymaker in the region. All that remains is the trivial work of construction, operations, and maintenance, which we are sure that someone will do, somehow.

It’s the American way.

Now is not the time for nit-picking or name-calling. Now is the time for bold ideas. Ideas that resist follow-up questions. Ideas that persist in the face of scattershot, mostly bemused criticism.

Ideas, like OmniLoop, that that put the “hype” in “hyper.”




1. The bar napkins we scrawled it on at the last GGW happy hour were “accidentally” thrown away, but interns are digging through the trash as we go to press.

2. Not literally, we hope, but… to be determined.

3. It’s a verb now, too.

4. In the form of stunned silence.