Best of the West: Colorado hyperloop test track, invasive species in Montana, 3-state trail nears completion

The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting November 13, 2017, that you don't want to miss. Photo: Arrivo

Colorado will be the testing ground for a new hyperloop-inspired track that could take passengers from downtown Denver to Boulder, a distance of roughly 30 miles, in eight minutes. California startup Arrivo is partnering with the state Department of Transportation to build the first-of-its-kind transportation system.

Aimed at reducing car traffic, a dedicated roadway using electricity and magnets will shuttle pods autonomously at speeds up to 200 miles per hour. If the project moves forward as planned, groundbreaking is expected in 2019, with full system deployment in 2021.

Imposing Invaders: A new podcast from Montana Public Radio is focusing on invasive mussels in the Treasure State. SubSurface: Resisting Montana's Underwater Invaders will include interviews with biologists, anglers, crews at water treatment plants and more to learn how zebra and quagga mussels could impact the state’s fisheries, industries and outdoor enthusiasts.

On a Roll: Arizona has emerged as a hotbed for testing autonomous vehicles, rolling out the welcome mat for companies such as Waymo, Uber, Lyft, General Motors and Intel. This New York Times piece details how Gov. Doug Ducey paved the way for his state to lead the nation in A/V technology.  The WGA 2017 Winter Meeting (Dec. 1-2) will feature a panel on autonomous vehicles, including how they should be regulated, what it means for jobs and their impact on safety and traffic congestion.

Take the Long Way: A 180-mile trail linking two national parks, three national forests and three western states is close to completion. Once finished, the Greater Yellowstone Trail will cross Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, allowing cyclists to travel one continuous route. See a map of the trail.  

Get Your Kicks: Iconic Route 66 connecting Chicago to California may soon be designated as a National Historic Trail. A bill heard Wednesday would put the road under National Park Service care, allowing it to appear on maps as a historic road and potentially boost tourism along the route. 

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