David Biello, writing for Scientific American:
This hyper loopy concept springs from Musk’s disappointment in California’s high speed rail plans, which are both slower than other trains out there at an average speed of 264 kph and more expensive per mile at a total estimated bill of nearly $70 billion. Of course, that has something to do with California land prices and U.S. rules and regulations. The Hyperloop, such as it is, offers no solution to political gridlock, NIMBY-ism or high land prices. In fact, it is almost absurd to suggest that all the land that would be needed for the Hyperloop to connect L.A. and S.F. would cost just $1 billion. If the physical science of the Hyperloop is not outrageously loopy, there is a near complete vacuum on the social science side.