Working off the advice of Paul Backstrom, I reached out to the Office of Extraordinary Innovation and soon after received a response from Nolan Borgman, an OEI Transportation Planner at the MTA.
Earlier today we met for coffee at Union Station, discussing The Bridge and some of the challenges in getting a foothold with a project of this scope and difficulty.
The meeting went relatively fast and being that it was face-to-face I didn't actually take notes as I intended to do. Still, the main take away from my conversation with Nolan was as follows.
- The MTA is going to be hard-pressed to purchase maglev tech, regardless of it being used in other countries for decades.
- The MTA will not take this proposal seriously without a company being involved.
- I need to build off existing momentum and make an argument for adjusting (not the route) but simply the mode of transit.
Nolan explained that Measure M (as well as a few other relatively recent Measures) have put into motion a number of transit projects, projects that were hard-fought by local communities, and if The Bridge is going to make any progress I need to look at these existing transit projects (in early stages) and convince those involved to adjust their mode of transit.
It is not lost on me how overwhelming this community-by-community approach feels. My next steps are to reach out to companies I believe would be a good fit. From there, I might focus my efforts on recent transit discussions around Hawthorne.