By Alex Degman

amazonstl 625x3522 002 Missouri Proposes Hyperloop Linked Amazon HQ2 in Both St. Louis and Kansas City

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) — The state of Missouri is backing both St. Louis and Kansas City’s proposals to lure Amazon. But, in a surprise twist, the state is also submitting a separate proposal of its own.

Drew Erdmann, Missouri’s Chief Operating Officer, is challenging Amazon to think beyond their request for proposals criteria.

Amazon’s timeline looks out over the next 10, 15, 20 years, and during that period Erdmann says there could be development of an “innovation corridor” between St. Louis and Kansas City with Columbia in the middle.

Self-driving cars and rapid mass transit mean the Missouri landscape could be drastically different in two decades.

gettyimages 530710716 Missouri Proposes Hyperloop Linked Amazon HQ2 in Both St. Louis and Kansas City

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 11: Hyperloop tubes are displayed during the first test of the propulsion system at the Hyperloop One Test and Safety site on May 11, 2016 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. The company plans to create a fully operational hyperloop system by 2020. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

The CEO of Hyperloop One, which is considering a St. Louis to Kansas City route that would get passengers to-and-fro in less than a half hour, supports the idea. That effort is a public-private partnership.

“It’s a bold idea, it’s a challenging idea, and in essence what Missouri is doing is asking Amazon to think more boldly than even their original proposal,” Erdmann said in a conference call with reporters.

Amazon wanted one proposal per metropolitan area. However, Erdmann said they specifically explained their idea to Amazon representatives who encouraged them to give it a try.

State officials, citing a non-disclosure agreement and state law pertaining to business negotiations, could not talk about what, if any, incentives would be given at the state level — or what kind of incentives will be offered to support either Kansas City or St. Louis’ individual bids.

They did say, however, that staffers were fair in discussions with both cities, and even had most of their conversations with both at the same time.

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