‘Hyperloop’ tube idea would connect Boston to Providence

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2012 file photo, the Boston city skyline is illuminated at dusk as it reflects off the waters of Boston Harbor. When the leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee meet Thursday, Jan. 8, 2014, they'll be deciding on more than a city to put in the running to host the 2024 Summer Games. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Commuters could rocket from Rhode Island to Boston through tubes at the speed of sound under a proposal that’s a finalist in a private company’s attempt to commercialize a new mode of transportation.

The Hyperloop Massachusetts proposal is the shortest of 11 proposed routes around the United States, selected this week by Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One.

It would connect Boston to Providence. The plan also calls for a stop in Somerset, Massachusetts, a town of fewer than 20,000 people near Fall River. A proponent who submitted the route idea, Holly McNamara, is a member of the town’s board of selectmen.

The propulsion technology involves levitating pods that use electricity and magnets to move through a low-friction environment.

It was first proposed by Tesla co-founder Elon Musk in 2013.