Musk's Boring Company to build high-speed system in Chicago

15 June, 2018, 13:19 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • The Boring Company headed by Elon Musk wants to get you from downtown Chicago to the airport in 12 minutes

The promised project: A closed-loop pair of tunnels in Chicago's central Loop to the airport that would whisk passengers to their flights in 12 minutes, using autonomous pod-like vehicles, or electric skates, that would depart as frequently as every 30 seconds and carry up to 16 passengers and their luggage.

On Thursday morning, the city of Chicago announced that the Mayor's Office had chosen The Boring Company to build an express line between O'Hare International Airport and Block 37 in the city's downtown area, known as The Loop.

As for how much it would cost Chicago travelers to ride on the system, the Boring Company says that while it's not yet finalized, the fare "will be less than half the typical price of taxi/ride-share services", but higher than the city's Blue Line train from O'Hare - which now costs $5, as a special fare.

A Boring Company spokesman said Thursday the company is "really excited" to work with the city.

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At a news conference with Emanuel, Musk said the Loop "will ultimately transition to the Hyperloop system".

Musk, the founder of Space X and Tesla Inc., has high credibility in the tech world for delivering on ideas that have stymied others. The system will operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

In Los Angeles, the company had been making a little more headway, receiving permission from the city to build a 2.7-mile proof-of-concept tunnel and station parallel to the 405 freeway.

The Chicago and Los Angeles projects come as Musk wrestles with production problems for the rollout of the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3 sedan.

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Musk, who started The Boring Company in 2016 with the goal of combatting LA's "soul-destroying" traffic, is promising to make tunneling cheaper and faster, and to radically rethink the vehicles carrying passengers.

The Boring Company has plans to invade Chicago's O'Hare airport. The existing above-ground Blue Line trains charge riders about $5 for a 40-45 minute ride.

Construction and final deal details between Chicago and The Boring Company still need to be ironed out, but the Tribune reports that the project will cost less than $1 billion. The Boring Company released Wednesday renderings of what the underground system and rail cars would look like. A source told The Chicago Tribune that the target is in the $20 to $25 range. Last year, Gregory Hauser, a civil engineer at Dragados who recently managed the replacement of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct-the largest underground highway project in the US-said what The Boring Company attempting is on par with the challenge faced by SpaceX.

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