Chicago: Elon Musk's The Boring Company has been tapped to build a high-speed underground transportation system for Chicago - the first USA city to bank on the entrepreneur's futuristic concept for mass transit.
Addressing Chicago's press, Elon Musk expressed his thanks at the city and Mayor Emanuel for placing his faith in the Boring Co. An official announcement from the city is expected this afternoon, confirming that Musk's company beat out four other developers to win the project.
After winning the coveted contract to build Chicago's high-speed transit tunnel, the Boring Company held a press conference at the city's Block 37 Superstation to formally announce the tunneling startup's high-profile project.
The Boring Company says it can build tunnels at a quarter of the traditional cost, and build them more quietly, in part by making them half the diameter of traditional transit tunnels (14 feet or less, as opposed to the traditional 28 feet for a one-lane tunnel).
The Boring Company plans to achieve this short transit time using electric vehicles running through two underground tunnels, the construction of which will reportedly be funded entirely by the company with no taxpayer money invested in the construction of the new system.
The planned Chicago system will feature what the company calls "electric skates", which are vehicles based on Tesla's Model X SUV.
He said he expects the company will begin digging the dual tunnels after it's received all the necessary regulatory approvals, a process he expects to take a few months.
The Boring Company has plans to invade Chicago's O'Hare airport.
The Boring Co has been promoting its plans for Hyperloop tunnels that would allow high-speed travel between cities, such as travel from NY to Washington in less than 30 minutes. A lengthy write-up in The Chicago Tribune says that the total cost of the project could be around $1 billion, according to unnamed sources with knowledge on the matter.
For frequent business travelers, the Chicago Loop may provide a faster alternative to the cities elevated trains and buses, for routine trips to and from the airport.
According to The Boring Company, the 8-wheeled vehicles will operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week, and every 30 seconds there will be a vehicle departing from a particular station. The company has said it's faster and cheaper than other subterranean projects. This rendering shows the company's proposal for its O'Hare station.
If successful, it would be a significant step forward for Musk's The Boring Company, which until now had yet to convince any American city to deploy its new transportation technology.
The effort has been met with some skepticism from experts. Los Angeles is exploring a 6.5-mile proof-of-concept tunnel and a Phase 2 expansion that would stretch for more than 50 miles along major arteries.