Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Elon Musk's Company To Build Chicago-To-O'Hare High-Speed Underground Transport

Elon Musk's Company To Build Chicago-To-O'Hare High-Speed Underground Transport

The city of Chicago, more specifically the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, has selected The Boring Company to create an underground link that provides express service between O'Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago.

Elon Musk addresses reporters, alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, about his proposal to build a high-speed underground commuter system from Chicago's downtown Loop district to O'Hare International Airport, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., June 14, 2018. As such, Musk's Boring Company says that a journey from Block 37 in downtown Chicago to O'Hare will be three to four times faster than existing transport systems, at around 12 minutes for the roughly 15 mile (24 km) journey.

A success in Chicago would give Boring Co. considerable credibility as it tries to move ahead on other projects, including service within Los Angeles and a planned system between Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Autonomous electric vehicles known as skates would carry 8 to 16 people and their luggage on the 18-mile trip between O'Hare and Block 37 in about 12 minutes, reaching a top speed of about 150 miles per hour.

But they have also been experimenting with a lot of different ideas for the transportation system that they will use inside those tunnels.

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"We have a person in Elon Musk who started an electric auto company from nothing, and started a space company from nothing, and he has proven that he doesn't like to fail", Emanuel said. The system will operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

And Musk has been pretty public about the Boring Co.'s efforts to dig transportation tunnels underneath parts of the Los Angeles area that are meant to help alleviate that region's traffic snarl.

If all goes well in the contract-negotiation process, The Boring Company's selection by the city of Chicago is the most significant stepping stone for the company to date. The company has said it's faster and cheaper than other subterranean projects. Details have yet to be finalized, but it looks like the project will cost around $1 billion and the Boring Company will pay most of the construction fees in exchange for keeping revenue from ticket sales, advertising, and in-vehicle purchases. "He's proven something", Emanuel said, according to the newspaper. The Loop's 18-mile route supposedly would cost passengers $20 to $25 per trip.

Musk's claims that his Tesla models are the safest cars on the road have come under some scrutiny, in particular the Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system.

The Chicago Tribune and Bloomberg first reported the deal, citing unnamed sources.

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