Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

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

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

Experts have raised concerns over the financial viability of Loop transportation systems, as well as potential environmental and legal challenges.

Musk announced last month that it had almost finished building its first stretch of tunnel there.

Officials from city and Boring have stated that it's too soon to estimate a timeframe or final cost for this project, but have stated that Boring will be fronting the bill. And Boring's technology is good enough that officials in Los Angeles and Baltimore recently have signed off on initial projects that could lead to much bigger efforts, such as a vacuum tube "hyperloop" from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., and eventually NY. United States cities are looking for alternatives to overcrowded highways and impossibly expensive subways. The Tribune says that the economic feasibility of the entire project relies on Boring's ability to tunnel 14 times faster than other companies.

Conceptual drawing of the Block 37 superstation, when completed as the downtown terminal for The Chicago Express Loop, a high-speed public transit system to O'Hare International Airport. "He's proven something", he told The Chicago Tribune. Given his track record, we are taking his reputation, and saying, 'This is a guy in two other transportation modes who has not failed. "That's what we're doing".

The planned Chicago system will feature what the company calls "electric skates", which are vehicles based on Tesla's Model X SUV.

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But in Chicago, the city will assist The Boring Company with all necessary permits, and there does seem to be some political will to have such a tunnel built within the city, and relatively quickly.

A lease deal will need to be struck with the CTA to use its Block 37 station, and Rivkin said he "expects" that Boring will pay for usage. This tunnel is now limited to Hawthorne. "Almost like an autonomous, underground, multi-level auto system".

Some are skeptical such a project will be built. According to reports the Boring Company will build the new system without spending any taxpayer money.

A Boring Company spokesman said Thursday the company is "really excited" to work with the city. The city's last attempt at high-speed rail led to spending $400 million on a subway "superstation" that was ultimately abandoned. Better, but it still takes 40 minutes to make the trip.

If The Boring Company succeeds at its stated goal of bringing down the cost of underground tunneling to one-tenth of what it is today, the Chicago project will likely be just the beginning of a new wave of construction. The skates, according to a fact-sheet from the company, would likely run every 30 seconds, 20 hours per day, the company said.

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