Elon Musk’s Boring Company To Build High-Speed Loop in Chicago

Chicago has picked Elon Musk’s Boring Company to build and operate an “express service to transport people to O’Hare Airport from downtown in 12 minutes on electric vehicles in underground tunnels,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel says.

The Chicago Express Loop would be “100 percent privately funded,” the Boring Company says. Emanuel added that there would be no public subsidy to help pay for it.

“We’re really excited to work with the mayor and the city to bring this new high-speed public transportation system to Chicago,” a Boring Company spokesman said as the company announced the news on Thursday.

Currently, an estimated 20,000 air travelers move between the airport and Chicago’s central business district every day, according to the Chicago Infrastructure Trust. The agency adds that the figure is predicted to reach to at least 35,000 daily air passengers in 2045.

The 12-minute ride would take travelers to and from O’Hare on one-way tracks traveling at speeds up to 150 miles per hour. The mayor pointed out it will take longer to get through security at O’Hare than it will to get there.

People will travel nonstop between the Loop and O’Hare in 16-passenger vehicles called “skates,” which will leave every 30 seconds, the Boring Co said.

How much will this project cost? It is expected to cost around $1 billion, according to two people familiar with the plans. Emanuel said it will be funded by the company with no taxpayer subsidies, and added that in conjunction with O’Hare’s planned $8.5 billion expansion, it will fuel Chicago’s economic growth.

The proposed route would run from the airport to central Chicago’s Block 37 — a large venture in the Loop community that is also the site of a stalled super-station that was meant to use express trains to connect to the airport.

The project will require city council approval, and there will be public hearings in the months ahead.

Musk said he thinks it can be completed in less than three years.

Source: NPR