Elon Musk’s Boring Company tapped to build high-speed system in Chicago


Elon Musk's Boring Co.is the victor in a bid to build a multibillion-dollar high-speed express train to O'Hare International Airport, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The new rail line, or Chicago Express Loop, will see 12-minute trips in electric vehicles called "skates", from the airport's new terminals to the Block 37 super-station downtown. But the Chicago Tribune cited comments from Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the decision to go with Musk's bid. The passenger vehicles will travel up to 150 miles per hour and will cut the current 30 to 45 minute trip from the airport and Chicago's business district to 12 minutes - according to Boring Company.

Musk's plan beat out competition from another bidder, O'Hare Xpress LLC, a consortium of investors and engineering and transit companies.

A view of Wednesday rush-hour traffic at 5:30pm from O'Hare to Block 37 in downtown Chicago.

It is unclear exactly what the Boring Co. high-speed airport link would involve, but previous year Musk tweeted about his ideas for Chicago.

Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce The Boring Company's latest product launch, life-size Lego-like interlocking bricks that can be used to create sculptures and buildings. "Electric pods for sure", he wrote.

While they won their bid with the city, the local government is not contributing any money to the project and The Boring Company will have to finance it itself and recuperate its cost through fares - virtually becoming a private mass-transit company.

One of the city's main stipulations was that the service cost less to use than comparable taxi and ride-share services, and presumably The Boring Company has said it can agree to those conditions. The contract will also include protections to ensure taxpayers would be protected against any costs incurred by an incomplete project.

In its press release, the city said that approximately 20,000 people travel between O'Hare and Chicago's Loop every day, and that number is expected to rise to 35,000 per day by 2045. The result gives the young company a big boost in legitimacy as it tries to get transportation projects underway in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Boring's effort to win fast-track city approval of a 2.7-mile-long tunnel beneath a busy stretch of Los Angeles' West Side has drawn a court challenge from two neighborhood organizations.

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.