Elon Musk to build high-speed commuter system in Chicago

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The system will travel the 17 miles from downtown to O'Hare, one of the world's busiest airports, in 12 minutes, less time than it takes to get through airport security, Emanuel said at a news conference in an unfinished underground train station in the Loop that will be used by the system.

"We're really excited to work with the Mayor and the City to bring this new high-speed public transportation system to Chicago!" the Boring Company tweeted late Wednesday after reports emerged that it had been chosen.

He scoffed at critics who question the still-unproven technology or the city's ability to achieve what's been a goal at City Hall for more than a decade. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel said there was relatively little risk since no public financing was involved. 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. "Ownership of the twin tunnels has not been determined, but the Emanuel administration plans to seek a long-term lease to Musk's company, a source familiar with the proposal said", Ruthhart and Byrne continue. Once construction begins he'd like to see the system operational in 18 months to two years, but said it should be no more than three years. "One of the hardest thing to do with any new technology is.to show people that it can indeed be useful". The site, in a downtown development known as Block 37, will serve as the downtown station for the new express service. The system will operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week. The alternative - by road - can take more than twice as long.

Musk unveiled that undertaking last July, saying the Boring Company had received "verbal govt approval" to build a Hyperloop tube train system that would be capable of whisking passengers from NY to Washington in 29 minutes.

"Maybe we are not bearing financial risks today, but we might bear financial risk in the future", Battle said, if the project advances but faces unforeseen fiscal or construction challenges.

Some critics already have emerged.

"We have a tremendous opportunity", Emanuel said. He said the caucus is demanding hearings on the "potential boondoggle". They would reach speeds as high as 150 miles per hour (240 kilometers per hour), zipping passengers between the Midwestern city's downtown core and its O'Hare airport, one of the nation's busiest.

Musk's flagship electric auto company Tesla Inc. struggled last year to turn an annual profit for the first time in its 15 years of doing business.

For almost all of its history, Tesla has put up losses while investing heavily in technology, manufacturing plants and an extensive car-charging network. Musk announced Tuesday that Tesla would be laying off about 3,600 workers mainly from its salaried ranks as it slashes costs.

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