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

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk

The Boring Company has been focused on developing their boring tunnel technology.

Chicago has selected 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. Yahoo Finance's Stephanie Sy, Dion Rabouin and Ethan Wolff-Mann discuss.

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Musk, who started The Boring Company in 2016 with the goal of combatting LA's "soul-destroying" traffic, is promising to make tunneling cheaper and faster, and to radically rethink the vehicles carrying passengers. It'll be called The Chicago Express Loop. A new station would be built downtown to accommodate this express line. Last year, mayor Emanuel begged innovators and technologists to submit proposals to help update the city's public transportation system. Unlike the Hyperloop, a vacuum-sealed tube being built out by companies such as Virgin Hyperloop One and theoretically capable of speeds up to 600 miles per hour, the Chicago project will be designed with conventional tunnels at much slower speeds. The Boring Company must pay for a new station at O'Hare and renovate a unopened transit "superstation" at Block 37, part of a shopping center near City Hall that was a vestige of an abandoned high-speed rail project.

The Loop's exact line hasn't been determined yet, but it will consist of two parallel tunnels that run "straight northwest from downtown following public way alignments", according to the city's press release.

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The electric pods would depart both O'Hare and Block 37 as frequently as every 30 seconds. No taxpayer dollars will be funding the service, the mayor said. It also requested that fares be less than the current rate for ride-shares and taxis on the same journey. Exact project costs and construction timelines will be negotiated with the contract.

The SpaceX, Tesla and Boring Company CEO is set to talk tunnels Thursday in Los Angeles. The company has been digging under a SpaceX parking lot, while its application to dig a tunnel beneath Los Angeles and Culver City is caught up regulatory obstacles and legal challenges.

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In May, Musk said a tunnel built under a Los Angeles suburbto test a transportation system was nearly complete and that the public would be offered free rides in a few months. As for the risk of an unproven technology, Rivkin told the paper that the "only real risk to the city is that it doesn't get built".

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