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

Chicago Cityscapes And City Views

Chicago Cityscapes And City Views

The announcement is a major step for The Boring Company, which was started in 2016 by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

The proposed link will shuttle eight to 16 passengers on "skate" electric vehicles in an underground loop between the airport and the Block 37 development in downtown Chicago.

The Boring Company and the city of Chicago will begin negotiations to develop the company's Loop transit system, which could transport passengers between downtown Chicago and O'Hare International Airport in an estimated 12 minutes.

Musk's company was selected out of four other bidders.

The Boring Company, the tunneling venture led by Elon Musk that seeks to build underground pathways that would house high-speed autonomous transit, landed a big win in Chicago on Wednesday night. It is unknown when the project will go online, but the concept has made some headway in major United States cities.

The company has designed a system that uses computer-controlled electric-powered wheeled "skates" that can travel at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour while carrying passengers, goods or vehicles riding on top of them.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel specified that the winning company would have to transport passengers and their luggage between the airport and downtown in 20 minutes or less. It'll be called The Chicago Express Loop.

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.

The project will be funded by the company with no taxpayer subsidies, Collins and the company said.

The project is unusual in that no government funding is involved, forcing the victor to finance the entire construction cost itself.

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. This trip usually takes approximately 30-40 minutes, whether by train via Chicago's Blue Line, or by cab, Uber or Lyft.

If all goes well in the contract-negotiation process, The Boring Company's selection by the city of Chicago is the most significant stepping stone for the company to date. 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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