The busy traffic in Los Angeles encouraged the world-known businessman and visionary Elon Musk to create The Boring Company. However, it appears that Chicago will be the first big city to be equipped with the Boring Company’s tunnel – 100 mph airport transit tunnels – that should be a step towards the future in relieving exhausting congested traffic.
The office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that The Boring Company has been picked to make the 100 mph airport transit tunnels between O’Hare International Airport and Block 37, which is an urban mall in the Loop area of the city center, also known as one of the busiest transit hubs on the “L.”
The system is made of 16-passenger pods that are capable of going through one of two underground tunnels, of which one would be accommodated for each direction. Those pods would be departing every 30 seconds approximately.
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“This transformative project will help Chicago write the next chapter in our legacy of innovation and invention,” Emmanuel told the Inverse ahead of the announcement of the 100 mph airport transit tunnels. The route is going to travel northwest from downtown and as the report states, the route includes public way alignments, although the final route will be finalized when the contract gets negotiated.
The Chicago Tribune wrote that the project is estimated to cost less than $1 billion. In November, Musk wrote about his project in his twitter post. He said that The Boring Company is going to enter the competition to build a “high-speed loop” that was later described by him as an underground tube in which you “don’t need to get rid of air friction for short routes.”
The project of The Boring Company is projected to move at the speed of 100 miles per hour for the Chicago pods, which would mean that passengers can get to O’Hare in 12 minutes from the Loop area of downtown Chicago. The car trip between these distances is a 16 mile trip which takes around 21 minutes when the conditions are good.
The mayor’s office also confirmed that the project would be funded without taxpayer money, adding that the company would be “funded solely by project-specific revenues and financed entirely by the developer.” However, the office hasn’t yet announced the price of the trips, although the fares are going to be under the requirement stipulated in the project and are to cost less than a taxi or Uber.
One month ago in Los Angeles, Musk told people, as per the Inverse, that there is a different proposal by The Boring Company there and that there will be more plans for tunnels in Los Angeles also and that the fares would be under the price of a bus ticket, at around $1 per ride. In Chicago, according to the Tribune, the trips would cost around $20 to $25 per ride.
The city is expected to begin contract negotiations with The Boring Company about the 100 mph airport transit tunnels, and once they make an agreement on costs, a timeline and other factors, the city council will need to approve the project.
It’s noted that the passenger pods used in the tunnel won’t be emitting carbon. Musk is also CEO of Tesla, the company that started to make electric cars and is dominant in using only sustainable energy. That means that the pods will likely be powered by solar power or batteries but such a proposal wasn’t included in the announcement. The only exception would be if the pods were powered by rocket fuel which is used in the boosters of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, also Musk’s company.
Musk began talking about the underground network of tunnels for the first time back in January 2016, when he told students at a hyperloop passenger pod competition: “It’s not that hard but if you have tunnels in cities, it would massively alleviate congestion. You could have tunnels at all different levels, you could have 30 layers of tunnels and completely relieve the congestion problem in high-density cities. So, I highly suggest tunnels.”