Musk company to build Chicago-to-O'Hare express transport

Boring Thumb 3

Boring Thumb 3

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

The plan for the "Chicago Express Loop, " announced early Thursday by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Musk's tunneling firm, calls for the construction of an underground tunnel with concrete tracks on which "skates" - individual vehicles built on a modified Tesla X chassis - would carry 8 to 16 passengers at between 125 to 150 miles per hour from one of the world's busiest airports underneath some of the country's most congested roads.

At the company's annual shareholder meeting earlier this month, Musk said he expected the Palo Alto, California, company to post a quarterly profit during the July-September period.

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel confirmed that Musk's latest startup was chosen. Reuters has not been able to reach the city or the company for immediate comment.

The company and the city are entering the negotiation phase. Two companies, including The Boring Company, advanced past the second "Request for Proposals" stage in March.

The system would take the form of an underground tunnel system, with electric-powered pods carrying up to 16 passengers on trips that take as little as 12 minutes (compared with the 40 minutes or more required for a $5 trip on Chicago's "L" trains). The Boring Company will have to finance the entire build itself and operate and maintain the express line after it's completed.

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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. According to the Chicago Sun Times, The Boring Company says it can install the whole thing, including the new airport station and Block 37 renovation, for under $1 billion.

Prices for the express service have not been set, but The Boring Company's proposal said that they'll be more expensive than the Blue Line, but cheaper than a auto service.

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. No information has been released about estimated construction costs or when construction might begin.

Boring said the fare will be less than half that of a taxi or ride share but more than the fare on the current train system.

The Boring Company is already working on a Loop transportation system in Los Angeles.

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