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News » US » Elon Musk gets go-ahead to build Chicago underground line » published 14 Jun 2018

Elon Musk gets go-ahead to build Chicago underground line

Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s Boring Company has been chosen to build and operate an express underground service to Chicago’s airport.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the Boring Company will transport people on a 12-minute journey between O'Hare Airport and downtown Chicago on electric vehicles running in underground tunnels. The project will be funded by the company with no taxpayer subsidy.

The Boring Company was selected by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT), on behalf of the city of Chicago, to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Chicago Express Loop. “The Boring Company aims to alleviate soul-destroying traffic by constructing safe, affordable, and environmentally-friendly public transportation systems,” said a company statement.

In March, the city had announced that it had shortlisted the Boring Company and another team, O’Hare Xpress, made up of Meridiam, Antarctica Capital, JLC Infrastructure, Mott MacDonald and First Transit (link opens in new tab).

Loop is described as a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric ‘skates’ traveling at 125-150 miles per hour. The company said that the electric skates will carry between eight and 16 passengers, or a single passenger vehicle.

The electric skates are public transportation vehicles built on a modified Tesla Model X chassis. Each electric skate features a climate-controlled cabin, luggage storage space and Wi-Fi, said the Boring Company.

The project will be 100% privately funded. The company said that the fares have not been finalized but will be less than half the typical price of taxi/ride-share services, though higher than the Blue Line. The Chicago Express Loop’s 12-minute trip will be three to four times faster than existing transportation systems between O’Hare Airport and downtown Chicago, it said, with skates leaving each station as frequently as every 30 seconds. The intention is for the loop to operate 20 hours per day, every day of the week.

 

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This article was published on 14 Jun 2018 (last updated on 18 Jun 2018).

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