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Chicago picks The Boring Company for high-speed link to airport

15 June 2018

The Chicago Express Loop will initially feature skates outfitted as 16-passenger shuttles that will complete the 18-mile run between the airport and a new station to be built near the city's Millennium Park in 12 minutes, compared to approximately 45 minutes for the Blue Line surface train that services the route today.

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.

The Boring Company plans to build terminals for its Chicago Express Loop connecting O'Hare airport and downtown Chicago. "He's proven something", Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Tribune.

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 Boring Company has released details about its proposed system already-it calls the system a "Loop" as in a modified version of the "Hyperloop" idea.

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Mr. Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., created. City officials said it would be able to handle 2,000 passengers per hour in each direction, with departures as frequently as every 30 seconds. The tunnels may end up belonging to the city, with a long-term lease assigned to Musk's company.

Musk unveiled that undertaking last July, saying the Boring Company had received "verbal govt approval" to build a Hyperloop tube train system that would be capable of whisking passengers from NY to Washington in 29 minutes.

Musk has said he believes his Hyperloop concept could be the solution to traffic gridlock in Los Angeles, Chicago, and other major metropolitan areas. The trip now takes 30 to 45 minutes. Thus far, the company has received a permit to dig up a parking lot in Washington, DC, and it has received permission from the state of Maryland to build a 10-mile tunnel "beneath a state-owned portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway". Video renderings of the system show autonomous vehicles that can pick up passengers at street level and then move them along concrete tubes to their destination.

The Boring Company plans to achieve this short transit time using electric vehicles running through two underground tunnels, the construction of which will reportedly be funded entirely by the company with no taxpayer money invested in the construction of the new system. A lengthy write-up in The Chicago Tribune says that the total cost of the project could be around $1 billion, according to unnamed sources with knowledge on the matter.

Chicago picks The Boring Company for high-speed link to airport