Chicago selects Boring Co to connect downtown, airport

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. wins Chicago high-speed train bid

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. wins Chicago high-speed train bid

Rush hour gridlock in downtown Chicago could be set to ease thanks to an underground express transportation system that will ferry passengers to the city's O'Hare Airport.

In a bold bet that new technology can deliver a long-time City Hall goal, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has selected tech magnate Elon Musk's Boring Company to build and operate a super-express transit system between downtown and O'Hare International Airport.

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.

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.

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The Boring Co has been promoting its plans for Hyperloop tunnels that would allow high-speed travel between cities, such as travel from NY to Washington in less than 30 minutes.

According to the Boring Company's website, its service will cut the journey time to 12 minutes, which would be "three to four times faster than existing transportation systems" that serve the airport.

The transport system Boring has proposed is called Loop, a slower version of the Hyperloop that's designed for shorter distances and doesn't require vacuum conditions.

Musk, the founder of Space X and Tesla Inc., has high credibility in the tech world for delivering on ideas that have stymied others. 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.

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Musk announced last month that it had almost finished building its first stretch of tunnel there.

The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Washington, D.C. gave The Boring Company a permit to dig in a Northeast parking lot for research into the hyper loop. The company is now seeking approval to expand to a larger tunnel in West Los Angeles.

Boring Company has developed what it says is faster drilling technology that allows it to create tunnels at least 90 percent below the cost of conventional methods.

But in interviews with Chicago newspapers, Emanuel expressed great faith in the ability of Musk, father of the Tesla and SpaceX, to deliver at a cost of roughly $1 billion or less.

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"Given his track record, we are taking his reputation and saying, "This is a guy in two other transportation modes who has not failed". The projected cost? $20 to $25 one way. Boring Co. leaves room for the possibility of cars using the system, too.

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