(Reuters) — Chicago has chosen Elon Musk’s Boring Company to construct a $1 billion underground transit system that can whisk folks from Chicago’s downtown Loop district to O’Hare International Airport at 150 miles per hour (240 km per hour), the billionaire entrepreneur and Mayor Rahm Emanuel mentioned on Thursday.
The system will journey the 17 miles from downtown to O’Hare, one of many world’s busiest airports, in 12 minutes, much less time than it takes to get by airport safety, Emanuel mentioned at a information convention in an unfinished underground prepare station within the Loop that might be utilized by the system. The journey presently takes 30 to 45 minutes.
People will journey nonstop between the Loop and O’Hare in 16-passenger automobiles referred to as “skates,” which is able to go away each 30 seconds, the Boring Company mentioned.
The challenge is anticipated to price round $1 billion, in keeping with two folks acquainted with the plans. Emanuel mentioned it is going to be funded by the corporate with no taxpayer subsidies, and added that together with O’Hare’s deliberate $eight.5 billion enlargement, it would gas Chicago’s financial development.
“Were there doubters when Chicago said we’re going to build the first skyscraper in America? Yes. Where are they today?” Emanuel mentioned.
One Chicago politician did voice doubts.
Alderman Scott Waguespack, whose ward covers elements of the town’s north and northwest sides, mentioned there are numerous unanswered questions and the challenge ought to be topic to a public listening to.
“Mayor Emanuel is prioritizing the interests of billionaires and big corporations ahead of the very real and immediate needs of Chicago’s taxpayers and neighborhoods,” he mentioned in a press release.
Drilling for the challenge, pending regulatory and environmental approvals, might start in as quickly as three to 4 months, mentioned Musk, who additionally based and heads luxurious electrical automobile maker Tesla Inc and rocket maker SpaceX. It could possibly be operational 18 to 24 months after that.
“We’re super excited,” mentioned Musk, including he doesn’t count on any issues elevating capital for the challenge. He mentioned the challenge was sure to cowl operational prices, however whether or not it offered return on capital was a separate query.
Boring mentioned the passenger fare might be lower than half that of a taxi or experience share, however greater than the fare on the present prepare system. The system will function 20 hours a day, seven days per week.
The Boring has been selling its plans for Hyperloop tunnels that might enable high-speed journey between cities, akin to journey from New York to Washington in lower than 30 minutes.
Musk unveiled a plan final month in Los Angeles to construct tunnels beneath the town for a high-speed community of “personalized mass transit,” promising to construct it with out disturbance or noise on the floor.
Two Los Angeles neighborhood teams have launched a authorized problem to Boring’s bid to win fast-track metropolis approval of a 2.7-mile-long tunnel beneath a busy stretch of the town’s West Side.
The Chicago and Los Angeles initiatives come as Musk wrestles with manufacturing issues for the rollout of the extremely anticipated Tesla Model three sedan. Some traders are involved his management roles at Boring and SpaceX have unfold him too skinny.