Elon Musk’s Boring Co. to bid on Chicago’s high-speed rail project

Not one to turn shy away from a city-level tunneling project, Elon Musk announced in a tweet Wednesday that The Boring Company will bid to build an express line between downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport.

“The Boring Company will compete to fund, build & operate a high-speed Loop connecting Chicago O’Hare Airport to downtown” said Musk, a week after the billionaire entrepreneur revealed that his tunnel-digging venture raised $300,000 in an “Initial Hat Offering”.

Musk’s bid is in response to an open call made by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust for private companies to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the O’Hare Express System.

“This project aims to provide express transportation service between O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and downtown Chicago. This RFQ represents the commencement of the procurement process for selecting the private party that will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the OES Project.” reads the description for the project.

Ironically, even before Musk acknowledged his interest in the project, Deputy Mayor Bob Rivkin hoped that the serial tech entrepreneur would respond to the open call. “The RFQ is agnostic about whether this is a surface or sub-surface system. We hope Elon Musk and either builders of hyper-loops and other innovative technologies will respond,” said Rivkin.

The high-speed rail line doesn’t have any limitations on whether it should be a surface level transportation system or one that’s underground. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the goal for the express system is to reduce the time it takes to travel from downtown Chicago to O’Hare in 20 minutes or less, cutting travel time by half. It would also provide a cost savings to travelers who currently pay as much as $60 for travel by taxi service or $40 by Uber. Musk intends to build a high-speed Loop that’s similar to a Hyperloop, but without having the need for a depressurized tunnel system because of the shorter distance of travel.

This won’t be the first tunneling project for Musk’s boring venture. The company has been working on a 2-mile test tunnel beneath the section of land adjoining SpaceX headquarters and Tesla’s Design Center in Hawthorne, CA. The company also recently filed a permit to extend its project into nearby LAX and Los Angeles, as it plans to connect the congested Interstate 405 with U.S. Route 101.

“First route will go roughly parallel to the 405 from LAX to 101, with on/offramps every mile or so. It will work like a fast freeway, where electric skates carrying vehicles and people on pods on the main artery travel at up to 150mph, and the skates switch to side tunnels to exit and enter.” said Musk.


Elon Musk’s Boring Co. to bid on Chicago’s high-speed rail project
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