Boring Company to build Chicago high-speed airport link

Ivan Schwartz
June 15, 2018

The Boring Company plans to build terminals for its Chicago Express Loop connecting O'Hare airport and downtown Chicago.

The skates will travel at up to 150mph and take 12 minutes end to end at an estimated cost of $20 to $25 per ride, according to the Chicago Tribune.

As for how much it would cost Chicago travelers to ride on the system, the Boring Company says that while it's not yet finalized, the fare "will be less than half the typical price of taxi/ride-share services", but higher than the city's Blue Line train from O'Hare - which now costs $5, as a special fare.

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.

It will link downtown Chicago with O'Hare International Airport.

Autonomous electric vehicles known as skates would carry 8 to 16 people and their luggage on the 18-mile trip between O'Hare and Block 37 in about 12 minutes, reaching a top speed of about 150 miles per hour.

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Later on Tuesday night it climbed back down to the 17 floor, before eventually scrambling back up to the top. The climb seemed gravity-defying to those with an up-close view, earning it the nickname "spider-raccoon".

Elon Musk's Boring Company just netted itself a pretty big contract.

Doubts remain. First, The Boring Company will need to drastically cut the costs of tunneling while working under one of the world's major cities. "If we succeed, it's gonna be a great thing for the city, if we fail, well I guess me and others will lose a bunch of money", said entrepreneur and businessman Elon Musk.

The best argument for this project is that Musk says the Boring Co. will take on the entire construction cost, which he thinks will be about only $1 billion.

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. It would whisk travelers to O'Hare on electric skates, powered by technology used in Tesla Model X vehicles. Unlike the Hyperloop, a vacuum-sealed tube being built out by companies such as Virgin Hyperloop One and theoretically capable of speeds up to 600 miles per hour, the Chicago project will be designed with conventional tunnels at much slower speeds. The project is expected to cost less than $1 billion. "He's proven something", he told The Chicago Tribune.

A success in Chicago would give Boring Co. considerable credibility as it tries to move ahead on other projects, including service within Los Angeles and a planned system between Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Musk announced last month that it had almost finished building its first stretch of tunnel there. Boring Co. leaves room for the possibility of cars using the system, too.

Other reports by GizPress

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