Elon Musk’s Boring Co. beat out Mott MacDonald and a few other bidders to build a highly anticipated multibillion-dollar high-speed express train to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The train will go from downtown Chicago to O’Hare airport in record speed. The company is also looking to do similar things in Los Angeles and Washington, according to Bloomberg.
Though the company just launched 18 months ago, it was a big deal for them to land this Chicago transportation project. The company proudly announced the news of the Chicago project on their Twitter account yesterday.
“We’re really excited to work with the Mayor and the City to bring this new high-speed public transportation system to Chicago!”
But Chicago is just as smitten with Musk and his company as he is with them. Joe Schwieterman, who is the director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University in Chicago, says that Chicago is “rolling out” out the red carpet for Musk.
According to Gizmodo, Musk’s plan for Chicago is called the “Loop.” Normally, Chicago’s EL trains take about 40-45 minutes to travel from downtown to the airport. But Musk’s new design has estimated that the Loop train will be able to get passengers from downtown to the airport in 12 minutes. Not too shabby, especially considering the fact that downtown Chicago to O’Hare is roughly 18 miles. The Boring Company even has a tentative schedule.
“Trains will leave each station as frequently as every 30 seconds. The Chicago Express Loop will operate 20 hours per day, every day of the week.”
And Chicago taxpayers will be happy to hear that they most likely will not have to spend a dime on the trains as they will be privately funded, with the Boring Company footing the bill. And while nothing is set in stone, the train is expected to cost riders between $20-$25 per ride. This figure is cheaper than an Uber ride to the airport and a little more pricey than an EL ride, but it’s the way that will get travelers there the fastest. And you can’t really put a price on people’s time.
Musk and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference this afternoon to discuss the “The Chicago Express Loop” and revealed that the trains will likely travel between 125 – 150 mph, making it four times faster than current public transit.
According to Mashable, Emanuel called the project “the fastlane to Chicago’s future.” He also said that the loop system should eventually transition to the hyperloop system. And as with any project, Rahm mentioned the doubters and offered reassurance.
“It’s easy to be a critic or a cynic. There are doubters along the way all the time who sit on the sidelines. And then when the thing gets built, and the economic growth comes, they’re nowhere to be found.”
Musk also chimed in and said that he doesn’t blame the naysayers, but he reminded them of his rack record of successful projects like SpaceX and Tesla, saying that he’s done tricky things in the past and this is the same thing.