The Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel has announced that Elon Musk’s Boring Company has been selected to build and operate a multi-billion dollar high-speed transit link that will connect the city of Chicago with O’Hare Airport. The Boring Company says that its initial plan is to transport passengers from the airport to Block 37 in the Loop in under 12 minutes.
The transit link will largely use electric cars and it will run through underground tunnels that will be built from scratch. The entire project will be funded by the Boring Company. There won’t be any subsidies from the local authorities. It’s not yet clear though whether Elon Musk has the financial means to pull off this multibillion-dollar project.
The Boring Company has raised money in the past through unconventional means. At one time Musk sold flamethrowers in a bid to raise more capital for the startup. This approach will obviously not be enough to cater for the massive costs of this Chicago project. The Boring Company is going to foot the total construction bill with the hope of recouping the investment through fees generated from the transit link once it’s completed. The company also hopes to raise ad revenue through the tunnels and additional in-car sales. The project is expected to cost $1 billion.
While announcing the decision to choose The Boring Company for the tunnel project, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the city had always been innovative when it comes to transport. The Mayor told the Chicago Tribune that time is after all money and any transport option that reduces the time it takes to travel between the O’Hare Airport and the city should be highly welcomed.
The Chicago tunnel project will be the biggest and the most important one yet for The Boring Company. Although Elon Musk has discussed the idea of electric high-speed urban tunnel transport in other cities, a lot of local officials have been skeptical about the relevance and practicability of the idea. Getting a deal to build such a tunnel in a major city like Chicago is a clear stamp of approval. The deal could open new doors for The Boring Company and Elon Musk to engage other cities in the near future. Local officials are expected to start contract negotiations with The Boring Company in the coming days in order to finalize the details about the deal.
The first vision Musk had about The Boring Company was to make electric cars riding on skates through a network of tunnels in major cities. This vision has since changed. In March, Musk announced that he would shift the focus of The Boring Company from small private electric cars to large mass transit solutions. The Boring Company shared a video on its Twitter account showing the futuristic urban transit systems with electric cars capable of carrying over a dozen people. The Chicago project will be the perfect benchmark for this idea and both the public and investors are looking forward to it.