Elon Musk Looks to Bring High-Speed Transit to O’Hare

Nov 30, 2017

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One of the world’s busiest airports may be getting a direct, high-speed connection to its city center.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced yesterday that the city was putting out a request-for-proposal (RFP) to build a high-speed express connection between O’Hare Airport (ORD) and downtown Chicago. Tesla CEO and Hyperloop creator Elon Musk said his new Boring Company will “compete to fund, build & operate a high-speed Loop connecting Chicago O’Hare Airport to downtown.”

Currently, the country’s third-busiest airport is accessible by car as well as the city’s public transportation system. Taxis and Ubers can cost between $40 and $60 between O’Hare and downtown. The CTA’s Blue Line connects the airport to the city but it can take 45 minutes to an hour.

Emanuel wants to cut that time down to just 20 minutes and Musk’s concepts could do just that. The Boring Company specializes in constructing underground tunnels so Musk’s “high speed Loop” would presumably be underground.

Chicago officials met with Musk in Los Angeles a few months ago and Musk tweeted over the summer that he was in talks with the city about the project. It’s likely that this wouldn’t be the buzzy Hyperloop that everyone has been talking about but more akin to the “skate” style tunnel that The Boring Company has shown off in videos. Musk said on Twitter that it would “kinda” be like the electric skate system that whisks cars through underground tunnels, unencumbered by traffic.

The city is open to underground and above-ground connections and wants to deliver express service “at least every 15 minutes for the majority of the day.” Proposals are due to the city by January 23 and are to be funded entirely by the proposing company, at no cost to the taxpayer, which means that the project would be financed entirely by fares, advertising or other means.

Featured image courtesy of The Boring Company.

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