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Downtown LA to LAX in 8 Minutes for $1? Elon Musk Says It's Possible

May 18, 2018
3 min read
Downtown LA to LAX in 8 Minutes for $1? Elon Musk Says It's Possible
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Elon Musk truly wants to avoid traffic. With his Hyperloop plans making progress, Musk shared new details to make it easier to avoid traffic and make airport connections smoother.

In an event at the Leo Baeck Temple in Bel Air, Musk talked about plans for building a tunnel between downtown Los Angeles and LAX International Airport. The tunnel would be built by Musk's Boring Company, a venture that hopes to make tunnels beneath cities for Hyperloop pods and other new transportation technologies.

The tunnel would start near Dodger Stadium, near downtown LA, and go direct to LAX — all in just 8 minutes. A Google Maps search shows the journey can take one to two hours by car during rush hour. Google Maps says that using public transit would take about an hour to get from downtown LA to the airport.

Now this isn't the jet-speed Hyperloop that you'll be on, but a simpler Loop system that can ferry cars or pedestrians at speeds of 150mph. Travelers on foot and bicycles will take priority over cars, and Musk shared that rides will cost just a single dollar. Electric-powered pods would hold 16 passengers and hundreds of parking-space sized entrances will be placed throughout the Loop system.

The Los Angeles City council recently approved a 2.7-mile test tunnel between West LA and Culver City, and the approval did not require an environmental impact report. Musk said that the Boring Company would complete its own report.

"If you build a tunnel in L.A., you can build one anywhere," Musk said. "You won’t even know we exist...If we can’t do a two-mile tunnel without disturbing people, how can we do hundreds of miles?"

The Loop system will be constructed in conjunction with LA Metro system. LAX recently shared details of its new people mover system that would offer connections to the LA Metro, too — so it's possible we'll see a link between the Loop and people mover.

Part of the project will run alongside the 405 freeway, which is known for horrible traffic in the Los Angeles area -- Musk compared the road's traffic to somewhere between the seventh and the eighth circles of hell.

It's unclear when will we see the first Loop in full service, but Musk recently said that the first tunnel under LA was nearing completion and that pending regulatory approval, the company will be "offering free rides to the public in a few months."

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The construction of underground tunnels is incredibly slow, and laughably, Musk and Boring Company project leader Steve Davis wants to make the Boring machine match the speed of a snail. That would increase its current construction speed of .003 mph to .03 mph.

H/T: Bloomberg