The Boring Co., of Elon Musk, has been taken advantage of by Chicago to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a 12-minute express train service from downtown to O & # 39; Hare, which is expected to open in 2022.
It's the first fully-hired urban transportation plan for a Musk hobby company that grew out of its own frustration of sitting in California traffic. Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc.
TSLA, + 0.59%
and the founder of the SpaceX rocket company, will make a formal announcement in Chicago on Thursday.
A couple of tunnels from the Chicago Central Loop to the busy airport will use autonomous pod-style cars, or as Boring calls them, skids, which would depart every 30 seconds and carry up to 16 passengers and their luggage, traveling to more than 100 miles per hour.
The rates for what will be called Chicago Express Loop are expected at no more than half of what a taxi or a carpool costs today, that costs less than $ 25. Musk's company is funding what the experts They told Crain & # 39; s Chicago Business that the project cost will be $ 500 to $ 1 billion. City officials have said that no subsidy from taxpayers is required. Boring hit another finalist for work.
Boring's plan "seeks to alleviate the soul-destroying traffic by building safe, affordable and ecological public transport systems," the company said.
"Dallas, Atlanta and New York will see this and regret not having had it," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Crain & # 39; s. "It will give the city a huge competitive advantage."
Read: Rahm Emanuel offers Jeff Sessions an all expenses paid trip to Ellis Island
Boring has developed what he says is a faster drilling technology that allows him to create tunnels at least 90% below the cost of conventional methods. That advantage, he says, allows him to use one of the few available transit routes left in the crowded cities: underground. Automatic cars also reduce labor costs.
Recently, officials in Los Angeles and Baltimore have signed initial projects that could lead to much greater efforts, such as a "hyperloop" vacuum tube from Baltimore to Washington, DC, and finally New York. Deputy Mayor of Chicago, Robert Rivkin, told Crain that some details, as well as questions about whether the tunnels would become city property at any time, will be resolved in the next few days. talks. Expects to have a final contract before the end of the year.
Plans for the Chicago system, which will be implemented in addition to the subway service that already connects downtown to the airport with stops along the way, materialize as the city works on an $ 8.5 billion expansion of O & # 39; Hare. The airport is the third busiest in the country due to passenger traffic.
The modernization of O & # 39; Hare, which will include dozens of new doors and the reconstruction of the international terminal, is expected to take eight years. It would be O & # 39; Hare's biggest renovation in its 73-year history.