December 11: Free Rides Begin for Boring Company’s L.A. Tunnel

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 14: Engineer and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of The Boring Company listens as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about constructing a high speed transit tunnel at Block 37 during a news conference on June 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Musk said he could create a 16-passenger …
Joshua Lott/Getty Images
Newport Beach, CA

Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday that the Boring Company will begin offering free public passenger tunnel rides under the SpaceX Headquarters on December 11.

As CEO of “The Boring Company” start-up, Musk released a cool Instagram simulation video in early 2017 of a futuristic transportation system under Los Angeles and Orange counties that would rely on autonomous “skates” to lower vehicles and 16-passenger pods underground, and then whisk them magnetically to their destinations at 155 miles per hour. The video went viral and now has over 5.5 million views.

The Hawthorne City Council approved construction of a test track to be drilled 44 feet under the SpaceX Headquarters site in late August 2017, according to the Verge. Within a month, a giant boring machine arrived on site and drilling began.

Breitbart News reported that despite neighborhood association lawsuits, the City of Los Angeles in May granted the Boring Company a fast-track exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reviews for a 6.5 mile “proof of concept” tunnel to speed cars and people under Sepulveda Boulevard between West L.A. and Culver City on skates at 125-150 miles per hour.

The Pew Charitable Trust commented at the time that U.S. federally-funded transportation projects typically take 15-20 years to build. But the L.A. Bureau of Engineering’s staff report stated that the project scope would not be the first phase of the project, and that the project would only be built on a small scale to understand and refine construction techniques for a larger project.

Musk reported that high-speed tunneling had been completed by July, and posted YouTube videos of the first underground vehicle on a skate test. A week later, he posted video of a working elevator system lowering a skate from street level to the underground track.

With the two-mile tunnel system completed under SpaceX and testing in its final phase, Musk tweeted Monday evening that the Boring Company’s first tunnel will host a grand opening on December 10 and begin free public rides the following evening.

The Verge reported that the Boring Company won the right in July to dig a $1 billion underground link to connect downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport. The company also announced plans in Augus to dig a second L.A. tunnel to whisk Dodger fans from Los Feliz or East Hollywood to the Chavez Ravine stadium for a $1 fare in about 4 minutes.

The company’s biggest proposed project is an underground hyperloop to connect downtown Washington, DC, with downtown New York City. The move has already gained preliminary support from the Trump administration and has support from the State of Maryland.

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