* The Tribune editorial board recently expressed some disappointment that Elon Musk’s O’Hare to downtown tunnel project appeared doomed…
From the start, skepticism has hounded Elon Musk’s bid to build a subterranean superhighway that would connect downtown Chicago with O’Hare International Airport. A vision dismissed by many as a pipe dream now appears to be a dashed dream.
Neither contender in the April 2 mayoral runoff election, former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot nor Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, is a fan of Musk’s $1 billion plan to create a high-speed transit link between the Loop and O’Hare. We’ll admit, the idea has some eye-catching sparkle. The billionaire innovator said he could develop technology that would send passenger pods zooming through tunnels at speeds of up to 150 mph. A one-way trip would take as little as 12 minutes. […]
The ride, which would be called “the X,” would be pitched to business travelers willing to pay a bit more to get to O’Hare faster and more comfortably. The anticipated price would be $20 to $25, about the cost of a ride-share cab. The Blue Line gets you from downtown to O’Hare on a $2.50 fare, and from O’Hare to downtown for $5. Would enough travelers switch over to “the X” to make it worthwhile?
With Mayor Lightfoot or Mayor Preckwinkle, maybe we’ll never know. We like the bold spirit of innovation that suffuses Musk’s vision. In this cutthroat global economy, cities that distinguish themselves by making business easier to conduct — travel improvements included — stand to profit.
* Virginia Mercury…
Virginia transit officials flew out to California earlier this year to check out a tunnel dug by Elon Musk’s Boring Company and, well, they think the state should stick with traditional railways and roads for now.
“It’s a car in a very small tunnel,” Michael McLaughlin, Virginia’s chief of rail transportation, told members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s public transit subcommittee on Wednesday. […]
“I think there’s a lot of show going on here,” said Scott Kasprowicz, a Commonwealth Transportation Board member who made the trip with McLaughlin and public transit chief Jennifer Mitchell.
“I don’t mean to suggest that they don’t have a serious plan in mind, but I don’t consider the steps they’ve taken to date to be substantive. They’ve purchased a used boring machine. They’ve put a bore in the neighborhood where they developed the SpaceX product, and they’ve taken a Model 3 and put guidewheels on it and they’re running it through the tunnel at 60 miles per hour.
“None of that, I think, is really significant from a standpoint of moving this process forward.”
* Jalopnik’s Aaron Gordon…
It’s a car in a very small tunnel is both a rote, factually accurate description of what the tunnel is and also one of the sickest burns of the entire Boring Company hubris to date.