Elon Musk's Boring Company makes final cut for Chicago's O'Hare Express
- Elon Musk's The Boring Company is one of two finalists in the running to build an express train service between downtown Chicago and O'Hare International Airport, according to the Chicago Tribune. The other contender is O'Hare Xpress LLC, which is comprised of Meridiam, Antarctica Capital, JLC Infrastructure, Mott MacDonald and First Transit.
- The two groups were among four that responded to the city's request for qualifications for a company to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the system. The system can be above ground or below ground as long as the ride is 20 minutes or less and tickets are reasonably priced.
- A source close to the project told the Tribune that the price tag for the system, which will not use any taxpayer dollars, will likely fall between $1 billion and $3 billion. Responses to the city's request for proposals are due May 18.
Elon Musk, who conceptualized the first hyperloop challenge in 2013, is wading into the business of high-speed transit himself after staying above the fray for several years. In the last several months, he has announced projects in Maryland, California and Washington, D.C., that are in early stages of development, but if The Boring Company wins the Chicago project, this will be the first big test of its tunneling and transportation technologies.
The Boring Company has, however, received conditional approval from Maryland to dig a tunnel from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. Musk said he also received preliminary approval from the federal government to build a Hyperloop from D.C. to New York City.
And, in December, Musk released a map of tunnels for the proposed Los Angeles project, which would see the construction of a 6.5-mile-long tunnel that would carry passengers and their cars between Los Angeles and Culver City, Calif., at speeds of up to 130 mph.
The Boring Company officials have said roads needed to "go 3D in order to significantly reduce congestion and alleviate soul-destroying traffic."
Early in the process, Musk said the Chicago-O'Hare transit system did not require a full hyperloop system but possibly another system that uses vehicle "sleds" instead. It's similar to a system he has proposed for Los Angeles, though current details are still speculative around his intentions for the Chicago bid.
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter