Musk company bids for Chicago-O'Hare Airport express train
- Elon Musk's Boring Company is one of four potential bidders for a high-speed transit system that would cut travel time between downtown Chicago and O'Hare International Airport to 20 minutes, according to Curbed Chicago.
- The Boring Company, along with O'Hare Express Train Partners (OHL Infrastructure, Kiewit, Amtrak), O'Hare Xpress LLC (Meridiam, Antarctica Capital, JLC Infrastructure, Mott MacDonald and First Transit) and Oaktree Capital Management responded to Chicago's request for qualifications from companies interested in designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the system. City officials did not say whether any of the groups provided preliminary details, but specifics are forthcoming in their proposals.
- Critics of the project argue that the airport already is connected to the city via train, but Chicago officials, who estimate that train passengers will increase by 75% in the next 30 years, said demand will exceed current capacity. The city has attempted to reassure taxpayers by reiterating that the multi-billion-dollar project will be privately financed.
Although the other bidders have infrastructure industry leaders as part of their teams, all eyes are on Musk, who is also the founder of SpaceX and Tesla. In the city's request for qualifications provided some general parameters, but did not indicate that the transit system had to be underground or above ground.
It is widely expected that Musk will offer a version of the high-speed sled system he has proposed for Los Angeles. Last month, Musk unveiled his Los Angles tunnel system, starting with one under Culver City. The company said roads needed to "go 3D in order to significantly reduce congestion and alleviate soul-destroying traffic."
One system that Musk said would not be part of his Chicago proposal is the Hyperloop. In a Twitter exchange, he said the relatively short trip would not require the system's trademark vacuum. However, Musk has made some progress in the Hyperloop arena. The Boring Company received conditional approval from Maryland to dig a tunnel from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., and Musk said he also got a preliminary nod from the federal government officials to build a Hyperloop from D.C. to New York City.
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