Elon Musk Outlines How His Chicago ‘Loop’ Transport Will Work

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Once it's completed, the loop will be able to travel between the airport and downtown Chicago in about 12 minutes, which is "three to four times faster than existing transportation systems" between the two locations.

Chicago has selected billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's Boring Co to build a high-speed underground commuter system from the downtown Loop district to O'Hare International Airport, one of the world's busiest, the company and the mayor's office said.

Musk and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are expected to announce the proposal on Thursday in Chicago, the Tribune reported.

As for how much it would cost Chicago travelers to ride on the system, the Boring Company says that while it's not yet finalized, the fare "will be less than half the typical price of taxi/ride-share services", but higher than the city's Blue Line train from O'Hare - which now costs $5, as a special fare.

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Autonomous electric vehicles known as skates would carry 8 to 16 people and their luggage on the 18-mile trip between O'Hare and Block 37 in about 12 minutes, reaching a top speed of about 150 miles per hour. The line is planned to have 16 autonomously driven passenger cars that will run at speeds of more than 100 miles an hour.

Musk's flagship electric vehicle company Tesla Inc. struggled last year to turn an annual profit for the first time in its 15 years of doing business. Shuttles would leave as frequently as every 30 seconds, and the system would operate 20 hours every day.

Musk announced last month that it had almost finished building its first stretch of tunnel there.

Call it a big win for Elon Musk. It received permits to start digging in Washington, DC, and in Los Angeles. This new train would take less than 15 minutes. He's proven something. The risk - with no financial risk - is I'm betting on a guy who has proven in space, auto and now a tunnel, that he can innovate and create something of the future, " he said.

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"We're taking a bet on a guy who doesn't like to fail - and his resources". Video renderings of the system show autonomous vehicles that can pick up passengers at street level and then move them along concrete tubes to their destination. A trip would cost $20 to $25.

But in interviews with Chicago newspapers, Emanuel expressed great faith in the ability of Musk, father of the Tesla and SpaceX, to deliver at a cost of roughly $1 billion or less. Boring Co. said the Chicago project will cost $1 billion, though experts have said similar projects typically cost much more.

According to the Boring Company, the skates would have Wi-Fi and be large enough to hold passengers and cargo.

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