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Chicago Picks Musk's Boring Co. for O'Hare Express Service

14 June 2018

A view of rush-hour Blue Line traffic in Chicago on a Wednesday night.

You could take the regular 40-minute train from one of the busiest airports in the world, or how about a 12-minute high-speed trip?

The Boring Company is on its way to Chicago. The line will consist of two parallel tunnels, and it could take as little as 12 minutes to travel from point to point, according to a press release from the city.

Musk Boring Co. aims to whisk airline passengers between Michigan Avenue and O'Hare Airport in 20 minutes.

Musk's plan beat out competition from another bidder, O'Hare Xpress LLC, a consortium of investors and engineering and transit companies.

It is unclear exactly what the Boring Co. high-speed airport link would involve, but a year ago Musk tweeted about his ideas for Chicago.

There was no immediate statement from the City of Chicago. The Boring Company will have to finance the entire build itself and operate and maintain the express line after it's completed.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Musk and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were due to make the official announcement on Thursday. A new station would be built downtown to accommodate this express line. Experts have raised concerns over the financial viability of Loop transportation systems, as well as potential environmental and legal challenges. (This means there will be a Loop to The Loop-very cute, Chicago.) Unlike the Hyperloop idea, the tunnels will not be depressurized. The Boring Company says the project will be 100 percent privately funded.

The electric pods would depart both O'Hare and Block 37 as frequently as every 30 seconds. He said the public will be offered free rides on the Loop service in the coming months, if the company receives regulatory approval.

The bid win doesn't come as a huge surprise, as Musk tweeted plans to work with the city of Chicago on the airport rail project in November, and made the bid for The Boring Company in February. The contract will also include protections to ensure taxpayers would be protected against any costs incurred by an incomplete project.

The planned Chicago system will feature what the company calls "electric skates", which are vehicles based on Tesla's Model X SUV. Boring gets exclusive rights to negotiate with the city for the next 12 months.

Chicago Picks Musk's Boring Co. for O'Hare Express Service