To build express line to Chicago's O'Hare

The Boring Company shared this image of a proposed Chicago underground transit system. Courtesy

Chicago has selected Elon Musk's Boring Company to build and operate an "express service to transport people to O'Hare Airport from downtown in 12 minutes on electric vehicles in underground tunnels", Mayor Rahm Emanuel says. "If we succeed, it's gonna be a great thing for the city, if we fail, well I guess me and others will lose a bunch of money", said entrepreneur and businessman Elon Musk.

The Boring Company says it will shoulder the financial burden of the project, which will be "100% privately funded". Chicago is expected to announce the victor possibly today, according to an unidentified source.

Musk, who has had an embattled relationship with his critics in the press as of late, said "There is a role for doubters". U.S. cities are looking for alternatives to overcrowded highways and impossibly expensive subways. It has agreed to foot the bill for the entire Chicago project.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday that his administration is entering one-on-one negotiations with the Musk company to build the high-speed system that will utilize electric vehicles running through twin underground tunnels. "That's what we're doing".

The new transit system is only in the planning stages, but the vision entails battery powered vehicles that carry passengers through tunnels at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. Reuters has not been able to reach the city or the company for immediate comment.

Chicago in March shortlisted Boring and O'Hare Xpress LLC, a consortium that included a company that designed a terminal London's Heathrow Airport, according to Bloomberg.

Some are skeptical such a project will be built.

Dubai's giant port operator DP World in April teamed up with billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Hyperloop to create a new company focused on tube-based cargo transport systems that would link roads, rail lines and airports.

The vehicles will provide 12-minute trips between O'Hare and downtown, which is about three to four times faster than existing transportation systems, company officials said.

Elon Musk and Hawthorne Mayor Alex Vargas inside of The Boring Co. tunnel entrance at the company's initial tunnel project in Hawthorne
Chicago Picks Musk's Boring Co. for O'Hare Express Service

The Boring Co.in April said it raised $113 million, mostly from Musk himself.

The whole setup has provoked skepticism.

A lease deal will need to be struck with the CTA to use its Block 37 station, and Rivkin said he "expects" that Boring will pay for usage. Engineers promise. But it'll be an enormous project.

The company indicated in its proposal to the city that fares on its transportation system of the future - although not yet set - would cost more than the current $5 fare between O'Hare and downtown but less than the cost of a cab ride, which typically costs about $40. A source told The Chicago Tribune that the target is in the $20 to $25 range.

Currently, Boring has been digging the Los Angeles tunnels, and according to the company, these tunnels are smaller than ordinary tunnels, and so the cost could be a little bit less.

The company said it will fund the project in its entirety, and that it plans to collect ticket and advertising revenue.

"Nothing is impossible, but all of it is very hard", he said, noting that today's technologies are not up to the job.

"It's easy to be a critic or a cynic", Mayor Emanuel said. "The industry needs new thinking and technology".

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