Known as the Chicago Express Loop, the new system will feature "electric skate" vehicles that will whisk passengers through underground tunnels at speeds up to 150 miles per hour, according to The Boring Co.'s website.
The Boring Company is on its way to Chicago.
"We're really excited to work with the mayor and the city to bring this new high-speed public transportation system to Chicago", a Boring Company spokesman said as the company announced the news on Thursday. "And we're gonna give commuters a leg up in that race, which means Chicago will have a leg up in the race for the future", said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The Boring Company must pay for a new station at O'Hare and renovate a unopened transit "superstation" at Block 37, part of a shopping center near City Hall that was a vestige of an abandoned high-speed rail project. That should get passengers to the airport in about 12 minutes-still a significant improvement on current options, which often take about 40 minutes by train or auto.
The transport system Boring has proposed is called Loop, a slower version of the Hyperloop that's designed for shorter distances and doesn't require vacuum conditions.
"We have a person in Elon Musk who started an electric auto company from nothing, and started a space company from nothing, and he has proven that he doesn't like to fail", Emanuel said. Public transit from the airport to downtown now takes approximately 45 minutes. One thing is clear: This is definitely a big win for The Boring Company, and it's a chance for Musk to prove that he can help major cities cut back on their traffic and transportation problems.
The system will run underground, giving Musk's venture a chance to show off its tunnel-boring technology.
The Boring Company is developing drilling technology that it says will be quicker and cheaper than current methods, and is in the process of building a test tunnel in and around Musk's SpaceX headquarters property in Hawthore, Calif. The company has been digging under a SpaceX parking lot, while its application to dig a tunnel beneath Los Angeles and Culver City is caught up regulatory obstacles and legal challenges. "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. A lengthy write-up in The Chicago Tribune says that the total cost of the project could be around $1 billion, according to unnamed sources with knowledge on the matter.
Musk's claims that his Tesla models are the safest cars on the road have come under some scrutiny, in particular the Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system. The Loop's 18-mile route supposedly would cost passengers $20 to $25 per trip.