Tesla Inc.'s (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has offered a unique solution to the increasing chaos of Los Angeles traffic – underground tunnels - and in the process.
The Network of Underground Tunnels
Boring Co., another venture by Musk, is an infrastructure and tunnel construction company founded in December 2016. Musk's vision is to build a network of hundreds of tunnels under the city which will be served by personalized mass transit rides on the subway-like rail service, which he calls “loops,” at a modest price of $1.
Musk described the tunnels as "almost like an autonomous, underground multi-level car system," which may eventually number in the thousands, CNN Money reports. "It's one [solution for LA traffic] we think could work and is worth trying," he said.
"This system is designed to be more like a highway and a bunch of off-ramps and loops connecting to the highway, kind of like cars," Musk said.
Boring Co. is in the process of securing the necessary permit to build a 2.7-mile tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles. It will eventually evolve into a 60-mile tunnel network running under the whole of the city.
While the commuters will utilize the low-cost underground mass transit system, the on-ground space, including the roads, can then be efficiently used for parking space. It will be capable of carrying people from downtown LA to the city's international airport, a distance of 11 miles, in around eight minutes time.
Boring Company is designing its own “tunneling machine,” which will work at a pace that is 10-times faster than that of existing machines. Tunnels between the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles can be completed within a few weeks, company executives claim. (See also, Boring Company's Tunnel 'Almost Done': Musk.)
Rising Concerns about Project Viability
To speed up things for the innovative approach, the company has been granted an exemption by city authorities from a state environmental study which usually takes a long time.
To garner public support, Musk is assuring the public that the system will not create noise problems and will result in reduced traffic.
However, the project has raised eyebrows among a few local citizen groups. Two city-based groups have sued the city government for granting the exemption to Musk’s company. Other opinions point to the problems of big congestion at the entry and exit points of the tunneling system which could mar the expected benefits from the project. (See also, Elon Musk's Boring Co. Now Has a $600 Flamethrower.)