Future of transport

Elon Musk says first Boring Co transport test tunnel is ‘almost done’ and will open in December in Los Angeles

  • When asked if the December 10 date represented real time or “Elon time,” the entrepreneur wrote, “I think real.”
PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2018, 2:12pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 6:39pm

Elon Musk announced on Sunday that the first tunnel of a proposed underground transportation network across Los Angeles County would open on December 10.

“The first tunnel is almost done,” Musk wrote to his 23.1 million followers shortly after 5pm.

Musk’s Boring Co is building the tunnel beneath the city of Hawthorne, part of his grand vision for a transportation network that whisks commuters across the county.

The company has said its technology could move drivers, as well as pods carrying passengers and bicyclists, through tunnels at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour (209.2 kilometres per hour).

A video simulation released by the company last year showed a driver steering onto a car-sized platform on the street, parallel to the curb. The platform, called a skate, sinks like an elevator, then carries the car through the tunnel.

In subsequent tweets, Musk said there would be an opening event on the night of December 10 and free rides for the public the next day.

When asked if the Dec. 10 date represented real time or “Elon time,” the entrepreneur wrote, “I think real.”

In April, the Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee unanimously approved an environmental review exemption for a Boring Co tunnel that could run 2.7 miles (4.3 kilometres) through West Los Angeles.

However, just a few weeks later, two neighborhood groups sued the city over the waiver, blocking the tunnel’s progress.

In August, Musk announced a proposal to build a 3.6-mile tunnel that would carry fans between Dodger Stadium and a nearby Metro subway station. But this plan is expected to face a thicket of requirements and approvals from regulators in California and Washington, before construction could even begin.