The Cost of Elon Musk's Vision for Transportation

June 17, 2018

Elon Musk is famed for revolutionizing transportation through privatization; first with Tesla and Space X, and The Boring Company is seeking to tackle public transit next. While developments of Musk’s undertaking of the Hyperloop have been discussed for years, the company is also seeking out smaller scale public transit alternatives. The first of these projects is a prototype titled the Chicago Express Loop, which would connect downtown Chicago to O’Hare airport through a series of autonomous subterranean vehicles. While we typically envision innovative projects like the Express Loop to be incredibly expensive, the project is estimated to clock in at under $1 billion, far less than your typical subway line construction, and is being paid for up front by The Boring Company.

Like the Hyperloop, which has been proposed as an efficient and cost effective means of connecting nearby cities, the Express Loop is estimated to make travel more efficient and cost effective within the city for users and non-users alike; However, Chicago is a city that doesn’t necessarily have an issue with transportation. The city’s systems of above ground trains (or the “L”) and buses serve to connect users fairly efficiently. Unlike in New York or LA, the city’s train system goes directly to O’Hare with a station placed within the airport. An Express Loop ticket would also be approximately five times the cost of your typical L train ticket, therefore probably only garnering interest from higher earning individuals (who also might already be satisfied by taking an Uber or Taxi to meet their transportation needs). While The Boring Company may simply be testing the system in a smaller city before moving up to higher costing systems in places like New York and LA, it’s uncertain whether it will prove successful or merely flop. In any case, The Boring Company is churning out new futuristic visions of how we move around so regularly, it’s anyone’s guess what Musk has planned next for the company.


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