LA mayor believed to be open to Elon Musk’s Boring idea

19 Jun 2017

The Gadot drill. Image: The Boring Company

Elon Musk’s vision of building vast tunnel networks underground to ease traffic on the surface appears to be gaining traction within Los Angeles.

Despite already having his hands full with running both Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk announced towards the end of last year that he was going to make a trifecta, with the addition of The Boring Company.

Revealing greater detail on the project earlier this year, Musk said the new company will build a series of tunnels underneath major cities in order to ease congestion on roads, with cars travelling on the system acting as passengers aboard a high-speed trolley system.

To gain underground access, a car would park on an elevator platform at the side of a street, which is then lowered into the tunnels below. From there, the trolley carrying the car will enter the tunnels and travel to its destination at speeds of up to 200kph.

To that end, Musk revealed on Twitter that one of the first cities to avail of his Boring idea could be Los Angeles, following comments made by its mayor, Eric Garcetti.

Musk said that he had “promising conversations” with Garcetti about bringing the tunnel network to the city, to allow bicycles, motorbikes and cars travel underground.

These comments may offer some hope to Musk, who added in his own tweet that the biggest stumbling block to the idea becoming reality is not technological limitations, but permits from lawmakers.

Unlike typical tunnel-building operations, Musk’s idea is to create single-lane tunnels using boring machines that would be made more efficient by automation, and increasing research and development to make them faster.

Garcetti also told ABC7 that the series of tunnels would link up other parts of the city’s infrastructure, such as its major airport, LAX, and Union Station.

Revealed last month, the first line is to run from LAX to Culver City, followed by Santa Monica and Westwood, reducing the trip from 45 minutes to five.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic