The city of Chicago has long sought a way to reduce the cost and travel time from downtown to O’Hare airport. It has been a pet project of city mayors for years, obviously with no headway to speak of as of this time. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may be a polarizing figure in nearly every aspect of his public life, but he may be on the verge of cracking that proverbial coconut. The city of Chicago is set to release a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a high-speed train operating between downtown Chicago and O’Hare airport. Elon Musk has already thrown The Boring Company’s hat into the ring.
The city is looking for several very specific qualifications as it relates to the proposed method of transport. First and foremost, they want it to be fast. The preferred time frame is 20 minutes or less per trip, which would cut current available travel times roughly in half. Routes should run at least every 15 minutes throughout most of the day, and the city would like for the cost to be less than a cab or Uber ride for the same trip. The city will explore options both above and below ground, and oh, just one other tiny little detail… they don’t want a single penny to come from taxpayer money. Now, living in the area around Chicago, I can appreciate not wanting to put that potential burden on the taxpayers. I’m sure everybody living in Cook County would tend to agree with that assessment. It does, however, limit some of the possibilities for the project as companies would need to fund, build, and operate the system themselves.
Thankfully, Elon Musk and The Boring Company are one such possibility that could absolutely work out. For his part, Musk has already said that The Boring Company is already in the hunt:
The Boring Company will compete to fund, build & operate a high-speed Loop connecting Chicago O’Hare Airport to downtown https://t.co/bRqKpzSJjz
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 30, 2017
More interestingly, the very first reply asks Musk to elaborate, considering it’s unlikely this would be any sort of Hyperloop system, but rather if it could be the “electric skate” concept that Musk has floated around previously. Musk’s response of “Kinda” opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities. I admittedly live a few miles outside the city itself, but I’d love to see what The Boring Company would be able to do for this high-speed transport. We’ll have to wait and see as proposals come in what Musk has in mind for the city of Chicago.
Last Updated on November 29, 2017.