Elon Musk brought his vision of a high-speed transportation system underneath sprawling and traffic-clogged Los Angeles to an overwhelmingly supportive crowd at a hearing for local residents. Musk’s Boring Co network, if and when it gets built, would ferry passengers from Dodger Stadium near downtown LA to Los Angeles International Airport in 10 minutes, according to the presentation Musk made Thursday evening at the Leo Baeck Temple in the affluent Bel-Air neighborhood. The trip now can easily take more than an hour by car.
A 2.7-mile (4.3-kilometer) test tunnel Musk proposes to build ran into headwinds from neighborhood organizations after a city council committee voted to let Boring Co go ahead with the project without an environmental review. Musk vowed at Thursday’s hearing that if the company were to build the envisioned network, it would do a complete environmental impact report. “If you build a tunnel in LA, you can build one anywhere,” Musk said, referring to the various challenges the test tunnel would need to overcome in the city, including seismic conditions, methane gas, oil fields, and regulations.
The mostly well-heeled crowd of about 700, some wearing Tesla Inc hats, cheered many of Musk’s comments and the submitted questions he answered after his presentation were far from challenging. The full-fledged project would include a tunnel along Los Angeles’ notoriously busy 405 Freeway where, Musk said, traffic varied between the seventh and the eighth circles of hell. The project would involve hundreds of entrances where travelers in pods could descend to the network of tunnels that will shuttle them at high speeds across the city.
Musk pledged his tunneling venture, to be built well below the city’s utilities and existing metro lines using electronic boring equipment, would be virtually noiseless. “You won’t even know we exist,” Musk said. “If we can’t do a two-mile tunnel without disturbing people, how can we do hundreds of miles?” He had good news on another project: the $10 million worth of flamethrowers the company has sold to help finance the operations. Buyers can expect delivery within two weeks by custom Boring Co delivery vans, he said as the audience cheered.