It seems to go on forever, snaking beneath suburban Hawthorne, Calif., like an underground waterslide.
This weekend, billionaire inventor Elon Musk claimed he walked every inch of his Boring Company’s nearly finished “test tunnel,” which is being used for the research and development of public transportation systems.
Musk’s assessment: The tunnel is “disturbingly long” but nearly ready for an opening party next month and public tours shortly thereafter, as he noted while posting a video of the tunnel on Twitter.
Despite appearing longer, the tunnel begins in a parking lot at SpaceX headquarters and continues underground for up to two miles, the Boring Company said.
The test tunnel is the first step of a much more ambitious goal: building a new type of high-speed public transportation system that would move as many as 16 passengers per shuttle underneath Los Angeles. Moving at 150 mph, one stretch of the electric transportation system known as the “Dugout Loop” would shuttle someone from downtown Los Angeles to Los Angeles International Airport in eight minutes, the company claims.
The company says the route would be particularly useful during special events.
“Initially, Dugout Loop will be limited to approximately 1,400 people (approximately 2.5% of Stadium capacity) per event,” the company says on its website. “Based on City and community feedback, it could be possible to increase ridership per game to 2,800 per game or event (5% of Stadium capacity). Between games and events Dugout Loop would transport 250,000 people per year.”
The tunnel isn’t limited to shuttles. Elevators would take pedestrians, cyclists or cars from street-level stations to underground tunnel stops.
The cost of a ride: $1.
“This is the only way we can think of to address chronic traffic issues in major cities,” Musk said at an information session in May. “Almost every city in the world has severe traffic issues, and there don’t seem to be any solutions that are right around the corner.”
The futuristic plan, which doesn’t have a proposed timeline, is not limited to Los Angeles. The Boring Company has discussed tentative plans for tunnels along the East Coast and Chicago as well.