Future Tense

Elon Musk’s Boring Company Is Partnering With the L.A. Metro

Musk says the Loop will transport people in pods at 150 miles per hour.
Musk says the Loop will transport people in pods at 150 miles per hour. PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

Elon Musk revealed more details during a speaking event on Thursday about the subterranean mass transit system called the Loop that his Boring Company plans to develop. Among his more ambitious goals is excavating 2.7 miles of tunnel for a vacuum tube that can transport 16 people in a pod from downtown Los Angeles to the LAX airport in eight minutes. According to Google Maps, that trip currently takes around an hour by bus and metro, and 30 minutes by car, though pods in the Loop will supposedly be traveling at 150 miles per hour. The transportation system won’t be publicly run, but Musk predicted fares would be only $1 per person.

An hour before the event, the CEO announced on Twitter that his company had struck up a partnership with the Los Angeles Metro to excavate an experimental tunnel under the city. There had initially been concern that construction of the tunnel would interfere with the Metro’s plans to build the Sepulveda Transit Corridor, a titanic project costing over $10 billion to build a public subway system that would connect the San Fernando Valley to LAX. As Streetsblog pointed out, the most convenient place the Sepulveda Transit Corridor could connect to the local light rail system is also where the Boring Company wanted its tunnel to begin. Rerouting the corridor to accommodate the Loop would add to the project’s already high costs.

Yet, it seems that the L.A. Metro and the Boring Company have hatched a plan to stay out of each other’s way, though it’s unclear exactly how that’s going to work or if this partnership will involve any deeper cooperation between the two. The Metro had mentioned the partnership in a tweet last month, but it seems to have gone largely unnoticed until Musk retweeted it:

The Boring Company has been digging in the LA area for around a year now, and Musk announced last week that its first tunnel is almost done. The company ultimately plans to construct dozens, or even hundreds, of small stations according to Musk’s presentation on Thursday. The CEO himself hasn’t set any deadlines for his grandiose ambitions, though city councilman Paul Koretz told the Los Angeles Times that he hopes the tube with be functioning by 2028, when L.A. will be hosting the Summer Olympics.