Chicago picks Elon Musk's company to dig express route to O'Hare airport

Chicago picks Elon Musk's company to dig express route to O'Hare airport
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A company owned by Elon Musk has been chosen to dig an express route linking Chicago’s downtown area to the O’Hare International Airport.

The Boring Company on Thursday confirmed a report in The Chicago Tribune that said Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office picked the company and would participate in talks over a high-speed project called the Chicago Express Loop.

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“Bringing Chicago’s economic engines closer together will keep the city on the cutting edge of progress, create thousands of good-paying jobs and strengthen our great city for future generations,” said Emanuel in a statement. 

“This transformative project will help Chicago write the next chapter in our legacy of innovation and invention.”

The underground transit system would operate autonomously, according to the company's website, with "electric skates" based on the Tesla Model X. The skates would move anywhere from 125 to 150 mph, it said.

The company estimates the travel time between downtown and the airport to be approximately 12 minutes.

Emanuel’s office said Musk’s company will foot the entire bill, meaning there will be no tax burden on Chicago residents.

Musk, who also owns Tesla, said last July that the government provided The Boring Company with verbal confirmation to construct an underground hyper loop that would connect New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. 

The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Washington, D.C. gave The Boring Company a permit to dig in a Northeast parking lot for research into the hyper loop. 

Emanuel’s office said Chicago will negotiate directly and only with The Boring Company for a deal that will eventually be revealed to the City Council.

The company's website says it has not yet determined the fare cost, but it "will be less than half the typical price of taxi/ride-share services," but more expensive than the cost to get to O'Hare using the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Blue Line.

--This report was updated at 1:22 p.m.