The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Boring Company will bore Chicago

Elon Musk's Boring Co. has gotten approval to start work on a high-speed underground connection between O'Hare and downtown Chicago:

The promised project: A closed-loop pair of tunnels from Block 37 in the central Loop to the airport that would whisk passengers to their flights in 12 minutes, using autonomous pod-like vehicles, or electric skates, that would depart as frequently as every 30 seconds and carry up to 16 passengers and their luggage.

If all goes as it should, [Deputy Mayor Robert] Rivkin said, construction work could begin next year with actual service in operation around 2022.

The Chicago project generally would use already existing "electric skate" technology, though it would link them together in a form and length that is unique to this country. The direct connection via a dedicated tunnel would allow those vehicles to accelerate to over 100 miles per hour, according to the city and Boring, slashing the time on the 27 km O'Hare run. And the project would-use the long mothballed CTA "superstation" under Block 37 as a terminal, with the end point located near the CTA's Blue Line terminus close to O'Hare terminals but outside of the airport's security perimeter.

I really, really hope the project succeeds. It will be nice to get from O'Hare to downtown that quickly, though I doubt the $25 fare will last long. For comparison to other under-20-minute express trains, the Heathrow Express costs $29 while the Schiphol Fyra (to Amsterdam) only costs $6.25. If you want to take an hour, the El costs $5 and the Tube $4.10 (off-peak).

Comments (3) -

  • David Harper

    6/15/2018 5:42:13 AM +00:00 |

    The Heathrow Express is overpriced for what it offers: a 15-minute ride to the western edge of central London, which is fine if your hotel or meeting is within walking distance of Paddington, but otherwise, you're still going to have to take the Tube or taxi to your final destination.  The Piccadilly Line will get you to the edge of Zone 1 in half an hour, for just £6 compared to £22 (£25 at peak times) on the Heathrow Express, and for that £6 fare, you can ride the Tube to *any* Zone 1 station.  Also, if you pay with an Oyster card or a contactless payment card instead of cash, the Heathrow to Zone 1 fare can be as low as £3.10 off-peak.  The Tube wins on price and speed for most destinations in central London.

  • The Daily Parker

    6/15/2018 12:46:41 PM +00:00 |

    ...which is why, when I visit London, I typically stay near Earls Court. That Tube stop has the added advantage of being in Zones 1 _and_ 2, shaving another 50p off the journey price.

  • David Harper

    6/15/2018 1:33:05 PM +00:00 |

    I live near Cambridge, so my journey to Heathrow usually involves a 50-minute train ride to Kings Cross then an hour on the Piccadilly Line, which conveniently runs non-stop to Heathrow.  On one occasion, I managed to make the return journey, from stepping off the plane from Seattle to arriving at my front door, in under three hours, all on public transport.

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