Elon Musk says his LA tunnel will open to the public ‘in a few months’

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Elon Musk posted a short video to Instagram on Thursday night showing off an “almost” completed tunnel constructed by his Boring Company.

In the caption, Musk makes a bold prediction. He claims the tunnel for transit, which he has described as an antidote for LA’s gridlocked streets, will be open to the public soon.

“Pending final regulatory approvals, we will be offering free rides to the public in a few months,” he writes.

Musk has plans for a large “urban loop” system with thousands of stations underneath Los Angeles. He says the tunnels will ferry pods carrying cars, bikes, and pedestrians, at speeds up to 124 mph.

Perhaps because his tunnel plans have been criticized in the past for giving priority to private cars, Musk said on Instagram that “the system will always give priority to pods for pedestrians & cyclists for less than the cost of a bus ticket.”

Musk’s latest Instagram post also says the tunnel is “under LA,” but he hasn’t said precisely where it’s located.

It’s most likely somewhere near SpaceX’s headquarters, in Hawthorne, where Musk received permission last year to drill a 2-mile test-tunnel beneath Crenshaw Boulevard and 120th street.

The tunnel in the video probably is not the “proof-of-concept” tunnel Musk proposed earlier this year for beneath Sepulveda Boulevard, from Washington Boulevard, in Culver City, to Pico Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles.

In April, the Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee unanimously endorsed a motion that proposed exempting that tunnel from rigorous environmental analysis required by state law. That motion has not yet been approved by the full City Council.

When the City Council committee signed off on the motion, it did so with the understanding that the tunnel would not be used to transport passengers.

“The only way we can approve the CEQA exemption is if we accept the premise that… that it is a proof of concept, basically excavation tunnel, and it is not, to be very clear about this, a public transit system,” councilmember Bob Blumenfield said at the time.

Metro CEO Phil Washington has also emphasized that a CEQA exemption would require approval from his agency.


The dotted line indicates where the Boring Company has permission to dig in Hawthorne.
City of Hawthorne

In late April, Washington reportedly met with Boring Company employees to discuss the project. In a Tweet, Metro said the Boring Company “will coordinate with us as they move ahead.”

Statement from Metro. @boring_company@elonmuskpic.twitter.com/Rr7xCxfHQS

— Metro (@metrolosangeles) May 1, 2018

Precisely how Metro and Boring Company staff are going to work together remains to be seen.

Few details have been made available about what happened during that meeting. Metro is planning its own transportation project for the Sepulveda corridor, which will one day link the Valley, the Westside, and LAX.

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