The Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT) selected Elon Musk's Boring Company to build and operate a multibillion dollar high-speed express train, based on Hyperloop technology, according to a post on the firm's website. Passengers will be able to use the Chicago Express Loop to travel between O'Hare airport and Block 37 downtown in 12 minutes.
The Loop train, a shorter version of Hyperloop, is an underground public transportation system that carries passengers in autonomous electric skates at speeds of 125-150 miles per hour, the post said. The electric skates, Boring Company's public transit vehicles, can transport 8-16 passengers per vehicle, but a single passenger vehicle will also be available.
SEE: Travel and business expense policy (Tech Pro Research)
For frequent business travelers, the Chicago Loop may provide a faster alternative to the cities elevated trains and buses, for routine trips to and from the airport. The skates also have some nice amenities for professionals.
Each electric skate will have luggage storage space, a climate-controlled cabin, and Wi-Fi, allowing business professionals to access computers, check email, and get work done during transit. A mere 12-minute ride, the Chicago Express Loop will operate 20 hours a day, everyday, and leave the station as often as every 30 seconds, according to Boring Company's post.
Traveling for work is taxing enough, especially in traffic-ridden cities like Chicago. Now passengers can get to their downtown appointments on time, probably even early, and without the headache. With fare expected to be less than half of the usual rate of taxi/ride-share trips, according to the post, the Chicago Loop could be the beginning of a transformation in transportation.
The Chicago-O'Hare Loop is a big win for the young company, adding credibility and legitimacy in the wake of these other projects. The company won the bid over JLC Infrastructure, a venture backed by former basketball superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Boring Company's project will be completely self-funded, involving no government funding at all, the post noted.
The Chicago Express Loop isn't the only project Elon Musk has up his sleeve. Musk has ideas to build a Hyperloop between downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport, as reported by TechRepublic's Alison DeNisco Rayome. Additionally, Boring Company already received permission to start digging a Loop between Washington DC and Maryland, according to a press release.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Elon Musk's Boring Company won the bid to create and operate a high-speed express Hyperloop train from downtown Chicago to Chicago's International Airport, which could cut travel time to 12 minutes.
- Each vehicle will feature luggage space and Wi-Fi, allowing business passengers to use computers in transit.
- Elon Musk and the cult of Tesla: How a tech startup rattled the auto industry to its core (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Musk's Boring Co bid wins Chicago rapid link: Like to try 150mph on electric 'skates'? (ZDNet)
- Hyperloop: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Elon Musk's Boring Co. wins O'Hare Airport train contract (CNET)
- Elon Musk details plans for high-speed urban hyperloop for pedestrians (TechRepublic)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.