Elon Musk Opens Short, Bumpy, Slow, Tunnel for $10 Million

The Boring Company

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After a year-and-a-half, Elon Musk has finally opened his one-mile tunnel in Los Angeles. It’s bumpy, requires a specially fitted electric car, and operated at a top speed of 58 mph even with a professional driver at the wheel. “We kind of ran out of time,” Musk explained. Other than that, though, it was a huge success:

Building the 1.14-mile tunnel took about 18 months and cost about $10 million, Musk said. The figure does not include the costs of research, development or equipment, the company said, and it is not clear whether it includes the money spent on property acquisition or labor. Still, the $10 million is orders of magnitude lower than a typical subway project, Musk said. Part of the Boring Co.’s goal, he said, is to create a tunneling process that will be 15 times faster than the “next best” option.

This is ridiculous. If all you want is a tunnel, the Faroe Islands can build one for about $20 million per mile—and that’s a two-lane tunnel that has to bore about 500 feet undersea. Plain-Jane tunneling just isn’t that expensive.

Now, if you want to build an urban subway, that’s a whole different thing. You have to build lots of big stations, you have move utility lines out of the way, you have to be able to transport more than a few hundred people per hour, and you have to follow a whole bunch of safety and seismic guidelines. And don’t forget the lawsuits! For some reason Musk doesn’t ever seem to talk about this stuff.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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