CHICAGO (CBS) — From downtown to the airport in only 12 minutes.
On high tech underground cars.
Billionaire developer Elon Musk was in Chicago Thursday. He got the go ahead for his high speed link to O’Hare.
Musk isn’t wasting any time. He said he’d like to start drilling in three or four months.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley reports on the plans and who’s paying for it.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and industrialist Elon Musk toured the long-abandoned Block 37 station that was to be home to Mayor Richard M. Daley O’Hare express service, promising Chicago will no longer be known only for the “L” but also…
“From this day forward, we’ll also be known as the city with the X,” said Emanuel.
That’s what he’s calling the Musk plan for an O’Hare express using futuristic, 12-person capsules, departing from a revamped, futuristic Block 37 terminal.
Whisking passengers to O’Hare in just 12 minutes.
“We’re super excited to do what I think is groundbreaking technology in one of the greatest cities of the world,” said Musk.
The capsules would travel in 12-foot diameter tunnels at up to 150 miles per hour.
Tunnels dug with machines developed by Musk engineers which he says can do the job cheaper and faster than traditional equipment.
“If we succeed, it’s going to be a great thing for the city,” said Musk. “If we fail, I guess me and others will lose a bunch of money.”
The preliminary route runs mostly under public streets, west under Randolph, northwest under the Kennedy, Milwaukee and Elston, with a last leg under the Kennedy and then west to O’Hare.
Best of all for the city, Musk is supposed to pick up the entire billion-dollar cost for the untested technology.
“Chicago’s giving us an opportunity to show it can be useful and economically viable on a large scale,” said Musk.
“He’s bearing the cost, his reputation. We get the upside with no financial risk at all,” said Emanuel.
Mayor Emanuel said the plan builds on Chicago’s history of innovation.
From reversing the flow of the Chicago River to inventing the skyscraper.