Los Angeles Is Ready For Musk’s Boring Company Tunnels

The Boring Company


Boring Company

The Boring Company’s initial tunneling demonstration in Hawthorne, California.

Despite much skepticism and negativity, Tesla CEO Elon Musk Tweeted that Los Angeles may be on board with the Boring Company tunneling pursuits.

Interestingly, the Los Angeles Journal recently Tweeted that Los Angeles’ city officials were not “digging Elon Musk’s plan for underground tunnels to L.A.”, On the contrary, Los Angeles’ Mayor Eric Garcetti made mention of Elon Musk and the Boring Company concept on a recent interview on ABC., and the city of Hawthorne, California has already approved Musk’s tunneling venture.

Hyperloop One – The Hyperloop is yet another (perhaps more viable) idea the Tesla CEO Elon Musk has put into motion.

It seems that Garcetti may not be seeing the reality of electric cars on sleds (which is what most critics are doubting), but an underground network of tunnels in other capacities may be workable. If people had the ability to travel underground, via shuttles, cars, bikes, or even on foot, it surely couldn’t hurt the transportation situation around L.A.

The most important part at this point is that Mayor Garcetti is open to the prospects. As we explained before, the initial Boring Company concept, as shown in Musk’s original video, may not come to fruition as “advertised” … but it’s simply that … a concept. Tunneling faster and more efficiently, reducing the carbon footprint, and throwing around ideas to establish viable future transportation possibilities is something that any reasonable city leader should welcome.

Source: Autoblog

Categories: Tesla

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49 Comments on "Los Angeles Is Ready For Musk’s Boring Company Tunnels"

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I doubt the original concept will fly, as Steven noted. The elevators and the electric skates are cool but un-needed.
But if The Boring Company can reduce the price of tunneling by 50% it would be huge. They talk about reducing the cost by 90% but that is probably not going to happen either.
But cutting the cost of tunneling would allow for more subway systems to be built in larger cities, which would get more people out of their cars and into mass transit.
Cheaper tunneling would also allow Amtrak to go under obstacles that are too expensive for them to buy out. They have train that are capable of 150+ mph slowing down to 35 mph for extended distances because there are homes and buildings in the way. Dig under them and keep the speed up close to 150 mph!


Amtrak is an anachronism from the 70’s. It serves remote communities in deep, rural areas, and that’s about its only edge. Amtrak is likely very, very afraid of the Hyperloop, but then again, they are so backwards, they may not even know about it at higher levels of their business. If Amtrak wasn’t subsidized to the tune of $1.8 Billion this year, they would be completely bankrupt. This and other fun Amtrak facts can be found here:

Amtrak fills a needed role. For about $1.5Bn a year it operates an entire mode of transportation. It is the only option for people that don’t have a car in large parts of the US. In the North East Corridor it is indispensable, and it is widely used in other parts of the US. The number of people that ride Amtrak has been rising since 2001, due to TSA antics in part. But the fact is that is it simply a more civilized way to travel, compared to flying. It doesn’t work nearly as well over 500 miles, but for mid-length trips it is enjoyable. Amtrak’s main problem has been the fact that it is budgeted just enough money to barely survive. Another $50Mn a year on a budget that is guaranteed for 5 years would allow Amtrak to buy more rolling stock and add it to the routes that regularly are sold out. Some routes are never going to make a profit above the rails but you need to keep a national system in place to make it work, even at its current bare bones level. The solution to Amtraks woes is more Amtrak, and considering how little government… Read more »

Amtrak doesn’t represent even 1% of transportation and it is, as a business, incapable of running profitably. I don’t see it as valuable, and at this point, I’d rather see some profitable alternatives. Nothing would kill Hyperloop infrastructure faster than putting that kind of hands-out, shoulders-shrugged leadership in charge of it. According to the report, the US government subsidizes every passenger’s ticket, regardless of distance, by an average of $100 per ticket.

Is it useful? Sure, to a few people. However, it is not cheap, not fast, and not the future.

The right politicians will sell off Amtrak and cut all subsidy programs for it. Some unprofitable routes will fail, and hundreds of millions of voters could care less.

“According to the report, the US government subsidizes every passenger’s ticket, regardless of distance, by an average of $100 per ticket.” And that alone is sufficient to show this is just another politically biased, alt-right, “alternative facts” faux study, using cherry-picked figures to support what the alt-right “think tank” chose as the conclusion for the faux “study” before the “study” was made: that a socialized system is unreasonably expensive and “doesn’t work”. This is why, in actual scientific research, we have such things as peer review and double-blind studies; all to eliminate bias from results, even unconscious bias. But the bias here isn’t at all unconscious; it’s very deliberate! “Sentence first —- verdict afterwards.” — Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland A more reasonable, objective, real-fact-based analysis of Amtrak’s finances would include a breakdown of costs. Of the $1.8 billion in subsidies which Amtrak requested for FY 2017, The request includes $649 million for operating expenses, and also $920 million for capital construction costs and $263 million in grants that were authorized by Congress in a transportation funding bill lawmakers approved last year (see source below). In other words, only $649 million should be compared to the 31.3 million riders… Read more »

If Amtrak is like old Brit money loser, why even continue funding it? To paraphrase Frozen, “Let it die, let it die, we don’t want to lose money anymore”. From the ashes will rise things like Musk’s ideas that are far better.


For huge swathes of the US, Amtrak is the only transportation choice if you don’t have a car. After 9-11, it was the only way to get across the country for several days, that sort of emergency is one more reason to fund Amtrak.
We are talking about a relative pittance, ($1.5-$1.8Bn yrly) to keep an entire mode (passenger rail) of transportation viable.
Air travel and highways are also subsidized and there is no “If they aren’t profitable, don’t subsidize them!”
And realistically, given how many Senators and Representatives would lose their next election if they voted to zero out Amtrak, this discussion is kind of moot. Amtrak is supported by enough people that trying to kill it is kind of pointless, unless you know you aren’t going to win, so you just complain enough to get votes without actually having to do anything about it.
Kind of like how the GOP voted for repeal Obamacare repeatedly, and then when they actually can repeal it, they change their minds.


After 9-11, interstate highway system was still operating well. Amtrak doesn’t go nearly as many places as the highway, and subsidizing long distance buses would be better.

For $1.5B, you can subsidize 60,000 SparkEV at 100% at 2015 MSRP. In 10 years, that’s 600,000 SparkEV. Have them make 5 minute stops every 20 miles like Amtrak does, and it’d still be quicker than trains from home-to-destination.

But you are probably right about distributed nature of Amtrak operation, and inability to kill it. That’s how defense companies work, too, and how we end up spending more in defense than next 8 (or was it 12) countries combined. Worse than climate change, these wasteful spendings will doom us!

” For huge swathes of the US, Amtrak is the only transportation choice if you don’t have a car. ” Amtrak usually works best for people who can’t drive or don’t have a car. Most, but not all, Amtrak trips are under 600 miles. It doesn’t serve everyone, but it serves most of the population in the lower 48. I had a friend who had flown out to Spokane on September 9th, 2001. She was supposed to come home to Washington DC on the 12th, but of course she couldn’t fly since there were no jets flying. Amtrak found railroad cars from all over, filled them to capacity and brought a huge amount of people home before the commercial jets started to fly again. Passenger rail seldom pays for itself in any of the developed countries that have it, and most do have it. Why should the US behave like some third world, third class country and NOT keep a national passenger rail system in place? We have a system that works ok, a little more money would make it work a lot better. The railcars are getting old and there aren’t enough of the sleeper cars that actually bring… Read more »
“If Amtrak is like old Brit money loser, why even continue funding it?” Reality check: All government funded aids to transportation are “money losers”. The Interstate and Federal highway systems are “money losers”, if you want to look at it that way; in that (other than toll roads) they don’t directly generate revenue. Shall we go back to the system used in Colonial days, when most roads were toll roads? Hmmm? Turn-pike barriers between every plot of land? If we were to take the hard-right’s economic arguments at face value, that’s exactly what they’re advocating! All roads should be privately owned and paid for by tolls! And not just highways: Ditto for subways and city bus systems. They are all subsidized by the government and are “money losers”. But look at it another way: All those “money losers” are actually helping to maintain a healthy economy, by making it easy for workers to get to their jobs and back home again every day. A good, planned systems of highways also makes it much easier (and cheaper) to move commercial goods nationwide. If you have even the slightest doubt any of what I’ve said is 100% true, then try living in… Read more »


Absolutely correct. Amtrak and other public transit systems are a service to the public. They are not meant to be a business and are not meant to be profitable.


Thanks for the bail-out, there. You said: “Amtrak exists mainly where trains can’t be run at a profit.” However, I will argue that you should add “by a government” in the middle, there.
Greyhound also receives federal subsidy. However, plenty of private bus lines exist, as well as more innovative services. I think what this condenses to is that the assumption is that public transit should exist for everyone, regardless of where they live. Why? To reduce congestion? Pollution? Improve commerce for the communities? Rail was built in the US to connect our nation. OK, it’s obnoxiously connected now. I say it has had its day. Time for something new. If you live in an area that doesn’t bring in enough tax revenue or private business, you choose to live there. Maybe you own a ranch or a farm, but at the end of the day, you live where you can make your ends meet. Besides, if you live in a remote area, deliberately, you have your reasons. More folks from the city ain’t one of them!


I’m not sure why there is such a belief that Amtrak is mostly some kind of rural service. It is not. The vast vast vast majority of riders and trains are in urban areas such as their Northeast Corridor. I just took a train in March from Manhattan to Boston and it was faster than flying and about the same time as driving. I spent a hundred bucks and got to sit in comfort, never had to deal with asinine security, etc etc. The train did need updating severely. They technically had wireless but it was terrible. It would seem to me the answer is more like put some money into it, double the trains, and increase amenities. For reference the ‘rural’ east/west routes have 1 train a day. For instance the train from Chicago westbound through Minneapolis, Fargo and then West only has 1 train a day each way. Same with the one headed west through Omaha then Denver then onto San Francisco. So no, it does not serve rural areas hardly at all.

“Rail was built in the US to connect our nation. OK, it’s obnoxiously connected now. I say it has had its day. Time for something new.” I know that rail service in the USA, both passenger and freight, is shockingly outdated and needs a very serious upgrade. I’m not sure exactly why; I haven’t looked into the subject deeply. I know some say it’s heavily over-regulated, and some also say it’s due to excessively strong union rules. Maybe there’s some truth to both of those claims, but surely that can’t be the whole answer. Part of the problem is that the USA has, at least since 1956** and probably since circa 1921***, concentrated public transportation money on building paved roads and highways, leaving little for anything else. Nonetheless, rail remains the cheapest way to ship freight overland. **Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 ***Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921 I’d love to see “bullet trains” like Japan and other countries have, in the USA. Too bad that lack of funding, outdated rail lines, and possibly over-regulation have thus far prevented that from happening. More broadly, I think the… Read more »
Get Real

Really, The Cato Institute?

An extremely right-wing and anti-progess organization


funded and controlled by the Kock Brothers and is currently going after EVs with a vengeance as seen by this Cato “Researcher”:

“The real reason for all the scandalous regulations and subsidies designed to shove us into underpowered mini-cars has nothing to do with ‘saving the planet.’ It’s all about doling out lucrative gifts (emissions credits, grants and subsides) to politically-favored companies who try to sell us unwanted electric cars or biofuels while the government punishes taxpayers and companies that produce vehicles American consumers really want” — Alan Reynolds, Cato Institute senior fellow.


I’m vexed by your support of their idealogy here on a EV website Vexar.


I didn’t know that. Are their findings in dispute?


OK, so I also found this list of subsidies by route from 20 years ago:

You don’t want Hyperloop or underground rail tunnels to not operate profitably. Giving it over to Amtrak would guarantee such a condition.


He pointed to an article that has nothing to with EV’s.

But no matter if that article is factual, it is somehow tainted by their anti-EV ideology?

Maybe, you should Get Real.


If there are specific points made by Cato that you want to address, go ahead. But a mere mention of Cato seem to cause you spasms. Putting the blinders on will do you no good.

For example, his number of 3% impact on GHG from US cars is roughly correct as can be seen from multiple sources. If you dispute this, provide an argument instead of putting the blinders on.

As for his “underpowered mini-cars”, that was mostly (or wholly) true before SparkEV and Tesla S came along, and continue to be true other than Tesla and Chevy EV. Like most people, he’s probably unaware that SparkEV was the quickest car in the world under $20K.


“As for his “underpowered mini-cars”, that was mostly (or wholly) true before SparkEV and Tesla S came along, and continue to be true other than Tesla and Chevy EV. ”

It clearly proves his bias as that quote is dated 2016. Looking at his past work the bias is even more obvious.


That’s the argument I’m making: on his point. He may be biased, but the fact brings to light his biased BS. That’s why I don’t discount him entirely due to association, but argue the points and facts. He does have some facts right, but definitely not about EV being slow.

By the way, most people still aren’t aware how quick SparkEV is. They think it’s slower than the Prius and Leaf!


Republicans make general negative statements with NO evidence nor examples, no one calls them out on all of that.


Most people aren’t aware of the Spark EV at all. They have no idea if it’s slow or not, because they don’t even know it ever existed.

Elooney Muskey

Amtrak is great for a leisurely travel through scenic routes. It takes long, but the journey is very pleasant.
The luggage allowance is massive. Really convenient for young people like students and people with first job, moving from one city to another.
This is based on my own experience from Seeatle to San Francisco. Tehj wine tasting en route doesn’t hurt either.

Just wish it was a little faster!!

scott franco

Using tunnels to achieve just another subway negates Elon’s idea. 150mph… but stopping at every station for 5 minutes to take on and let off passengers. That’s how you reduce Elon’s vision to a subway project identical to every other government project out there.

The idea of sleds was to enable individual users to be rapidly accelerated to tube speed and then decelerated at the “offramp”. And it does that with cars, meaning that it meshes with the way people’s lives work.

I am not an Elon fan boy, but in this case Elon is right.


Think individual pods, stopping not like current subways where it blocks the track, but on sidings so 1,2 or 50 pods stop on a siding while other pods whip on to their destinations.

scott franco

Unless elon is stupid, and I don’t believe he is, the sleds don’t block traffic, but use an onramp to accelerate to speed to enter tunnel traffic.

Otherwise, you would be correct, it does not make sense.


scott franco said:

“The idea of sleds was to enable individual users to be rapidly accelerated to tube speed and then decelerated at the “offramp”.

Hmmm, I think the main purpose of the sleds was to allow ordinary cars — whether gasmobiles or EVs — to move at a higher speed than they were designed to. Perfectly normal cars are quite capable of accelerating and decelerating onto freeways, using on-ramps and off-ramps; no special infrastructure is needed for that.

But then, the original concept for The Boring Co. had no on ramps or off ramps, but rather space-wasting, overly expensive elevators carrying individual cars between the tunnels and surface streets in high-density urban areas. I’m glad to see that in that one small area, at least, Elon’s more recent statements/tweets about The Boring Co. concept have shown a move in the direction of practicality.

scott franco

I think you addressed a point I didn’t make, reread.


You and I are using the term “on-ramp” to mean different things. You’re talking about sleds down in the tunnel level being accelerated up to speed and merging with the traffic lane; I’m talking about cars entering and exiting the system under their own power from/to the street level outside.

Sorry if my comments confused the points you were making. I absolutely agree with your points; quite probably Elon envisioned sleds entering and exiting a lane of traffic using sidings in the tunnels, or “on-ramps” and “off-ramps” as you call them, rather than stopping and blocking traffic. Probably Elon had that as part of the plan even though (if I recall correctly) the video demo didn’t show it.

Elooney Muskey

It’s the same story again. Promise a watermelon, produce a lemon.
But there will be a key difference. Elon will charge 50c for $1 worth of digging and stick the rest to the tax payers and investors. That is a hallmark no other tunnel company can ever beat.


It’s pie in the sky nonsense. In a hundred years, maybe. Right now it’s not remotely viable, and it’s laughable even take the idea seriously.

On top of that, surely hundreds of engineers have been working on the task of trying to reduce the costs of tunnelling for decades but somehow Elon Musk has insight into how to solve the problem? Give me a break.


Boring news


Los Angeles is as Ready For Musk’s Boring Company Tunnels the same as Musk is committed to keeping the max battery pack in the S/X at 100. IOW, not much.


Why is that hole in ground so pristine?

Must be the cleanest construction site on the planet.

I’ve seem some photos of very clean construction sites in Japan, but Elon has them beat!


I rather suspect it bears the same relationship to a real construction site that the “Main Street, USA” section of Disneyland bears to the downtown area of an actual small American town.

“…an underground network of tunnels in other capacities may be workable.” Yes, it’s called a “subway”. If The Boring Company can reduce the cost of boring new subway tunnels under existing cities, then that would indeed be a major benefit to society. We can certainly use a cheaper method of boring new subway tunnels. So in that respect — and only so far as that goes — then more power to Elon Musk and his Boring Company. But the rest of that super-rich man’s fantasy of a vast network of small, expensive tunnels each carrying only a single lane of giant slot-car “sleds”, each sled carrying only a single car (or a small multi-passenger pod) — that’s so far from practical as to be literally laughable. Elon had some good ideas with his Hyperloop. One idea was carrying ordinary passenger cars in Hyperloop capsules, they way they’re carried aboard the Chunnel train. Why Elon would abandon the very good ideas he put into Hyperloop, including using a much easier to build elevated tubeway system, for the almost aggressively impractical and overly expensive concept for The Boring Company — well, it’s Elon’s money and he can certainly spend it on any… Read more »
Ocean Railroader

What I notice about Elon Musk’s products like Tesla and Solar City and the Boring Company is they based of dealing with trouble triggered by human overpopulation. Such as if Elon Musk gets rid of the oil fired cars and buries a few expressways it would make life so much better.

If Elon Musk could save 30% on a existing tunnel digging project with his next generation tunneling machine that would save hundreds of millions.

I would really like to see Elon Musk dig some new tunnels under Washington DC. Such as if Interstate 395 and Interstate 95 where given their own tunnels though and around Washington DC it would take tons of traffic off interstate 495 which is suffer from overpopulation.

scott franco

“Why Elon would abandon the very good ideas he put into Hyperloop, including using a much easier to build elevated tubeway system,”

Because the hyperloop is for long distances. This is for cityscape transport. In LA, you want to go less than 50 miles which right now takes about two hours because of traffic, but still want to use your car.

I am not Elon’s salesman here, I think the whole thing is something of a distraction. But Elon thinks clearly about these things. I think it pays to pay attention to him.


The original “Hyperloop Alpha” concept did have the impractical restriction of separate tube systems each connecting only two widely separated cities, but those developing the idea quickly added the idea of sidings to allow stops along the way, as well as using a single (well, twin) set of tubes instead of separate tubes connecting each two cities.

Certainly Hyperloop wouldn’t be used for short distance intracity travel like a subway system, but there’s no practical reason it couldn’t be used to get from one side of a large metropolitan area to another; say from one end of L.A. to the other.

In just about every possible way, Hyperloop is more practical than The Boring Co. concept. Faster travel, cheaper and easier to build, better throughput, better economics because it’s a mass transit system, using pods or short trains, rather than The Boring Co.’s sleds, each of which carry just one passenger car built to run on public roads.

I can’t think of one single advantage The Boring Co. concept has over Hyperloop.

scott franco

Oh, well. Elon has a few Billon to play with, and these are useful projects.

Contrast that with the universal socialism ahem, universal income supported by that other billonare at two-face book (of course paid for by other people).


Universal income is probably a lot more practical and beneficial than this Boring nonsense. If nothing else you could streamline all of the different welfare benefits into a single system.

Tahoe Bear

Headline should’ve read:
LA Ready To Be Bored

Geez you guys… That was low hanging fruit!


Can anyone produce a sub terrain 3d map of lines/tunnels beneath L.A. currrently? Is there even space for tunnels, or was the idea to go deeper than existing subways/pipes to find free space?


The Boring Co. concept definitely involves deeper boring. One level per direction of travel, so the concept is aggressively multi-level.

Yes, deep boring is one of many reasons why this concept is much too expensive to ever be practical.

Mister G

EARTHQUAKES WHAT ABOUT EARTHQUAKES? I still remember LA’s last major earthquake that sandwiched cars on the double platform highways.


L.A. has a subway system. As Elon has pointed out, earthquakes will be no more danger to The Boring Co. tunnels than they are to subways.

He claims the danger is rather less than it is to surface structures. I don’t know how true that is or isn’t, but if people accept the danger of riding in a subway car in an earthquake zone, then there’s no logical reason they won’t accept riding in traffic tunnels in the same areas.


I have heard that comment about earthquakes and the Boring Company several times and I always wonder if the person that posted it thought about all the subway lines in Los Angeles that have never had a problem, even during the Northridge Earthquake which was pretty strong.

Japan has huge sections of tunnel that their bullet trains use to go under towns and that entire area is subject to frequent earthquakes. Whenever sensors detect an earthquake, the trains are ordered to stop. It isn’t an issue there and it won’t be an issue here.

Mister G

It was the 1989 san Francisco earthquake not an LA earthquake that had double deck freeways crushing people. I wouldn’t drive underground in California period.