Elon Musk’s Crazy, Inspiring Tunnel

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Elon Musk — proprietor of a rocket company, an electric-car vendor and a neurotechnology startup, among other endeavors — may be embarking on his biggest challenge yet: improving urban transit on the cheap.

Musk’s Boring Co. was recently selected to build a new transit link between downtown Chicago and O’Hare airport. He envisions 16-passenger electric-powered pods that “skate” underneath the city at up to 150 miles per hour, covering the route in just 12 minutes, compared with about 45 minutes by train.

It sounds great, if a little puzzling. Musk will work with untested technology and an unorthodox design. His estimates of how long it take to build, how much it will cost, and how many people it will serve are, let’s say, optimistic, even by his elevated standards. And plenty of regulatory questions will…

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