Elon Musk submits building permit application for LA tunnel

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Musk’s tunnel
A sample segment of Musk’s tunnel (The Boring Company)

The Boring Company, a firm created by Elon Musk to build a network of tunnels under Los Angeles, has filed a building permit on Nov. 21, seeking the approval of city officials to begin digging along the Interstate 405 to Westwood.

According to Bureau of Engineering spokeswoman Mary Nemick and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s spokesman, the city would not immediately release the permit as officials will still deliberate which environmental review the tunnel system would require, and whether LA should support a privatized transportation system that operates using new technology.

Councilman Mike Bonin invited representatives from Musk’s company to speak with the City Council in 2018 regarding their proposal. He also requested for a city report on policy and regulatory questions that officials should consider.

“So far, in the public imagination, this idea has been at the level of blog posts and cocktail party conversation,” Bonin said in an interview with the LA Times. “We need to flesh it out more.”

The tunnel would carry commuters on capsules that could carry eight to 16 people, at speeds that could reach up to 130 mph, said a spokesman for The Boring Company.

A video released by the company in early 2017 also shows a driver steering his vehicle onto a platform at street level, next to a curb. The platform, called a “skate”, then sinks downward like an elevator and whisks the car into the tunnel.

Musk, at a TED Conference in April 2017, said his tunnels provide a solution to the city’s “soul-destroying” traffic problem. “It affects people in every part of the world. It takes away so much of your life,” he said. “It’s horrible. It’s particularly horrible in LA.”

Musk also claimed that the system would allow commuters to travel from Westwood to LAX is just six minutes.

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