Entrepreneur Elon Musk has scrapped plans for a high-speed passenger tunnel (Hyperloop) under the West side of Los Angeles but is moving ahead with a similar proposal across town designed to whisk baseball fans to and from Dodger Stadium, Reuters reports.
Musk’s Boring Company decided to stop development of a 2.7 mile tunnel under Sepulveda Blvd.to settle litigation brought by community groups opposed to the project, the two sides said in a joint statement.
Opponents accused Musk of trying to evade a lengthy environmental review required for such projects by seeking an exemption based on what his company insisted was a small-scale demonstration of a wider concept. The settlement agreement’s precise terms are confidential.
“The parties … have amicably settled the matter,” the statement said. “The Boring Company is no longer seeking the development of the Sepulveda test tunnel and instead seeks to construct an operational tunnel at Dodger Stadium.”
The alternative project, the “Dugout Loop,” will be an underground high-speed transit corridor between Dodger Stadium and one of three existing subway stations along the city’s Metro Red Line.
The city’s public works department held an initial public scoping hearing in August for the project, the first major step in a full-scale regulatory review
Musk’s company says a separate, shorter tunnel it has dug beneath the tiny neighboring municipality of Hawthorne, where Boring and SpaceX are both headquartered, would be completed by Dec. 10.
“Based on what we’ve learned from the Hawthorne test tunnel, we’re moving forward with a much larger tunnel network under LA,” Musk tweeted, adding, “Won’t need a second test tunnel under Sepulveda.”
Boring says the Hawthorne tunnel and its Dugout Loop would serve as proof-of-concept sites for a traffic-easing system of subterranean tubes that will move pedestrian vehicles called “skates” from place to place at up to 150 miles per hour (240 km per hour).
Boring’s website says the Dodger Stadium tunnel will initially be limited to some 1,400 passengers per event, about 2.5 percent of the ballpark’s capacity, but ridership could eventually be doubled, Boring’s website said. It said fares would run just $1 a ride.
In June, Boring was selected by the city of Chicago to build a 17-mile underground transit system connecting that city’s downtown to O’Hare International Airport. The company also has proposed an East Coast Loop that would run from downtown Washington, D.C., out to the Maryland suburbs, Reuters reported.