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The Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT), on behalf of the city government, has selected The Boring Company to design, build, finance, operate and maintain an underground express train service between O'Hare International Airport and the city's central business district.
The Boring Company plans to install a Loop, a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric skates traveling at 125-150 miles per hour. Electric skates will carry between 8 and 16 passengers, or a single passenger vehicle.
Electric skates are battery-powered, zero-emissions vehicles based on the Tesla Model X, a sport-utility vehicle designed, manufactured and sold by Tesla. Tesla and The Boring Company are both owned by Elon Musk.
The total investment required for the project is not yet known, and neither The Boring Company or CIT have published projections. Estimations range between US$500 million and US$1 billion. Both the company and the city government have confirmed that the project will be 100% privately funded, receiving no tax payer subsidies.
The so-called Chicago Express Loop will transport passengers between O'Hare airport and downtown Chicago in 12 minutes, making the system three to four times faster than existing transport options.
Electric skates will leave each station as frequently as every 30 seconds, with the Loop operating 20 hours per day, every day of the week. Each skate will feature a climate controlled cabin, luggage storage space, and Wi-Fi.
The exact route is not yet finalised. The Boring Company plans to publish it this summer.
The company has beaten one other shortlisted team to win this project. O’Hare Xpress LLC, a consortium comprised of Meridiam Infrastructure, JLC Infrastructure, Antarctica Capital, First Transit and Mott MacDonald, was shortlisted by CIT from the four teams that responded to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) earlier this year.