Los Angeles residents understand the pain that comes with sitting in traffic. To pass time while sitting bumper-to-bumper, most will turn on music, listen to a podcast, or take selfies on Instagram. For Elon Musk, sitting in traffic on a highway in L.A. sparked an idea that would save countless hours spent in the car.
The idea gave birth to Musk’s The Boring Company, which plans to build underground tunnels through Los Angeles County. Those tunnels would hold pods that could travel up to 150 MPH on a high-speed rail. It could be a solution that would help reduce L.A. traffic and could potentially get commuters to their destination in just minutes.
But, on Nov. 28 it was announced that the project was cancelled due to a lawsuit settlement.
Sepulveda Test Tunnel Beginnings
In 2016, Musk tweeted, “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.” He then started the planning for an underground transportation system that would go through the whole city. He wanted to start on the west side of Los Angeles and build a tunnel that would go underneath one of the busiest highways in L.A., the 405 freeway.
But in order to get started on the project, Musk’s company first needed to pass an environmental review. In April, it was reported that the Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee was going to give Musk an exemption for that review so his company could start building the tunnel.
Why was the Project Nixed?
The state law says that an environment review cannot “be evaded by chopping large projects into smaller pieces that taken individually appear to have no significant environmental impacts.” The Boring Company had proposed in a2017 map drawing to create tunnels throughout the entire city. However, the environmental review was only passed for the Sepulveda project. Since the tunnel was only a small portion of his original plan, residents on the Westside did not want them to proceed due to environmental concerns.
Musk will still move forward with construction on the Dugout Loop, which will be a 36-mile tunnel between Dodger Stadium and a subway station. It could potentially move riders from Los Feliz and East Hollywood to the baseball field in four minutes.
The Boring Company is also working on similar projects in Chicago and Washington D.C.
Musk vs. Social Media
Even though The Boring Company’s project was cancelled, Musk is keeping himself busy in other ways. In August, Musk tweeted that he was taking Tesla private at $420 a share—which resulted in him being replaced as chairman of the board. He was forced to step down for three years, and was replaced by Robyn Denholm, an Australian telecom executive.
Also, in early November, his name was involved in a scam on Twitter when hackers posed as him on the site and ended up gaining 28 bitcoin in just 24 hours.