Tech CEO and aspiring transit tycoon Elon Musk says a two-mile test tunnel that his company is constructing below the city of Hawthorne will be complete by December—and that members of the public are welcome to come by for a test ride.
In a series of tweets Sunday, Musk announced that the tunnel is “almost done” and will open December 10. He added that there would be an “opening event” on the night of the 10th and “free rides for the public” on the following day.
The tunnel, which, according to plans approved by the city of Hawthorne last year, runs beneath Crenshaw Boulevard and 120th Street, is the first project constructed by The Boring Company. Musk announced he was starting the company in 2016, after complaining on social media about Los Angeles traffic.
Eventually, the company wants to construct underground tunnels in Los Angeles and beyond, in which cars and shuttles can be rocketed along at high speeds. Musk tweeted Sunday that the test system in Hawthorne will travel at 155 mph.
A good showing in Hawthorne could be key for the Boring Company moving forward, as the company has plans for an extensive tunnel network, tentatively called the “Loop,” that would cover much of the Los Angeles region.
The company is confident it has the technological capability to pull off a massive infrastructure project of this kind, but transportation experts say the plans are likely to get bogged down by California’s lengthy and extensive environmental review process.
In August, the Boring Company held a public hearing at Dodger Stadium for a short leg of the Loop project that would transport fans from somewhere in Los Feliz or East Hollywood to the ballpark in 4 minutes. Called the “Dugout Loop,” the system would cost about $1 per ride, according to the Boring Company.