The former Los Angeles City Councilmember, donning a quintessential Dodgers ball cap, spent the two minutes of the public speaking time he was allotted exuberantly running back and forth, praising Boring Company employees.
At one point, he tossed a loaf of bread from Monastery of the Angels to a Boring Company staffer, telling him he was an “angel.”
“Keep it up,” LaBonge told him. “The vision that this company has… is real important.”
He then asked the employees to build a tunnel to the Hollywood Bowl, as well.
The meeting, which was hosted by the city of Los Angeles, kicks off environmental review for the project, which aims to ferry passengers on electric-powered pods from one of three nearby Metro Red Line stations. The trip to the ballpark would take just 4 minutes and cost $1.
Musk has said his high-speed tunnels—which he wants to build an entire network of across Los Angeles—are an environmentally-friendly solution to “soul-crushing” gridlock.
It’s difficult to say how representative LaBonge’s remarks are of public opinion.
Only a few dozen people showed up, and even fewer spoke. At least three of those who did either work or have worked for Musk companies.
“It took me an hour to get here over the 405, that’s why people aren’t showing up [tonight],” said Scott Nolan, a former SpaceX employee.
There are already many other ways to get to the stadium. Metro operates an express bus from Union Station that uses dedicated lanes on Sunset. The distance from the regular 2 or 4 bus stop on Sunset to Dodger Stadium is .6 miles, which at least one attendee who arrived at the meeting on foot walked in 12 minutes.
An aerial tram is also proposed that would serve up to 5,000 passengers per game.
The ball park seats about 56,000 and has parking for 16,000 cars.
Musk’s line would begin at one of three Metro Red Line stations in either Los Feliz or East Hollywood and would carry 1,400 passengers (and potentially up to 2,800) per game. The passengers would ride in pods seating 8 to 16 passengers. The attendees at last night’s meeting could have fit in four of those pods.
Three attendees did question the project, including Echo Park resident Chris Ellington.
“I’ve lived a block away for 26 seasons now,” he said. “For someone to come and say... that 1,400 people a night... is going to eliminate traffic—wow.”
The city had set aside two hours for public comment, and a stadium security guard mentioned that staffers were bracing for a crowd of 1,000.
The entire meeting was scheduled to last until 9 p.m. It wrapped two hours before that.
The Boring Company representatives and city officials did not answer questions.