While it might hail from The Boring Company, the newest proposal for local traffic easement doesn’t lack excitement. The DC-Maryland Loop Tunnel Project is developing an environmental assessment for a high-speed underground public transportation system between Washington and Baltimore.
The project, the brainchild of The Boring Company (an infrastructure company founded by Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla), would transport people on autonomous electric platforms at 125-150 miles per hour and move them from D.C. to Baltimore in about 15 minutes. These “skates” would carry 8-16 passengers, or a single automobile, through tunnels 30 feet below ground. Stations, also known as Loop Lifts, would be the size of a few parking spaces and widely distributed on the network.
“The electric skates are faster than conventional subway cars, and are autonomous vehicles. Most importantly, Loop is an “express” public transit system – through the use of a main artery with side tunnels for entry/exit, passengers travel directly to their final destination without stopping. Therefore, unlike trains, the skate’s average speed is very close to its maximum speed,” according to boringcompany.com.
The privately funded, 35-mile downtown Washington, D.C. to downtown Baltimore project would become the main line for future network expansion. The company is currently working with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, National Park Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Environmental Protection Agency, DC Department of Transportation, Baltimore City, and Maryland Department of Transportation.
The Loop tunnels are designed to be compatible with the Hyperloop, which would work much the same way, but transport people at 600 mph in pressurized cabins.
The Boring Company also has projects under development in Chicago and Los Angeles. The Boring Company hasn’t released any details on fares, but promises comparable or lower prices than current public transport.