Elon Musk's high-speed test tunnel will give free rides on Dec. 11

The Boring Company plans to offer free rides in its prototype tunnel in Hawthorne, California in December.

  • The prototype tunnel is about 2 miles long and contains electric skates that travel at top speeds of around 150 mph.
  • This is the first tunnel from the company that will be open to the public.
  • If successful, the prototype could help the company receive regulatory approval for much bigger projects in L.A. and beyond.

As a first step toward fulfilling its vision of constructing a massive underground tunnel transit system in Los Angeles, Elon Musk's Boring Company has been building a proof-of-concept tunnel under its headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

On Sunday, Musk tweeted that the test tunnel will be completed Dec. 10 and the company will offer free rides the following day to anyone interested in getting a glimpse of what could be the future of mass transit for the world's major cities.

Musk, who's known for not always meeting promised deadlines, was asked by a Twitter user if the Dec. 10 goal was in "real time" or "Elon time", to which the CEO replied: "I think real."

The test tunnel in Hawthorne is two miles long and has a top speed of about 150 mph, according to The Boring Company website.

"Loop is a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric skates traveling at 125-150 miles per hour," the company says on its website. "Electric skates will carry between eight and 16 passengers (mass transit), or a single passenger vehicle."

In September, the Hawthorne City Council granted approval for the company to build a prototype of an elevator system that would connect a residential garage to the underground tunnel.

​The Boring Company's big plans

The success of the test tunnel in Hawthorne would likely help Musk's grand scheme to fix L.A.'s "soul-destroying traffic" get off (or under) the ground.

Musk has mentioned several future projects the company is pursuing, all of which still need regulatory approval. The projects would essentially use the same technology used in the Hawthorne tunnel, meaning each pod (or "electric skate") would carry eight to 16 passengers at speeds up to 150 mph. They include:

  • The "Dugout Loop" in L.A. that carries passengers from "the Los Feliz, East Hollywood, or Rampart Village neighborhoods ("western terminus") to Dodger Stadium in the City of Los Angeles."
  • "The Chicago Express Loop", which would run from O'Hare International Airport to downtown.
  • The "East Coast Loop" that would run from "downtown DC to Maryland, beneath New York Avenue and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway."

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