Elon Musk's Company Is Now All About Public Transit
02:25, Wednesday, 14 March, 2018
Elon Musk’s Company has had a simple vision: blasting torturous gridlock by putting people in tunnels. “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” the Twitter-loving Tesla and SpaceX CEO tweeted.
Musk went ahead and bought that boring machine, then another, and he’s using them to experiment with tunnel building techniques in Hawthorne, California, near SpaceX headquarters. And he’s been pitching government officials on his approach. The Boring Company has proposed tunneling projects in Los Angeles, Maryland, Washington, DC, New York and Chicago.
Transportation experts and urbanists of a more traditional stripe have been less than impressed. Musk’s first Boring Company concept video focused on the personal car, showing Teslas (of course) blasting down underground tubes onboard electric skates, which Musk has promised will move up to 150 mph. How can any form of transit promoting personal cars—vehicles carrying up to five (squished) people at a time, and more likely carrying just one—reduce congestion? What happens if you don’t own a car at all? Musk’s comments during a conference in December didn’t help matters, when he mocked mass transit.
Now, Musk seems to have heard the criticism. Well, at least part of it. In a series of Twitter posts on Friday, the CEO announced his company’s work would “prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars,” emphasizing public transit over private transportation.
“Will still transport cars, but only after all personalized mass transit needs are met,” he wrote. “It’s a matter of courtesy & fairness. If someone can’t afford a car, they should go first.”