Last year, Elon Musk tweeted that he had received verbal approval in order to start digging his Hyperloop tunnel in Washington DC. But officials said that they didn’t actually grant him permission. This happens all the time in government. Some elected official will say – yes, you can go ahead with it, but I just need to get 5 more elected officials on board and it’s a done deal. This is how politics works. So in all likelihood, he had the buy-in, but it just needed to be made official. Now I’m not saying that this is the way it should be done. But it’s the way that things are done, so let’s not discredit him too much based on that.
That said, The Boring Company has received a permit to start doing some digging. This digging is just preliminary site preparation and excavation. Again, this is all normal stuff, so I’m not completely surprised. They will likely need to obtain some other permits for the process down the line. But this is big news. The Boring Company is looking to build a hyperloop between New York City and Washington – with stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore. The total trip time would be just 29 minutes and would revolutionize transportation.
Think about it. If it only takes 29 minutes end to end, you could work in Manhatten and live in Philadelphia at a fraction of the cost. Oh, the possibilities with this one. The permit is for a spot at 53 New York Avenue NE in Washington’s trendy NoMa quarter. A Boring Company spokesperson said that “a New York Avenue location if constructed, could become a station as part of the Hyperloop network of ultra-high-speed main lines and slower city loops”.
As mentioned, it’s still in the early days. Politically, and from a bureaucratic perspective, a lot of kinks still need to be ironed out. I mentioned this kind of idea in another post, around the concept of flying cars. Right now, we don’t have any infrastructure to support the development of these kinds of technologies, so City’s and States need to get themselves organized because the future is here.
The Hyperloop system uses pods that carry passengers and cars between cities at nearly 800 mph in a tube with a partial vacuum. If the Boring Company proceeds with construction, the first phase would be the Washington, DC to Baltimore line. The spot where Musk got the permit to dig is currently an abandoned lot, but could one day be a bustling transportation hub, albeit not on the scale of DC’s Union Station.
I think that Elon Musk is going to take transportation to a new level. You don’t have to like Tesla in terms of the cars themselves, but you have to give him some credit for being able to create such an incredibly forward-thinking industry. If this is successful, imagine what it could mean for transportation in the future? Sure, not every city or state will be able to support this kind of venture, but it will certainly help with long-distance travel.