Elon Musk spares no opportunity to remind the world that everyone is out to get Tesla — from the media and the hedge fund shorts to labor unions and fossil-fuel companies.
Now there is another entrenched interest group that is showing the first inklings of potential to become another “unfriendly” force in the world: Cabdrivers.
The far-thinking billionaire entrepreneur and innovator has plans to develop a high-speed tunnel transport service between downtown Chicago and O’Hare Airport. Some taxi drivers, already facing dire financial pressures due to the rise of Uber and Lyft and other on-demand ride services, say a high-speed transport option to the airport would all but kill them.
“If you could get to the airport in 12 minutes, would you still take a cab? If they build this tunnel, it will kill the industry,” said William Washington, 69, a Chicago cabbie with more than 35 years of experience.
In June the Boring Company won the bid to connect Chicago’s Loop and O’Hare International Airport. Currently it takes Chicagoans about 45 to 50 minutes to get from downtown Chicago to O’Hare by the L train, the city’s public transit system. The only alternative is for Chicagoans to take a taxi or a ride-hailing service like Uber, Lyft or Via, which can take even longer.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has chosen Musk’s infrastructure and tunnel company to construct the underground high-speed train that would carry up to 16 riders from Chicago’s Loop to O’Hare in approximately 12 minutes. Using high-powered electric “skates,” the transit system proposes to hurtle passengers at 150 miles per hour. Musk also is behind the Hyperloop project that plans to build a high-speed transportation service between Los Angeles and San Francisco and has also been exploring a similar project in Maryland.
The Boring Company did not return multiple requests for comment.