Why Doesn’t Elon Musk Fix Our Existing Mass Transit?

Hyperloop is expanding east while NYC's subway system crumbles

July 21, 2017 9:00 am

This is a rant. About Elon Musk. Specifically, his plan to connect our country’s great metropolises via a (long-overdue) high-speed undergroud rail system called a hyperloop.

Saddle up or get off the ride.

Number one, The Boring Company is a terrible name. It was funny for exactly one day. Now it is dumb, regardless of how hard your dad is snickering right now. Number two, can we figure out how to get New Yorkers to work on time before we start whisking people down to D.C. at light speed? I have not successfully taken a train in almost a month. The MTA has literally declared a state of emergency. And rightfully so. It’s a disaster.

And yet Elon Musk, in typically laissez faire fashion, announced on Twitter this week that he has received a “verbal government approval” for The Boring Company (sigh) to create an underground Hyperloop system connecting New York city, Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C. The news comes just days after confirmation that the Boring Company has finished and tested the first segment of its initial build, in California.

If successful, Mr. Musk says he can get me to D.C. in 29 minutes. That means I could get from Manhattan to D.C. faster than I could get from Williamsburg (where I live with access to five train lines) to Chelsea (where I work). A lot faster. A massive amount of red tape will need to be cut before Musk’s is anywhere near a reality, obviously. But the White House has confirmed the two sides have been in talks. 

Look, we’re all for a better, faster, stronger future of infrastructure.

But we’ll never arrive there if we can’t figure out to fix the stuff we’ve already got.

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