Elon Musk ducks out of one Los Angeles tunnel but pursues another

Musk’s underground transit venture the Boring Company gave up on its development of a 2.7-mile tunnel in West LA

Reuters November 29, 2018
Elon Musk arrives to speak at Boring Company community meeting in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, US May 17, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES: Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has scrapped plans for a high-speed passenger tunnel under the West side of Los Angeles but is moving ahead with a similar proposal across town designed to whisk baseball fans to and from Dodger Stadium.

Musk’s aptly named underground transit venture the Boring Company gave up on its development of a 2.7-mile (4.4-km) tunnel in West LA to settle litigation brought by community groups opposed to the project, the two sides said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

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The move came six months after Musk, the high-tech baron better known as the founder of electric car company Tesla and CEO of rocket maker SpaceX, made a rare personal appearance at a Los Angeles public event to promote his controversial tunnel project.

At the time, Musk boasted of his intention to offer free rides through the tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard to elicit public feedback before proceeding with a much larger network he has envisioned for the LA metropolitan area.

But opponents accused Musk of trying to evade a lengthy environmental review required for such projects by seeking an exemption based on what his company insisted was a small-scale demonstration of a wider concept.

Precise terms of the court settlement were confidential, according to a company official along with a lawyer for plaintiffs of the lawsuit, John Given.

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“The parties ... have amicably settled the matter,” the statement said. “The Boring Company is no longer seeking the development of the Sepulveda test tunnel and instead seeks to construct an operational tunnel at Dodger Stadium.”

Plans for Boring’s so-called “Dugout Loop,” an underground high-speed transit corridor between Dodger Stadium and one of three existing subway stations along the city’s Metro Red Line, were first unveiled months ago on the company’s website.

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