Elon Musk Opens Short, Bumpy, Slow, Tunnel for $10 Million

The Boring Company

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After a year-and-a-half, Elon Musk has finally opened his one-mile tunnel in Los Angeles. It’s bumpy, requires a specially fitted electric car, and operated at a top speed of 58 mph even with a professional driver at the wheel. “We kind of ran out of time,” Musk explained. Other than that, though, it was a huge success:

Building the 1.14-mile tunnel took about 18 months and cost about $10 million, Musk said. The figure does not include the costs of research, development or equipment, the company said, and it is not clear whether it includes the money spent on property acquisition or labor. Still, the $10 million is orders of magnitude lower than a typical subway project, Musk said. Part of the Boring Co.’s goal, he said, is to create a tunneling process that will be 15 times faster than the “next best” option.

This is ridiculous. If all you want is a tunnel, the Faroe Islands can build one for about $20 million per mile—and that’s a two-lane tunnel that has to bore about 500 feet undersea. Plain-Jane tunneling just isn’t that expensive.

Now, if you want to build an urban subway, that’s a whole different thing. You have to build lots of big stations, you have move utility lines out of the way, you have to be able to transport more than a few hundred people per hour, and you have to follow a whole bunch of safety and seismic guidelines. And don’t forget the lawsuits! For some reason Musk doesn’t ever seem to talk about this stuff.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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