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Elon Musk Says He Got ‘Verbal Govt Approval’ for Hyperloop From NY to DC [Updated]

Source: AP
Source: AP

Elon Musk tweeted this morning that he has received “verbal” government approval for his Boring Company to build an underground Hyperloop tunnel connecting New York City and Washington, DC.


According to Musk, a Hyperloop passenger would be able to travel between the two city centers in 29 minutes. His plans also include stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore, with about twelve elevators to the surface in each city. Musk’s early musings about the Hyperloop and The Boring Company showed his primary focus has been improving California traffic by building high-speed transit and underground roads. Last month, Musk’s boring machine starting digging in LA.


This is the first time he has publicized his interest in tunneling through the East Coast. But his phrasing,“verbal govt approval” is vague—especially for such a wildly ambitious undertaking. Gizmodo has reached out to The Boring Company for more details, and will update when the company responds.

Previously, Musk has mentioned talks with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel about his plans to build tunnels under both their cities. But an undertaking like the one Musk tweeted about today would obviously require approval from multiple state representatives and government agencies. Or perhaps he got approval from the King of the Eastern Seaboard.

“Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly,” Musk later added on Twitter.

Musk first released his concept for the Hyperloop in 2013, but said he was too busy with his other ventures, Tesla and SpaceX, to build the thing. The Boring Company began as jokes that Musk tweeted last year when he was stuck in traffic, but soon became a reality—at least by Musk’s standards.


Musk tweeted that after he burrows through the northeast, he will focus on building a Hyperloop tunnel connecting San Francisco and LA, then a Texas high-speed line, presumably connecting Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston.


Updated 4:30pm: A Boring Company spokesperson sent Gizmodo the following statment:

The Boring Company has had a number of promising conversations with local, state, and federal government officials. With a few exceptions, feedback has been very positive and we have received verbal support from key government decision-makers for tunneling plans, including a Hyperloop route from New York to Washington, DC. We look forward to future conversations with the cities and states along this route and we expect to secure the formal approvals necessary to break ground later this year. 



Former senior reporter at Gizmodo

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Which government? The United States? New York? New Jersey? Pennsylvania? Maryland? I’m not sure Silicon Valley people like Musk realize you can’t just get a random person in the White House to say “good idea, we should do that”, do a few more unspecified steps, and then start building a massive infrastructure project that crosses numerous state and local jurisdictions, each of which have their own formal and complex processes for environmental reviews and permitting and contracting and such before you can do anything.

And all that’s before he even begins the absolutely herculean effort of acquiring property rights for a route through numerous states in the most densely populated corridor in the country. He seems to think because he can dig a hole in his own company’s parking lot he can just dig massive tunnels anywhere in the country that he thinks makes sense.