As reported by Engadget: Elon Musk's latest venture, The Boring Company, has certainly been a source of amusement. Now, the billionaire visionary has tweeted that he's received verbal government approval to build an New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC Hyperloop, which will get you from New York to Washington, DC, in 29 minutes. It currently takes approximately two and a half hours to travel between the two cities on Amtrak's Acela Express.
The company is currently working on tunnels aimed at relieving congestion in LA. Musk tweeted that the New York-DC Hyperloop would be constructed in parallel (with city center to city center service, including up to a dozen entry/exit points per city), followed by a Los Angeles-San Francisco loop. He also envisions a Texas (Dallas-Houston-San Antonio-Austin) Hyperloop as a possibility. That's some pretty far-off planning.
But for that to happen, he'll probably have to have some sort of conversation with the cities themselves, and so far that doesn't seem to have taken place. While a White House spokesperson told us that it believes innovation often comes from the "ingenuity and drive of the private sector," and that it has had "positive conversations" with Musk, it appears that those conversations didn't include representatives from the cities that would be affected by the Hyperloop. The New York City mayor's deputy press secretary Ben Sarle told Engadget, "Nobody in City Hall, or any of our city agencies, has heard from Mr. Musk or any representatives of his company."
Similarly, the Washington DC mayor's deputy press secretary Susana Castillo said, "This is the first we heard of it too, but we can't wait to hear more." Philadelphia's deputy communications director Mike Dunn told us in an email that Musk hadn't contacted any Philadelphia officials about the Hyperloop and that there are many hurdles for this "unproven" technology before it can be implemented.
Whether Baltimore has been included in these talks is unclear, but according to a statement made by its mayor, Catherine Pugh, the city is excited about the prospect. "I am excited to hear about Elon Musk's underground Hyperloop connecting New York to Washington, DC through Baltimore. If his plan becomes a reality it has tremendous potential to create new opportunities for Baltimore and transform the way we link to neighboring cities," said Pugh.