Tech

Elon Musk Says He's Building a Tunnel Under Los Angeles to Avoid Traffic

Elon Musk has built a career out of devising bold and borderline insane transportation ideas, from hatching plans to colonize Mars, to the Hyperloop, which would put passengers in pneumatic tubes (basically like those you use at a drive-up bank teller) and transport them across the continent in literal minutes. Well, theoretical minutes anyway, since the Hyperloop is still in development.

However, his latest proposal may be his wackiest yet. Late last year, our real-life Tony Stark announced via Twitter that he intends to build a tunnel beneath LA in order to avoid the city's crippling traffic jams during his commute. Many presumed he was joking, but in a follow-up tweet this week, Musk indicated that the plan is very real.

Musk mused on with some tongue-in-cheek ideas/dad jokes for his new company name and motto (The BORING Company, get it??), leading many to believe it was just his dry wit/dad humor on display. But Musk all the while claimed it wasn't a joke. The man is notoriously obsessed with hyper-efficiency and squeezing the most out of a workday, so maybe he really would go to extremes just to shave enormously valuable time off his commute.

However, when he didn't respond to questions about whether the prospective plan was legit, the story lost its steam. After all, the guy's involved in, well, a fewhugeprojects at the moment. How could he possibly manage to take on something like this right now?

This week, he breathed new life into the rumors, claiming the boring will begin in about a month, across the street from his SpaceX office. 

In an exchange with The Verge via Twitter Direct Message, Musk further explained his plans to "solve" LA's traffic problems: "Without tunnels, we will all be in traffic hell forever. I really do think tunnels are the key to solving urban gridlock. Being stuck in traffic is soul-destroying. Self-driving cars will actually make it worse by making vehicle travel more affordable."

It's still unclear where exactly the tunnel(s) will go, or who'll have access to them, but if anyone's up to the challenge of coming up with a plan to fix the nightmare that is getting around Los Angeles, it's Elon Musk. We'll just have to wait and see if he can actually pull it off, or if this is just some modern-day Twitter-fueled #fakenews.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him to a gridlock-free utopia @jwmcgauley.