Elon Musk: NY-Philly-DC-Baltimore Hyperloop approved by government

Musk didn't say who gave him the approval, and he acknowledged that the deal is far from finalized.

Founder Elon Musk told a space station research conference on Wednesday that he wants to set realistic expectations for the flight later this year from Cape Canaveral.

"We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects, and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector", said a statement from a White House spokesman.

A photo of The Boring Company's tunneling machine. The entire route from New York City to D.C., he claimed, will take just 29 minutes.

But he insists the transit loop would connect New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

The companies feature two separate transportation ideas along the same vein: The Boring Company is geared toward providing an underground highway option for drivers in densely populated areas while Hyperloop One is focused on extremely fast, train-like transportation between cities.

Musk's plans for the East Coast were met with skepticism, especially in New York City, where commuters there are in the midst of the "summer of hell".

But advanced tunneling technology will also be in high demand on Mars, Musk said, citing the likely need to mine large amounts of ice and other natural resources.

He said his hyperloop would have city center to city center service, with perhaps a dozen or more entry and exit elevators in each city.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation were not immediately available to respond to Musk's assertion; the federal government would presumably have some say over such a venture. He is also a backer of so-called hyperloop systems, which move pods at high speeds through vacuum-sealed tubes. Musk then changed his Twitter bio to include: "Tunnels (yes, tunnels)". "I do think getting good at digging tunnels could be really helpful for Mars", said Musk.

There's obviously a significant gap between Musk's vision and a full tunnel segment, but the latest tweets suggest it's a graspable start. The company is working toward building a tunnel from Los Angeles International Airport to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood and Sherman Oaks.

  • Joey Payne