WSJ: ‘Elon Musk’s Boring Company Ghosts Cities Across America’

Ted Mann and Julie Bykowicz, reporting for The Wall Street Journal (News+ link):

That fall, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was standing at a fenced-off site affixed with Boring signs near Fort Meade and telling a videographer to “get ready” for a high-speed train from Baltimore to Washington. Mr. Hogan declined to comment.

An aide to Mr. Hogan toured a parking-lot test site at the company’s then-headquarters near Los Angeles International Airport, getting a look at a tunnel-boring machine the company purchased secondhand. Boring named it Godot, the title character in Samuel Beckett’s play about a man who never shows up.

The Republican Hogan administration sped up the bureaucratic process for Boring, granting a conditional permit in October 2017 and an environmental permit a few months later. All Boring had to do was bring its machine and start digging, former Maryland officials said. But months, and then years, passed. Maryland was waiting for Godot.

Boring deleted the Maryland project from its website last year.

As Scott Lemieux quipped, The Boring Company appears to be “basically vaporware that exists solely to undermine actually potentially viable mass transit proposals”. The pitch to local municipalities — helmed by politicians with no engineering expertise — is just the monorail gag from The Simpsons but underground.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022