Tunneling, Reds vs Dodgers, the heroic bus: HWR, May 11

Art of Tunneling


As Musk explained in the comments, the stretch of tunnel above is near company headquarters and runs east-west from near Crenshaw Boulevard and the 105 freeway to near the 105/405 junction. The tunnel would be used by “pods” that could travel between different destinations.

Attentive Source readers know that the Boring Co. is looking to build a system of tunnels across the L.A. area. A “proof of concept” tunnel between Culver City and near Sepulveda Boulevard and the Expo Line will soon be built. Metro plans to build a rail tunnel for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor in the area and officials from Metro and the Boring Co. met earlier this month to discuss both efforts.

Metro issued the following comment after the meeting:

Pretty interesting stuff. Obviously there are a lot of questions to be answered on both projects involving speed, capacity, funding, etc. Stay tuned!

Art of Mars Transit: 

Dept. of Dodger Stadium Express: 

Those of you taking our freebie bus to this weekend’s games might want to see this:

Always fun to see the flyover cities stake a claim in California. It goes both ways. As seen by a friend at Dodger Stadium last night:

That’s not the best pic. Here’s what it looks like when served up in The 513 (photo courtesy me):

Chili Johns in Burbank does the best local version, I’ve found (Metro Bus 154) — although not as good as mine.

The Reds won the series opener Thursday night and tonight dish up former Mets starter Matt Harvey. I look forward to watching it unfold from the nosebleeds and am predicting — sorry Dodger fans — a Reds series sweep, which will surely trigger their ascent to their rightful place atop the NL Central.

I was asked about the Reds gondola situation on Twitter. Long story short: they don’t need one because Great American Ballpark is an easy stroll from anywhere in downtown Cincy as well as Northern Kentucky via the beautiful John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, which opened in 1866 (photo courtesy me, bridge at left and ballyard at right).

New Metrolink station connects Antelope Valley to Hollywood Burbank Airport (Daily News) 

The new platform. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

Metrolink now has two stations serving the airport — the existing one on the Ventura County Line and the new one for trains running between Union Station, the northeast Valley, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley. A shuttle bus will run between the new platform and the airport terminals, which are about a mile apart. The new airport terminal, when built, will be closer to the new platform btw.

Protected Bike Lane Workshop Draws Packed House to Meeting (Pasadena Now)

Will the city of Pasadena be able to build a protected bike lane on a one-way street in which traffic is not running at capacity? Stay tuned. This project for Union Street has been talked about for years and may — emphasis ‘may’ — be closer to actually getting built.

Lyft’s monthly subscription plan gets a waitlist (Tech Crunch)

The cost: $200 for 30 shared rides per month. It’s just a test at this point. Will be interesting to see if it makes cheap taxis even more popular or if most people prefer ordering them on an a la carte basis.

Love the bus, save your city (CityLab)

Laura Bliss writes:

But too many cities are ignoring what is arguably the cheapest and most flexible general-purpose option, which happens to be available already: the bus. Buses can carry large numbers of people in a compact amount of road space. They don’t require special rights-of-way (though that’s sometimes ideal). They can be deployed and rerouted as needed. Across modes, they’re the most affordable to cities in terms of capital costs, and often in terms of operations.

All good points. The trick, of course, is creating lanes for them and getting them through intersections more quickly — something Metro’s Vision 2028 Plan proposes to do. The public comment period for the plan is open, btw.

How two New York MTA decisions pushed the subway into crisis (NYT)

The decisions involved slowing down trains and trying to improve worker safety. Both, the NYT reports, had a ripple effect that sent delays throughout the system.

8 replies

  1. PLEASE!! Chili John’s doesn’t have anything close to Cinncy chili! Just because a restaurant puts chili over spaghetti doesn’t mean it is Cinncy chili!!!

  2. How can Musk build his tunnel in a matter of months and the MTA takes years to accomplish the same distance?

    • Musk’s tunnel is a much smaller diameter, but even with Metro’s large diameter tunnels, the tunneling part does not take long. It is the stations, utility relocation, etc. that take much more time.

      For the Regional Connector, it took 4 months to complete 1.1 miles of a larger diameter tunnel.

      The second Crenshaw line tunnel also only took 4 months to complete 1 mile of a larger diameter tunnel.

    • The actual tunnelling using a TBM doesn’t take that long on Metro projects. It’s mostly the build-out for the station boxes and subsequent utility relocation that takes the most time. See how the Regional Connector tunnels were bored relatively quickly, only taking a few months each once the path was cleared of utilities (which isn’t as big of an issue with where Musk is currently making his tunnel). BART in the Bay Area is experimenting with building a station within a single-bore tunnel for their newest extension. This method would dramatically speed up build time for subways, but it comes with it’s own other drawbacks.

      • Hi sns2015;

        You make an excellent point. On the upside, Metro’s very large underground stations will also be able to serve a large amount of people — given that a single subway train can carry hundreds of people. One thing that may distinguish the public versus private tunneling efforts is capacity. I also tend to feel that the more transportation options, the better.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

        • I agree that the capacity issue is one of the biggest unknowns in the Musk tunnel system. I don’t doubt that they will be able to build their system to operate at the peak speeds (130 MPH?) that they’re planning, but that can only work for a single station pair.
          What happens when they have multiple stations in between Musk’s house in Bel Aire and his office in Hawthorne? When I board the tunnel system at Culver City how long will I have to wait at the on-ramp while Elon’s skate rolls by at 130 MPH?
          Will the skates all accelerate from zero to 130 MPH while on the main-line the tunnels? That will greatly diminish the efficiency of the system if other skates are causing “stop-and-go” traffic.
          Or will the system include accel/decel lanes? If so how will they merge safely onto the mainline?
          Will the skates be connected into train sets?
          How will the intersections work? Stop lights or full interchanges?
          In all of the news articles about The Boring Company, has anybody asked any of these questions?

    • Musk is an innovator. Thinks outside the box, and uses new approaches to massive projects. Metro, in comparison, uses old, bloated bureaucratic procedures that often create massive cost overruns and delays.