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Elon Musk’s Boring Company Tunnels Will Prioritize Pedestrians Over Cars

Urban networks will have 'thousands' of stations, Musk said.

Using what seems to be his favorite method of communication, Twitter, Elon Musk provided an update over the weekend on his Boring Company’s plans to build an alternative underground transportation system beneath major cities. Boring Company tunnels will prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars, Musk tweeted.

Musk’s concept video shows people-carrying shuttles that load and unload passengers at street level, and are lowered into tunnels to make their journeys around a city. The Boring Company previously discussed using both shuttles for pedestrians and cyclists, and sleds that could carry cars. But Musk said he is “adjusting” the Boring Company plan.

“All tunnels & Hyperloop will prioritize pedestrians & cyclists over cars,” Musk tweeted. “Will still transport cars, but only after all personalized mass transit needs are met. It’s a matter of courtesy & fairness. If someone can’t afford a car, they should go first.”

Musk said the Boring Company’s “urban loop system” will have thousands of small stations the size of a single parking space, rather than a smaller number of large stations like a subway. The idea is to allow people to get closer to their destinations, and for the stations to blend in more easily. But anyone who has taken a local train on the New York City subway probably won’t relish the idea of a system with thousands of stops.

The local urban transportation system Musk is describing seems to be a different concept from his high-speed, intercity Hyperloop, although the Boring Company may end up digging tunnels for both. Whatever Musk’s ultimate plan is, it will likely start in Washington, D.C. City officials have given the Boring Company permission to begin prep work for a station in the capital city. If Musk has his way, that will be the first station of many.