The Boring Company is proposing a project on the East Coast to build Loop, a high-speed underground public transportation system. The DC-to-Baltimore Loop would consist of the construction of a set of parallel, twin underground tunnels. This transportation system would create a significant public benefit due to decreased commute times, decreased urban congestion, decreased public transportation trip times, decreased transportation costs/fares, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.
Where would this tunnel alignment run?
The proposed twin tunnels would run in parallel for approximately 35 miles from downtown DC to downtown Baltimore, beneath New York Avenue and then the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. This would serve as the central artery for a potential future transportation network which would hopefully be extended to New York.
Loop is a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric skates traveling at 125-150 miles per hour. Electric skates will carry between 8 and 16 passengers, or a single passenger vehicle. See FAQ for additional information.
Who is paying for this?
The Boring Company. This project would be 100% privately funded.
Is this completely underground?
Yes. The entire 35-mile alignment is subsurface. The only surface penetrations that would occur are:
- Approximately 4 tunnel boring machine “launch pits” would be located on private property adjacent to the alignment. Construction of the pits would take approximately 4 weeks.
- Approximately 20 (and no more than 70) ventilation shafts/emergency exits: They would be located on private property adjacent to the alignment. The shafts are between 12 and 24 feet in diameter. A connecting subsurface tunnel is built between the shaft and the tunnel.
- Any potential future stations (see question on stations below).
How deep will the tunnel be?
While depth will vary, we will generally be at least 30-feet deep in order to ensure that construction is imperceptible at the surface.
What land would this be under?
The only subsurface land utilized for the project would be beneath public right-of-way and beneath private land owned/controlled by The Boring Company.
Would I see, hear, or feel the construction?
No. The construction would be silent and invisible at ground level along the alignment, and no surface vibrations would be felt. The only way to tell construction is occurring would be through the presence of construction trucks driving to/from the “launch pits”. See FAQ for more details.
How long would construction take?
Construction would take between 12 and 20 months depending on the achieved speed of the boring machine.
Which government agencies are involved in the process?
A lot! This includes, but is not limited to:
- Federal Highway Administration
- Federal Railroad Administration
- National Park Service
- US Army Corps of Engineers
- National Capital Planning Commission
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- DC Department of Transportation
- Baltimore City
- Maryland Department of Transportation
- Others – many federal/state/local agencies and bodies
Where would the stations go?
The Boring Company would work with Washington D.C. and Maryland to determine station locations that would provide the greatest public benefit. Stations would be located on private land and most potential future stations would be small (the size of a few parking spaces) and widely distributed in a network, very different from large station termini considered for train systems. The currently proposed construction is for the critical central artery tunnel, and not for the stations.
How long would the trip take?
Passengers would be able to travel from downtown DC to downtown Baltimore in approximately 15 minutes. Travel time to spots along the way vary linearly with distance – in other words, a trip from DC to Greenbelt would take approximately 5 minutes. With Loop, all trips are express, independent of the number of stops along the alignment.
How much would a trip cost?
The fares are not finalized but would be comparable to or lower than current public transportation fares.
Is this for cars or people?
Both, but pedestrians and cyclists will be prioritized over cars.
Is this the same as MAGLEV?
No. These are two separate and unaffiliated projects. The two projects employ very different transportation architectures and technologies.
Is the idea that the Loop will become the Hyperloop someday?
Loop tunnels are designed to be compatible with Hyperloop requirements (see FAQfor the difference between Loop and Hyperloop). A Hyperloop trip from DC to New York would be less than 30 minutes, so we are hopeful that this tunnel could eventually be part of that trip.