AUSTIN (KXAN/Austin Business Journal) — Another one of Elon Musk’s companies is eyeing Austin, and it’s boasting of being bullish on building a futuristic tunnel in the city.
The Boring Co. — a tunnel construction company — announced in a Nov. 9 tweet that it was hiring in Austin and hinted that it may be planning an underground transit system in Central Texas.
Musk’s company constructs “low-cost transportation, utility and freight tunnels,” according to its website, with the goal to make transportation quicker and safer by creating a network of tunnels that alleviate traffic and congestion. The company has a test tunnel in Hawthorne, California, with proposed projects in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and along the East Coast.
There were eight Austin jobs posted on The Boring Co.’s website by press time, including five engineering positions and openings for an accountant and lead technical recruiter.
There was also a listing for a business development lead, which will be tasked with creating “new revenue-generating tunnel projects for The Boring Company by persuading key stakeholders that a TBC tunnel meets their needs,” according to the job posting.
Last week, voters said yes to Project Connect, Austin’s most ambitious public transportation plan.
The massive project will include the city’s first light rail system, add new bus routes, create a new downtown tunnel system, and provide $300 million for affordable housing.
The project will cost $7.1 billion, about 55% of which will be funded by a city tax rate increase. The plan calls for raising the operations and maintenance portion of the city’s tax rate by 8.75 cents, amounting to an increase of about 3.8% to the average Austin resident’s property tax bill.
Capital Metro officials say the downtown tunnel will help reduce travel time for riders and street traffic for drivers. That’s because it will provide connections for the new light rail system.
CapMetro spokesperson Mariette Hummel said she’s not aware of any any conversations or plans for Musk’s company to be involved in Project Connect, however.
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