An innovative idea or a distraction? Public weighs in on Elon Musk’s underground line to Dodger Stadium

A rendering of the “skates” — the vehicles that would transport passengers through the Dugout Loop | The Borning Co.

Maybe it’s too early in the public review process.  Or maybe the concept seems too far fetched for many to take seriously. But less than a dozen people spoke during Tuesday night’s first public meeting on a proposed underground line that would whisk passengers several miles to Dodger Stadium in less than four minutes —  and for only $1.

The sparsely attended “public scoping meeting” hosted by the city was held in the left field seats at Dodger Stadium, which is near the eastern terminus of the Dugout Loop, the name of the 3.6-mile high-speed line that Elon Musk’s The Boring Company wants to build. (The western terminus would be located near the Red Line in either East Hollywood or Los Feliz.)

Instead of baseball scores and dramatic replays, the stadium’s scoreboard flashed wonky descriptions of the environmental review process that will look at the project’s significant impacts.

Proposed routes of the Dugout Loop.The only stations would be located at opposite ends of the line | The Boring Co.

Most of those who spoke at the meeting favored the concept, praising it as an innovative, privately-financed project  that would reduce congestion on game days and perhaps be duplicated in other parts of the country. Former Councilman Tom LaBonge, speaking in favor, said a similar high-speed line should be built to the Hollywood Bowl. “Dig a hole there, too,” he said.

But others were skeptical about whether the Dugout Loop would significantly reduce traffic since it would transport only a fraction of fans who attend a game. One speaker wondered whether the project could sustain itself by charging only $1 while another person questioned the wisdom of building more tunnels in earthquake prone Los Angeles.

“The project appears to be a distraction,” said Patrick Dennis, who lives near the stadium.

An initial study conducted by the city’s Bureau of Engineering determined that the project could likely pose significant impacts on air quality, traffic, noise and on historic landmarks. But not all the impacts would necessarily be bad –traffic congestion and air quality may actually improve once the line is in operation, according to the study. Still, officials concluded that a more comprehensive environmental impact report needs to look at these and other issues.

The public now has 30 days to comment on the initial study before the Bureau of Engineer preparess a draft and then final impact reports. Those will trigger more public meetings and review.

Dodger scoreboard displayed information about the environmental review process

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  1. Innovative way to lose money. This’d easily cost billions. No way you can charge $1 a ride AND stay in the black?

  2. People thinking this will reduce traffic are just dreaming. This is just an express line from nowhere in particular to Dodger Stadium exclusively. The bus on the street for the same route takes no more than 15 minutes. If this takes even only two minutes (and promises of the speed will not be what it is when it start running), so what? A ton of money to save just about 10 minutes.

    And mind you, all the riders are NOT going to get there on the Red Line! Most people in LA are not even near the “subway” system, much less the Red Line. Many might drive there for cheap parking rather than pay the gouging Dodger prices, and for only $1 (its not going to be $1 — talk is cheap!) get over to the Stadium.

    So, what impact will all that traffic trying to park in the vicinity of this station cause? You aren’t eliminating traffic from Dodger games, you simply are moving some of it to overrun a neighborhood not even near the stadium — and none of those locations can handle a ton more traffic and people trying to park cars, those locations are already overloaded.

    A main beneficiary here is the Dodgers. This will be used to justify a lot of development on the parking lots there, parking structures will be built, and the rest of the parking lot will be developed as a commercial areal attraction – so that there is some reason for this high-speed line to exist outside the time before and after Dodger games. That is, what you are for or against in this is massive development of the parking lots at Dodger Stadium, AND the big development that has been proposed for the Barlow Hospital property. If you are against that big development, then this is not a project you want. It is not going to eliminate traffic, it is going to greatly increase it.

    Further, Musk clearly is being very devious, and city officials are playing right along with it. There is no possibility whatsoever that anyone would build such a short and ridiculous route and with such technology — other than as one piece of a very much larger project. But you see, under the rules of what impacts much be considered, a small piece like this bypasses a lot of the requirement that must be imposed on a larger project. Musk is scamming Los Angeles in doing things is such a devious way. And the public is being left to deice for or against without even knowing what it is they are talking about. Without knowing what the= overall project is, the pubic is being denied legally required due process.

    I think if for no other reason, Musk and his various short line projects around LA should be rejected until the truth about all his is told. The devious way it is being done is just a big lie and the public is being duped. Maybe if we knew the big plan we would favor it, fine; but maybe we would not. But how can we know if all we are told is a lie?

    Anyone with a brain at least the size of a pea knows this line is absolutely preposterous to build simply to take subway riders from that one location to Dodger Stadium, only six months of the year when Dodgers are in season, and then only on the days the Dodgers have home games, and then only before the game and after the game. And spend a ton of money for that. There is no way whatsoever that that is what is going on here. What is the real plan, and why are we being duped about it? Musk must think we won’t want it, so he isn’t going to tell us. Will he be getting some stake in any development at the Stadium that this project can justify, has such a deal been made?

    Oh, as for comments about “duplicating” this in other parts of the country, as if this is a first and we are advanced — how unknowing. Musk is already doing this is other places, like a line from Philadelphia to Manhattan, a distance that actually makes some sense.

  3. Tony the Main Spoon

    What Dodger Stadium really, really, needs are more water fountains.

  4. One other point to make, this system Musk wants to put in is in the experimental stage. This will be the test of it in fuller, frequent use — to see if it works well, to see if it crashes, to see if it can be stopped reliably many times, to see how many people can and can’t take that speed, etc. In other words, the passengers will be paying $1 to be his guinea pigs for his experiment. He hasn’t highlighted that this is still experimental, has he?

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