Finance The 'government approval' Elon Musk said he got to build a New York to DC Hyperloop was probably a big misunderstanding

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Boring Company CEO Elon Musk announced the "verbal government approval" in July, but a White House adviser says it wasn't a green light.

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  • A White House adviser told Axios that Elon Musk did not get a "verbal" green light to begin an ambitious mass-transit tunneling project between New York and Washington DC.
  • Musk said on Twitter in July that he got "verbal government approval" for the project that would develop a Hyperloop route between the two major East Coast hubs.
  • Such an undertaking would require cooperation from multiple local and regional entities, including the official backing of the federal government. A number of local government officials who Business Insider spoke to in July said they had no knowledge of it.
  • Musk has been in talks with state and federal officials who say they are excited about the prospect of a next-generation mass-transit system.


This may not surprise you. The "verbal government approval" Boring Company CEO Elon Musk said he received to begin an ambitious tunnel project between New York and Washington DC was probably a misunderstanding.

Musk made that announcement on Twitter in July, suggesting he got the nod for the tunneling project that would eventually produce a Hyperloop connection between the two major East Coast hubs. A White House adviser reportedly said the "approval" wasn't exactly a green light, according to an Axios report published Monday.

"I think what you heard was verbal government excitement," Reed Cordish told attendees at an Internet Association event on Monday in San Francisco.

The Boring Company declined to comment, but conversations between Musk and government officials about the New York-to-Washington-DC project may have just been a semantic misfire. An official green light for the major infrastructure work required to build a mass-transit system would need to work its way through the federal bureaucracy and would require cooperation from multiple local and regional entities.

Musk has been in talks with state and federal officials who say they are excited about the prospect of a next-generation mass-transit system.

A proposed Hyperloop running between the nation's capital and New York would no doubt be a boon for commuters, potentially shuttling people between New York and Washington DC in 29 minutes, Musk said. It would make stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Musk, who is also the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, launched the Boring Company in April this year. It's already well underway on other tunneling projects in California. Last month, he revealed a two-mile stretch of fresh tunnel underneath Los Angeles.