Miami Mayor to Seek Federal Funding for Proposed Elon Musk Tunnel
(Bloomberg) -- Miami Mayor Francis Suarez wants to seek federal funding for an Elon Musk-built underground car tunnel to curb traffic.
Suarez, who met with Musks’s Boring Co. last week about the potential project, said in an interview Tuesday that he planned to approach U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the matter.
“It would be wonderful if the federal government would involve itself in this project,“ Suarez told Bloomberg Radio. “I’m not operating under that presumption, but if we can find partners, wonderful.“
Suarez has become the chief local advocate for the project, but in Miami-Dade’s tiered government, his city doesn’t actually control the roads -- the county government does. And in South Florida, the water table is so high that there are hardly any basements to speak of let alone tunnels, except for the one at the Port of Miami. Those facts have fueled doubts about the project, but Suarez is convinced the skeptics are wrong to bet against Boring’s technology.
Suarez, the mayor of a 468,000-person city, has used social media to attain growing influence and nurture relationships with entrepreneurs, including Musk, with whom he connected with through Twitter.
He has also tweeted breathlessly about why technology workers and companies should move to Miami. He said he hoped he could convince Musk to locate his company’s there, too.
After meeting with executives from Boring, who are already building a tunnel for self-driving Teslas in Las Vegas, Suarez said he is thinking about a similar transportation system that could potentially connect Brickell to downtown, Grand Central Station, Miami World Center, the Omni area, Wynwood, and Little Haiti.
Part of this could potentially be a tunnel system under Brickell Avenue, where pedestrians could walk underground and then ride waiting electric vehicles. He said the idea could cut some commutes from 40 minutes to five.
Suarez is also already pursuing a company-funded model for the project. Suarez thinks Musk may agree to build a user-fee based tunnel system in Miami, and says such systems could become widely popular across the country. A Boring project in Chicago is set up under a similar concept.
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