Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has ducked out of plans to build a second high-speed passenger train tunnel in Los Angeles, after litigation forced his firm The Boring Company to back down from the project.
Musk had plans to build the 2.7 mile-long Sepulveda tunnel on the western side of LA, however has since ditched development after local community groups launched legal proceedings against the firm in opposition to the project.
The news comes little more than a month after Musk, who is more well-known for his roles at the top of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla and rocket company Spacex, said testing of his Hyperloop transport system was almost fully complete. The first tunnel, which runs under Hawthorne from the Spacex base in LA, is set to open on 10 December.
The Boring Company will instead seek to build out its metropolitan network with a separate tunnel at Dodger Stadium, designed to channel baseball fans between games and one of three existing subway stations in LA.
Nicknamed the Dugout Loop, the route was entered into a full-scale regulatory review by LA's Public Works Department in August.
"The parties … have amicably settled the matter," a Boring Company official and a lawyer for the plaintiffs of the suit told Reuters in a joint statement.
"The Boring Company is no longer seeking the development of the Sepulveda test tunnel and instead seeks to construct an operational tunnel at Dodger Stadium."
Musk added his own statement to the mix on Twitter, saying the firm "won't need" a second tunnel under Sepulveda if his Dodgers plans go ahead.
This is completely backwards. Based on what we’ve learned from the Hawthorne test tunnel, we’re moving forward with a much larger tunnel network under LA. Won’t need a second test tunnel under Sepulveda.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 29, 2018
Details listed on the Boring Company's website about the Dugout Loop said it will initially be limited to 1,400 passengers per event, which is only about 2.5 per cent of the stadium's total capacity. This could eventually be doubled in time, with fares to be set at $1 (78p) per ride.
Musk said in October the shuttles themselves will have a top speed of 155 miles per hour inside the tunnel, surpassing the results of an earlier electric sled test which reached 125 miles per hour. The Hyperloop system had initially touted top speeds of 760 miles per hour.