Constantine Samaras, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, has pointed out that Musk’s underground transit system, which would use a series of street-level elevators to lower Loop pods into the tunnels and then run them skate-like platforms at high speed, is a complex one with numerous engineering challenges.
“Cutting holes in the street and dropping down through utilities all over town is not a great idea. It’s expensive, it’s got maintenance problems, and you’re better served with big hub stations on a cost-per-rider basis,” Samaras told Forbes.
But there’s an upside: His efforts may shake up the status quo.
“We’re ready for disruption in urban infrastructure. This might not be the one, but let’s see what happens,” he said.
Heavy public turnout for the Thursday evening event, held at the Leo Baeck Temple on the west side, was also encouraging.
“It’s exciting to see that people are caring about urban infrastructure, that you had people lining up to hear about hole digging,” Samaras said. “I think that’s pretty cool.