Four teams sent in their qualifications to build and operate an express rail system from Chicago’s downtown to O’Hare International Airport. The rail service should have travel times of 20 minutes or less with a reliable frequency of at least every 15 minutes for most of the day with “premium” fares that cost less than the cost of current taxi and ride-sharing services.
The interested companies include Elon Musk’s Boring Co.; Oaktree Capital Management; a team called O’Hare Express Train Partners comprised of Amtrak, OHL Infrastructure and Kiewit; and O’Hare Express LLC, made up of the JLC Infrastructure organization (a partnership between Chicago’s Loop Capital and Ervin “Magic” Johnson’s investment company, two European infrastructure companies and Antarctica Capital). The request for qualifications for the project was released last autumn.
“Four visionary groups have stepped forward because they see what we see – a connected Chicago is a stronger Chicago. Strengthening connections between the economic engines of downtown Chicago and O’Hare airport will build on Chicago’s legacy of innovation and pay dividends for generations to come,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
The mayor’s office did not say when it would start accepting specific bids on the project, including what routes the companies would use to build the tracks. The winner of the tender will pay to build and operate the train line.