Elon Musk brings high tech charm offensive to Los Angeles tunnel plan

LOS ANGELES: Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk promised a cheering crowd that his controversial dream of burrowing a high-speed network of “personalised mass transit” tunnels under Los Angeles could be achieved without disturbance or noise at the surface.
Musk, the Silicon Valley high-tech tycoon who founded the Tesla Inc electric car maker, also said he would offer free trips through the first two research tunnels he completes to get public feedback before proceeding with a larger system.
“Like a weird little Disney ride in LA,” Musk, casually dressed in denim, said to laughter and applause.
It remained uncertain whether construction permits he has received thus far, or is still seeking from various agencies, would allow public access to his tunnels on an experimental basis.
Known for aggressively taking on large-scale technical challenges with which he has had little previous experience, Musk ended his pitch on a humble note, telling the audience that realising his vision “could only happen with public support.”
The performance marked a rare personal appearance for Musk at such a public event, a town hall-style gathering attended by about 700 people at the Leo Baeck Temple, a synagogue in the city’s affluent Bel-Air district, where Musk owns a residence.
Musk’s celebrity status preceded him, as some visitors pushed and shoved their way into the crowded hall before the event began. Half-joking that he was late because of heavy traffic, Musk received a rousing welcome as he arrived, and a standing ovation at the end of the hour-long session. — Reuters