Even the City seemed taken aback by the speed with which the Boring Company was moving. "Why does this seem so rushed?" the council member Angie Reyes English asked at the September hearing. Brett Horton, who was representing the Boring Company at the hearing, answered that the company had had two public hearings about the project, when the law didn't require it to have any, and that it is trying to show proof of concept to others. "We are trying to revolutionize transportation," he said. "We don't want to get bogged down, and we want to show potential investors, other cities, the city of Hawthorne, our employees, that we can succeed, we will succeed, and we won't slow down, and we won't take any approach that doesn't get us to our goal as quickly as possible."


But even Musk skeptics admit that there's something refreshing about a company that can circumvent all the red tape that comes with building a transit project. "This is one of those areas in which the planning world is ripe for disruption," said Tumlin, the transit consultant. "Public consultation is really important and valuable, super well intended, and rarely delivered effectively."

Usually, only the most privileged and angry people show up to public meetings, he said, and then delay most things that are proposed. This is why nimbys can so easily stop affordable-housing projects in their backyard; planned transit extensions take years to build, and even projects like California's high-speed rail end up being loathed by many people. They are all projects solved by committee.

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