CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Could the future of Charlotte transit be underground?
Well-known billionaire Elon Musk is pushing the idea for cities that are running out of room above ground. And there's at least one formal proposal to build a tunnel under uptown.
"Five o'clock traffic is horrible," said Chance Bryant.
"I know more people complain a lot about the traffic," Michael Conners added.
More than 2.4 million people live in the Charlotte metro area and that makes for a lot of cars on the roads.
"If there's an accident, if there's a police situation, it could take up to an hour to get into work from 10 minutes away," explained Nancy Jones.
It’s why Charlotte’s transit service is working to expand the light rail system to provide transportation to some of the city’s booming suburbs, while at the same time easing congestion.
“I go to UNCC and surrounding areas so I feel like back and forth that’d be good for students,” said Bryant.
According to the Charlotte Observer, potential consultants to the city’s transit expansion project are also driving the idea of building a $1 billion tunnel in uptown with additional trains to service South Park and Ballantyne.
“I have a lot of colleagues who live in South Charlotte and commute 45 minutes a day or something like that and it’s just not what I wanted to have to deal with,” said Conners.
Just last week, SpaceX CEO and billionaire Elon Musk presented a futuristic video of tunneling. It is where cars are placed on skates and move underground at high speeds as a solution to traffic congestion.
This idea of tunneling now up for discussion in Atlanta, as well.
Some people are very excited about the potential of this. Others said the more urgent project is fixing the situation on I-77.
NBC Charlotte was told the city is expected to choose a consultant for the extension project this month.