Elon Musk and BART Go Toe to Toe (on Twitter)

Transit agencies and advocates are developing a genre of criticism that could be described as calling Elon Musk on his BS. Musk still has plenty of support on social media.

1 minute read

May 28, 2019, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Boring Company

Steve Jurveston / Flickr

In a redux of a Twitter spat between Elon Musk and Jarret Walker at the end of 2017, BART took on Elon Musk this weekend, with a series of confrontational tweets.

"In an attempt to hype up The Boring Company's tunnel projects, Elon Musk inadvertently drew the ire of BART's official Twitter account," according to an article by Eric Ting.

"The bizarre Twitter fight began Friday afternoon when Musk tweeted an FAQ page from The Boring Company and wrote, 'Boring Company guide to why tunnels are awesome & safest place to be in an earthquake.'"

The ensuing correspondence between Lusk and Twitter users, "clearly irked the official Twitter account of BART," according to Ting. Here's how BART responded.

As Ting noted, BART's questioning of Musk's transportation planning abilities provoked the ire of a lot of people, who (we can safely assume) are admirers of Musk, not of public transit.

Meanwhile, in the background, details of real consequence about plans for Musk's The Boring Company to build a tunnel under Las Vegas connecting two convention centers are revealing the ongoing evolution of Musk's vision for beating congestion. While a demonstration of the the company's tunneling work in December 2018 relied on a sledding technology to move automobiles along tracks in the tunnel, Las Vegas might get a different form of conveyance for its new tunnel. 

"It’s not clear what kinds of vehicles will be used in the system yet, though Hill says that Model Xs, Model 3s, or modified electric vehicles with a 16-person tram body are all under consideration. The number of stations and positions for the stations at the convention center isn’t known yet either," according to a separate article by Elizabeth Lopatto

Yet another article, by Kirsten Korosec, provides additional details about the project, dubbed the Campus Wide People Mover, by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

This also isn't the first time the Twitter feed for BART has made news for statements released on the social media site. Back in 2016, the social media team at the regional transit agency made news all over the country for blasting a series of complaints about the state of transit planning and politics with the hashtag #ThisIsOurReality.

Saturday, May 25, 2019 in SFGate

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Yellow on black "Expect Delays" traffic sign

A Serious Critique of Congestion Costs and Induced Vehicle Travel Impacts

Some highway advocates continue to claim that roadway expansions are justified to reduce traffic congestion. That's not what the research shows. It's time to stop obsessing over congestion and instead strive for efficient accessibility.

March 14, 2023 - Todd Litman

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times


Mapping Sidewalks for Improved Connectivity

A new tool uses aerial image recognition to map a city’s sidewalks and crosswalks. Its developers hope it will aid in creating a more comprehensive understanding of pedestrian networks and where improvements are needed.

March 22 - MIT News

A light rail train waits at the Downtown Long Beach station with a sign that reads “Long Beach” to declare its route to riders.

Long Beach Residents Oppose Proposed Homeless Services Hub Near Rail Terminus

L.A. Metro’s “end-of-the-line” policy forces people experiencing homeless off transit every night at the same time and location. A proposed hub would provide services a few stops before the end of the line in Long Beach.

March 22 - Long Beach Post

A hypothetical map of the state of Idaho, expanded by annexing a large portion fo Oregon. The map is emblazoned with the words “Greater Idaho.”

The Nation's Most Advanced Secessionist Movement

Legislation supporting the Greater Idaho Movement, which would annex over half of neighboring Oregon, has advanced in the Idaho legislature.

March 22 - FOX News

Planner II

City of Greenville

Planner I

City of Greenville

Rural Projects Coordinator (RARE AmeriCorps Member)

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps Program

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.