SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has proposed an idea to solve his city’s decades-old effort to find a mass transit solution linking its airport and its downtown: an underground tunnel.

Liccardo said he has been in phone conversations with officials from Elon Musk’s The Boring Company to explore digging a two mile-long tunnel between Mineta San Jose International Airport and the Diridon train station.

“Certainly, our city is not going to get any less crowded and God’s not creating any more land, so if there is going to be a viable connection, it’s going to be underground,” Liccardo said.

Passengers would be whisked through the tunnel in electric cars or pods, linking the airport, heavy and light rail and eventually, high-speed rail.

“Diridon really is the big game in town if we are going to link the airport to mass transit,” Liccardo said.

The airport-train station tunnel is part of a larger plan to expand mass transit including possible tunnels into South San Jose along the Monterey Road corridor and to Cupertino through Stevens Creek Boulevard.

The idea was met with criticism from labor advocates who said San Jose should be wary of working with Musk, whose company, Tesla, has been accused of labor violations.

Liccardo said companies working with the city would have to abide by its labor policies. One passenger at Mineta San Jose International said the idea could work.

“If we look at Massachusetts, Boston is full of tunnels which let traffic flow in a variety of directions. I think tunnels are the wave of the future,” said Stacie Bain, who lives in Seattle.

Liccardo said there is no timeline and no budget, though he said a tunnel to the airport would be less expensive than surface rail, which was last estimated to cost $800,000,000.

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