Elon Musk is known for going after tough challenges, having taken on the auto, aerospace and solar-power industries. But ask anyone who’s taken a trip down the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, and they’ll tell you his latest mission is hopeless.
So aggravated by soul-killing LA traffic, Musk is spending some of his own fortune to help fix it.
“If it can actually make a difference, I would gladly contribute funds and ideas,” Musk told the Los Angeles Times today. The 405 on the city’s west side is a particular source of his frustration. “I’ve super had it,” he told the paper.
Musk — the chief executive officer of Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies, and chairman of SolarCity — has already given $50,000 to find ways to ease traffic congestion and is willing to spend more, the report said.
Los Angeles, the second-biggest U.S. city by population, reclaimed its ranking as having the worst traffic congestion in the nation, after losing it for a year to Honolulu, according to the Inrix Traffic Scorecard released yesterday. The 405 freeway that’s so rattled Musk is the city’s worst, “consistently jammed in both directions,” Kirkland, Washington-based Inrix said.
Musk’s $50,000 went to Angelenos Against Gridlock, a local advocacy group that wants to fix infrastructure in California and other U.S. cities, the Times reported. The group lists Musk and the David Bohnett Foundation — started by the co-founder of Geocities, a once-dominant force on the Web that Yahoo acquired in 1999 for $3.6 billion — as its top donors.
Musk, a founder of PayPal, has a lot to give. The South African-born entrepreneur is currently worth as much as $3.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.