Elon Musk, Geocities Co-Founder Want to Fix Los Angeles Traffic

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is fed up with the traffic in Los Angeles.

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.

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