Elon Musk slams critics and explains how he really feels about public transit in Twitter rant

Elon Musk's recent comments about public transportation drew controversy.

Elon Musk’s recent comments about public transportation drew controversy.
NTB Scanpix/Heiko Junge/via REUTERS

  • Elon Musk went on a Twitter rant on Thursday.
  • His comments were directed toward those who took issue with his recent criticisms of public transportation.
  • Musk explained that he likes many forms of public transit, but thinks big cities need to come up with new forms of transportation.

Elon Musk took aim at his critics on Thursday, going on a Twitter rant directed toward those who took issue with his recent comments about public transportation.

On December 14, Wired reported that Musk criticized public transportation at a tech conference.

“I think public transport is painful,” he reportedly said. “It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time.”

Public transit consultant Jarrett Walker tweeted a response on December 14, saying Elon Musk’s “hatred of sharing space with strangers is a luxury (or pathology) that only the rich can afford.”

“You’re an idiot,” Musk replied.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman revived the argument on Tuesday, chiding Musk for dismissing Walker.

“Elon Musk’s idea of a cogent argument: ‘You’re an idiot,”’ Krugman said on Twitter.

Musk clarified his comments about Walker on Thursday.

“Idiots can be very dangerous when they seem smart, but aren’t (having “PhD” in their bio is a dead giveaway), as some policymakers may get fooled,” he responded. “That’s what really bothered me about that human cat meme / transit ‘expert’ .”

Musk then said that he actually enjoys some types of public transit, but claimed that big cities need alternate solutions to their traffic problems.

Musk, of course, is working to develop more efficient tunneling technology through his Boring Company venture. The company ultimately aims to eliminate traffic by creating a tunneling system under major cities.

After further clarifying his thoughts on public transportation and disagreement with Walker, Musk took a moment to appreciate his platform.

“I love Twitter,” Musk said.