Las Vegas gives Elon Musk the go ahead for more tunnels
By Andy Brown and Jenny LescohierJune 27, 2022
The Las Vegas City Council has approved plans for Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. to build, own and operate a system of underground tunnels beneath the Las Vegas Strip.
Dubbed the “Vegas Loop,” the tunnel system will allow passengers to get from place to place in Teslas via underground tunnels. The Boring Company already operates a small version of this “Teslas in Tunnels” system underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, which opened in June of 2021.
That system, called the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, is comprised of two 0.8-mile tunnels and three stations, taking visitors from one end of the sprawling convention center to the other in under two minutes.
According to test results revealed last year, the convention center system can handle more than 4,400 passengers per hour. The price tag for that project was $52.5 million.
The Boring Company will fund the new project with its own money, through private stakeholders. It is believed that some of the money will come from Las Vegas hotels, that will pay for stops on their property.
The project could stretch for around 34 miles with 55 stops, although The City Council’s vote concerns just five stations directly beneath the downtown area.
Before the project can progress, Boring will need to secure approval of development design studies, including fire and safety, geological and drainage reports. Construction is expected to start in 2023.
What is the point of the Vegas Loop?
To explain why tunnels are a better solution than other transit options, The Boring Company states on its website:
“To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels are needed. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight, and won’t fall on your head.
“Tunnels minimize usage of valuable surface land and do not conflict with existing transportation systems. A large network of tunnels can alleviate congestion in any city; no matter how large a city grows, more levels of tunnels can be added.”
The Boring Company’s broader vision for the U.S. is a large network of tunnels many layers deep. In addition to the Las Vegas proposal, The Boring Company has been in negotiations with officials in San Antonio and Austin regarding the construction of local tunnels there.