Elon Musk’s Boring Company Gains Initial Approval for Underground Las Vegas Loop

Posted on: October 21, 2021, 07:53h. 

Last updated on: October 21, 2021, 09:18h.

Elon Musk wants to further change how people move about in Las Vegas.

Elon Musk Boring Company Las Vegas Loop
Central Station of the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop. Elon Musk and The Boring Company want to greatly expand the tunnel system underneath Sin City. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Musk’s Boring Company has already improved the flow of people at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) by way of an underground tunnel system. But the planet’s second-richest man has grander plans for the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Musk’s Boring Company is seeking to build 29 miles of underground tunnels. That would connect the casino Resort Corridor with various places of interest in the Las Vegas Valley, including Allegiant Stadium, UNLV, and downtown’s Fremont Street. The project is called the Vegas Loop.

The Clark County Commission yesterday unanimously approved a special use permit for The Boring Company to submit further detailed plans for the twin-tunnel transportation network.

Wednesday’s approval from the county commission is for Boring’s proposed route. The underground people mover — dubbed the Vegas Loop — still needs individual land-use permits for each of the planned 51 stops.

Casino resorts are enthusiastic regarding the Vegas Loop. Reps from Resorts World and Westgate both urged the county commission to approve the undertaking.

Tunnel Vision

Worth more than $200 billion, Elon Musk, the Tesla visionary, is revolutionizing how people travel. Musk’s Boring Company says its mission is to create safe, low-cost transportation solutions for people in congested cities.

The Las Vegas Strip is an ideal locale for Boring’s first major development. The company has already built and is now operating a smaller version of the Vegas Loop. The LVCC Loop is a 1.7-mile tunnel network that whisks convention attendees underground in Tesla autonomous vehicles across the expansive meeting complex.

The LVCC Loop opened earlier this year. Boring wants to greatly expand the network, and county officials are supportive of the initiative, as it requires no public funding.

Steve Hill, chair of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), said Musk and Boring have agreed to pay for the 29 miles of tunnels, which could cost upwards of $1 billion. The LVCVA chief said casino resorts and other areas seeking a stop would cover each station’s construction costs.

The LVCVA recently acquired the bankrupt Las Vegas Monorail. The purchase was critical, in that it removed a noncompete clause held by the Monorail that prevented any new transportation system on the eastern side of the Strip.

Details Looped In

Boring officials told Clark County that the Vegas Loop would be capable of transporting as many as 57,000 people per hour. The Loop would likely open with about five to 10 stations, with the rest being developed over a following two-year period. Boring did not specify a time frame as to how long the route construction would take.

Boring President Steve Davis stressed that the Vegas Loop is a public transportation concept, and not one reserved for the well-to-do.

This is not transportation for the wealthy,” the Boring boss said. “It’s very affordable, very accessible, and very comfortable.”

Boring plans to recoup its potential $1 billion investment by operating the network and charging fares to riders. The infrastructure company said yesterday that a 3.6-mile ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Allegiant Stadium would cost $6, and come with a travel time of about four minutes.

Boring would keep all the fares, but pay Clark County a franchise fee each quarter. The Vegas Loop would share 0.5 percent of its quarterly revenue if its income is equal to or less than $17.5 million. The rate increases to five percent on quarterly revenue in excess of $17.5 million.