UPDATE: Dec. 17, 2020: In an unanimous vote Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council elected to advance plans for the expansion of The Boring Co.'s Las Vegas Loop project. The vote is a vital first step in the expansion of the Loop beyond the Las Vegas Convention Center, before city staff reviews the proposed plans in greater detail.
The estimated cost of the Loop's main portion is $35 million to $45 million, with The Boring Co. paying for the main tunneling. Hotels that want stations will be responsible for covering their construction costs.
The Boring Co. also has plans to expand outside the Las Vegas Strip, including two separate routes that need approval by Clark County officials, who are set to review the applications in February.
- The Boring Co. has released initial renderings and plans for its proposed Vegas Loop, providing an idea of what the completed system could look like.
- This week, the Elon Musk-owned tunneling company received approval from the Las Vegas Planning Commission to build part of the Loop, and it will pursue approval from the city council next month, CNN Business reported.
- The Loop will run include stops at McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium, the Las Vegas Convention Center and a multitude of casinos along the Strip. If the city goes forward with the project, it will be the first demonstration of Musk’s innovative public transportation idea for cities.
Transportation experts claim the images of The Boring Co. plans fail to address basic problems that transportation models addressed years ago, according to CNN Business.
The design for the stations, the experts said, use the space insufficiently and provide little accessibility for disabled riders. It should be noted, however, that not every detail from the renderings will appear as is on the final approved plans, nor in the finished project. As the company seeks more approval from the city, the plans will likely evolve, it said.
In what will resemble more of an underground highway than a subway, automated Tesla vehicles will drive through tunnels bored by The Boring Co., transporting passengers under the Las Vegas strip at up to 155 mph, according to the company.
Using the Tesla vehicles as opposed to normal subway cars could pose challenges, the travel experts claimed, as the cars consistently pull in and out while passengers board in the center. The Boring Co. reportedly envisions 4,000 vehicles an hour moving through the tunnel system.
"This is not a transit system. It's a system for driving electric vehicles underground," Gerry Tierney, co-director of the mobility lab at Perkins&Will, told CNN Business. He added that it is comparable to a large transit system, such as the London Underground, replacing subway trains with cars.
The Loop’s plans come almost exactly a year after The Boring Co. finished the first tunnel in its original Las Vegas project. The Boring machines dug two 1-mile tunnels for the Las Vegas Convention Center’s people mover, finishing the second tunnel in May. The people mover will open in January, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.