- The Boring Co. is again moving to employ its tunneling services on a U.S. public transit project. On March 16, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority voted to select the Elon Musk-founded company for a potential San Antonio International Airport-to-downtown loop.
- Next, the Alamo RMA will meet with Boring Co. officials to discuss project details, including utilities and real estate costs. Depending on those factors, rough estimates from Boring Co. and RMA place the total project cost at $247 million to $289 million.
- Out of five total entrants, the Boring Co. competed for the contract with one other finalist that proposed an aboveground automated bus system.
In July, after a firm — RMA could not confirm which exactly — submitted a response to an open RFI proposing a transport loop connecting the airport to downtown, the RMA board authorized a Request for Qualifications and Proposals. The RFQP was formally issued in October, and on Dec. 1 five proposals were entered, then scored by RMA staff.
The Boring Co.'s proposal includes twin underground tunnels where Tesla vehicles would drive passengers between San Antonio International Airport and downtown, according to RMA documents provided to Construction Dive. The exact length and route is yet to be determined.
The project style — a tunnel dug by a Musk-owned company and populated by vehicles produced by a Musk-owned company — is the same as Boring Co.'s Las Vegas Convention Center Loop (pictured above), though that consisted of two, 1-mile long tunnels and cost roughly $52.5 million. The convention center tunnel is Boring Co.'s only commercial project.
Boring Co. also has plans, approved by Clark County, Nevada, commissioners, to expand the loop under the Strip. The company could hit the first milestone in that project in April, as Resorts World Las Vegas hopes to have its station connected to the convention center next month, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Eventually, the Vegas Loop could have 51 stops at locations like Allegiant Stadium and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Musk has shopped the tunneling company's products to various cities. In February, Boring Co. submitted plans to build a $185 million to $220 million, 6.2-mile tunnel system in Miami, including seven stations, Business Insider reported.
Musk founded the company in response to his apparent disdain for traffic — citing tunnels as the solution.
Defeating traffic is the ultimate boss battle. Even the most powerful humans in the world cannot defeat traffic.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2022
The Boring Co. did not respond to Construction Dive's request for comment for this story.
The other finalist considered, Bexar Automated Transport, suggested the use of an autonomous bus traveling via both elevated and underground tracks, with an anticipated project cost of $330 million. SAK Construction, ModuTram and Thalle Construction collaborated on the proposal. SAK did not respond to Construction Dive’s request for comment.
The board gave Boring Co. a score of 91.6 out of 100, more than 10 more points than any other entrant.