Elon Musk's hobby project - the Boring Company - is planning a citywide expansion of its underground tunnel system which it has been building in Las Vegas. The startup wants to build a 16-kilometre loop which serves the famous Las Vegas strip that connects the casino hotels with the downtown area of the city including its McCarran International Airport. All these loops will obviously be powered by Tesla vehicles. In addition to this, it even wants to build another loop that connects the properties owned by Caesars entertainment that includes Caesar's palace properties. This proposal will make the tunnels that will enable transportation from the Las Vegas Convention centre which is the home of CES to hotel's like the Mandalay Bay just three minutes long as opposed to 30 minutes during peak traffic hours.
As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a proposal was floated to the Car County officials after the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) finished buying the Las Vegas Monorail which filed for bankruptcy in September.
Following the acquisition, LVCVA killed a non-compete agreement that prevented the Boring Company from digging any tunnels that served the same areas as the monorail. This monorail is not expected to reopen till 2021.
While all of this is quite impressive, the Boring Company has been laggard in completing its original project. It is still working on its first underground people-mover which will open to the public below the Convention Center. It was originally slated for a January 2021 opening in time for CES 2021, but those plans are now not in play as CES thanks to the pandemic is a virtual event and generally, work has been slower in the wake of the COVID19 crisis.
The Boring Company has plans of shuttling up to 4,000 people per hour through its tunnels using Tesla Model 3s and Tesla Model Xs which will operate alongside a tram built on the Model 3 platform that will be able to fit up 16 people. This tram and the cars will move autonomously, though they will also have drivers.
Originally the LVCVA paid the Boring Company $48.6 million to build tunnels, but that cost has already swollen up to $52.5 million. If this expansion goes through, the Boring Company, will not get such a sweet deal. It will have to pay for the cost of the construction of the main tunnel of the new citywide loop, while properties that want a station will have to pay to have them built. This proposal will be put in front of the Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday and in front of the county officials in February.