Story at a glance
- Musk’s Boring Co. opened its Las Vegas tunnel system.
- It operates with a fleet of Tesla cars.
- The Boring Co. specializes in tunnel infrastructure development as an alternative to above-ground highways.
Elon Musk’s long-anticipated tunnel loop running beneath Las Vegas officially opened this week, transporting passengers along a 1.7 mile stretch of underground road across three passenger stations.
Having opened officially on June 8, the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) tunnel, created by Musk’s Boring Co., uses Teslas as a vehicle fleet to move passengers between the Las Vegas Convention Center to the West Station and the South Station, with the convention center acting as a middle point.
The tunnel system takes about two minutes to traverse, bringing down the 45 minute walk time.
The Los Angeles Business Journal noted that the project cost a total of $52.5 million. Construction took about 18 months to complete, and was unveiled as the convention center began to host gatherings again as COVID-19 health restrictions began to loosen.
“We’re grateful to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and all local stakeholders for providing us the opportunity to construct our first commercial project in one of the world’s most dynamic destinations,” Boring Co. President Steve Davis said in a statement. “We are proud to have developed and delivered an exciting transportation solution to the Las Vegas Convention Center.”
LVCC’s tunnel system opening comes as the city of Las Vegas continues to launch its publicity campaign encouraging tourism and corporate events to return to the city as the U.S. economy begins to rebound from the pandemic.
The ethos behind Musk’s vision for tunnel systems as transportation is multifaceted; the Boring Co. says a reduction in traffic and air pollution, weather resiliency and easy expansion are some of the benefits of investing in tunnels as transportation infrastructure.
The Tesla fleet that runs along the tunnel has a maximum capacity of 62 cars that can hold up to five passengers, potentially transporting 4,400 people per hour.
Due to some COVID-19 restrictions still in place, it may take time for this maximum potential to be realized.
Other tunnels in construction for the Boring Co. include the R&D Tunnel and the Hyperloop Test Track in Hawthorne, Calif. Other cities, namely Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., however, are courting the idea of contracting Musk’s company to develop a similar tunnel to take passengers straight to the beach.