Las Vegas Set to Create Underground Transport Project

Photo courtesy of The Boring Company

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced today it has picked Elon Musk’s The Boring Company to design, construct and operate a transportation system for its convention center. Subject to approval by the organization’s Board of Directors on March 12, the proposed plan will offer a quick shuttle around the expansive convention center grounds, with the potential to add connections at casinos along Las Vegas Boulevard, the Las Vegas Stadium and McCarran International Airport.

The project, if approved, will consist of a system of underground tunnels that will transport passengers using high-speed autonomous electric vehicles. The three proposed options for the system’s route call for between three and five stops across the convention center’s campus. A map sketching out a potential future expansion adds another 24 stops, mostly at casinos and resorts down the Las Vegas Strip.

A map showing three proposed routes
A map of the expanded convention center showing three proposed routes // Photo courtesy of The Boring Company

The Las Vegas Convention Center is currently in the middle of an expansion that would add an entirely new exhibition hall. Planned to finish by 2021, the added space would increase the venue’s size to 200 acres. From end to end, the LVCVA estimates the new facility will span around two miles. According to the organization, the convention center hosts over a million visitors per year.

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LVCVA’s proposal comes after months of research that began in 2018 and involved representatives from private Las Vegas organizations, transportation consultants and relevant construction and operations companies. After receiving board approval, The Boring Company and the LVCVA will work together to determine concrete design, construction and operational plans. A final proposal will likely reach the board by June this year. The LVCVA estimates the project will cost between $35 and $55 million. According to The Boring Company’s president Steve Davis, the transportation system could be finished within a year of approval

The Boring Company previewed its first underground tunnel in Los Angeles this past December. Unlike the Las Vegas project, which will use autonomous pods, the Los Angeles tunnel allows for users to drive their own car and have it shuttled through the tunnel. Reporters and invited were invited for a roughly one-mile trip in the tunnel inside a Tesla Model X. According to The Associated Press, the drive was bumpy, which Musk says will go away with further improvements, and though the test run only reached 40 mph, he estimates riders will eventually travel at 150 mph. So far, The Boring Company has proposed projects in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago and San Jose.

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