Plans for Elon Musk’s Boring Co. Vegas Loop advance

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A Vegas Loop concept map by The Boring Co.A Vegas Loop concept map by The Boring Co.

Las Vegas has moved a step closer to the Vegas Loop, a project by Elon Musk’s Boring Co. to build a high-speed underground transportation system in which people will be transported in Tesla electric vehicles.

On December 10, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority gave Boring the approval to build the loop within the noncompete zone of the Las Vegas Monorail. The vote comes a day after the authority purchased the bankrupt monorail, which suffered a devastating loss of ridership during the pandemic. LVCVA says it plans to resume operation of the 3.9-mile elevated monorail when visitor demand returns.

Then on December 16, Boring’s plans won the approval of the Las Vegas City Council. Plans go to the Clark County Board of Commissioners in February.

In May, Boring completed the tunnels for its Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, scheduled to be completed next month. That system will provide convention attendees transportation within the convention center campus. The 10.5-mile Vegas Loop would tie into that loop and extend service between the center, other tourist spots and McCarran International Airport, including Allegiant Stadium, The Strip and downtown. Boring envisions the loop eventually linking with a future tunnel system between the city and Los Angeles.

The tunnel boring machine crashes through a concrete wall May 15 as it completes the second of two one-way tunnels for the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop. Credit: Las Vegas Convention CenterThe tunnel boring machine crashes through a concrete wall May 15 as it completes the second of two one-way tunnels for the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop. Credit: Las Vegas Convention Center

The Convention Center Loop is part of the center’s $980 million West Hall expansion, which is almost completed. The loop, which cost $52.5 million, will transport passengers in electric Teslas that carry three to 16 passengers, depending on the vehicle. The vehicles will have drivers and travel up to 40 mph between three stations, but they will eventually be autonomous, Boring has said.

High-occupancy automated electric vehicles would be based on the Tesla Model 3 chassis and hold up to 16 passengers with sitting and standing room, Boring says. The company says they would travel up to 155 mph.

Boring says a Vegas Loop would bring a big reduction in driving time around the city.

“During typical peak hours, driving from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay, for example, can take up to 30 minutes,” the company’s website says. “The same trip on Vegas Loop will take approximately 3 minutes.”

For the Convention Center Loop, riders will be able to get from one end of the 200-acre campus to the other within 2 minutes versus a 30-minute walk, according to the convention center. The loop will use 62 Teslas and can carry 4,400 passengers per hour across the campus, the center has said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the Las Vegas City Council’s action.