Posted on: January 12, 2024, 11:27h.
Last updated on: January 12, 2024, 11:27h.
Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. (TBC) has purchased more land as expansion continues on its Vegas Loop people mover. TBC paid $7.2M for the parcel, just short of 2 acres across from the Thomas & Mack Center on Paradise Road, according to Clark County records. It will be part of a planned University Center Loop connection from the Las Vegas Convention Center to UNLV.
Last July, TBC purchased 1.4 acres — on Valley View Drive near Chinatown — for $3.7M and, in 2022, it purchased two plots on Las Vegas Boulevard south of the Strip.
TBC only needs to purchase land where it intends to build Vegas Loop stations. It doesn’t need to pay properties for the right to tunnel past them underground without stopping.
However, casino resorts and other businesses are expected to foot construction and operating costs for their stations, since it means more tourists streaming through their properties.
Once complete, current Vegas Loop plans call for 93 stations spanning 68 miles of tunnels built from south Las Vegas Boulevard to downtown Las Vegas, according to TBC.
Currently, the system’s only operating segment is its Convention Center Loop, which moves passengers between four Las Vegas Convention Center halls and Resorts World. This loop is free to convention attendees. However, once tunnels open between resorts, a fee will be assessed per mile.
Announced earlier this month and pending Clark County approval, Tesla Cybertrucks will soon be added to the Vegas Loop. The system’s current fleet consists only of Tesla sedans, each of which fits three passengers plus a human driver — who is necessary because Musk never rolled out the self-driving software he promised while seeking funding for the project.
The new trucks will squeeze six passengers into two rows of seats, plus a seventh in front with the driver.
When TBC secured its $48.7M contract with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) in 2019, it promised to build an “express public transportation system” of self-driving shuttles that zoomed passengers at speeds of up to 155 mph. Renderings of the shuttles showed them carrying 18 passengers.
The LVCVA’s website currently promises only “future vehicles capable of holding up to 12 people,” shaving six passengers out of that estimate. Additionally, the top speed achieved by vehicles in the current Vegas Loop is only 40 mph, with an average speed of 29 mph.
Only vehicles manufactured by Tesla, another Musk company, are used by the Vegas Loop. This has prompted some critics to refer to the system as “Tesla tunnels” or “the world’s most expensive car advertisement.”