Posted on: May 3, 2023, 06:20h.
Last updated on: May 3, 2023, 06:20h.
Clark County Commissioners on Wednesday approved plans from Elon Musk’s the Boring Company to build 18 new stations for its underground transit system. The approved plans call for about 25 miles of new tunnels, doubling the size of the Vegas Loop to 73 stations spanning 65 miles of tunnels.
Included among the new stations are stops near the Palace Station and Circus Circus casino resorts on the Strip’s north end, as well as the proposed sites of the Dream and Oak View Group casino resorts south of the Strip. (Most of the Strip was previously covered by 55 stations, spanning 34 miles of tunnels, approved in 2021.)
The expansion was approved in a 6-1 vote after Boring Company attorney Stephanie Allen promised that her company would fund 100% of it, leaving no taxpayer burden.
According to documents filed with the city, the project “will increase connectivity and convenience to visitors within the Resort Corridor and surrounding establishments” and it “encourage pursuing a variety of strategies to reduce reliance on private automobile travel, with the goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption and associated pollutant emissions from vehicles.”
Currently, the only functioning part of the Vegas Loop sees a fleet of Teslas navigating three tunnels spanning 1.7 miles under the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), along with a connection to Resorts World opened in July 2022.
“LVCC Loop connects the LVCC New Exhibit Hall with the existing campus (North/Central/South Halls), and reduces a 45 minute cross-campus walk time to approximately 2 minutes,” the Boring Company’s website claims.
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, more than a million passengers have ridden the Vegas Loop to date, with a peak single-day ridership of 32,000.
Riders who tested the tunnel at the CES show in January 2022 were not impressed, however. They noted to electric vehicle news site Electrek.com that the company initially promised self-driving cars zooming at 150 mph, but delivered only manned vehicles going 35 mph.
Though approved by Clark County, the portions of the new tunnels that enter the City of Las Vegas, which is actually located north of the Strip, still need to be approved by Las Vegas City Council, which expects to vote on the plans sometime this summer.
The Vegas Loop is expected to be completed in 2027, including future expansions into residental areas north, west and east of the Strip.