Plans for Vegas Loop gain county approval
Nevada’s Clark County approved plans for 46-km (29-mile) network of tunnels beneath Las Vegas, NV.
The tunnels will be built by The Boring Co. and are an extension of the 2.7-km (1.7-mile) Las Vegas Loop that currently shuttles passengers beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center via Telsa autos driving through the tunnels.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the approval of a 50-year franchise agreement between the county and The Boring Co. sets the stage for the permitting process to begin, which would lead to the start of construction of the dual loop system that would operate mainly in the Resort Corridor with stations at various resorts and connections to Allegiant Stadium and UNLV.
The county’s approval is only for the alignment of the proposed route. Each one of the planned 51 stops will need separate land use permits approved before being developed.
The Boring Co. also will need a separate franchise agreement with Las Vegas for the portion of the system that runs underground in the city. A Las Vegas spokesperson said the agreement could be up for approval next month.
The approval of the Vegas Loop is the largest project to date of the Boring Co. which has ambitious plans to build underground roadways in a number of cities. The roadways would be serviced by Tesla vehicles. Musk's initial plans called for van-sized Teslas that could drive autonomously, but the company is now leaning on regular Teslas with human drivers which currently is taking place the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Critics have said that the tunnel systems are nothing more than a less efficient version of a subway.
The new Vegas Loop will comprise 51 stations around Las Vegas and accommodate 57,000 passengers per hour, The Boring Company says. There will be stops at many of the city's iconic casinos and the city's new stadium. It's intended to be a point-to-point system, where passengers can go straight to their destination without stopping at each station in between, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
The Loop won't require any taxpayer funds. The Boring Company will foot the bill for construction and pay a quarterly fee to the county based on how much money it makes on fares, according to the outlet.
The project, years in the making, is a big win for The Boring Company, whose plans in some other cities like Los Angeles and Chicago never materialized. It's also a success for the rest of the Musk ecosystem, which will require a large fleet of Tesla vehicles and will introduce thousands of potential customers to the electric vehicles.
The tunneling firm is also in talks to build a transit system in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.