Elon Musk’s Vegas transit loop cleared for expansion to connect Strip, key venues

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lon Musk’s Boring Company received initial approval on Wednesday to expand its Loop system under the Las Vegas Strip. If built, the full transportation network would shuttle passengers in Tesla vehicles via tunnels under Vegas, including stops at main casinos.

The project was approved by Clark County officials, and allows The Boring Company to extend beyond its current 1.7-mile footprint Vegas Loop system, reports Tech Crunch. It will now also run to Allegiant Stadium and UNLV.

“Expanding and moving forward with plans for the Vegas Loop, Clark County Commissioners just approved an agreement with The Boring Company to establish and maintain a transportation system that will go under the Las Vegas Strip,” said the Commission in a statement. 

“Thanks to the Clark County team for the great partnership and to the Commissioners for unanimous approval,” responded The Boring Company. “Vegas Loop is expanding – 29 miles and 51 stations!”

The initial county approval marks an important milestone, as the special use permits let the Musk-backed company to apply for the land use and building permits for each station and the tunnel. The new 29-mile route will count with 51 stations, including stops at casinos along the Vegas Strip. Further plans would make the Loop system eventually reach the McCarran International Airport.

According to the deal reached with Clark County, The Boring Company is set to pay for the tunnels, and the franchise agreement will last for 50 years. However, before the project becomes a reality, the company must first also secure a separate agreement approved by the city of Las Vegas.

The expansion of the Vegas Loop has the potential to be a gamechanger for the region, believes Steve Hill, CEO and president of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

“You don’t have to stop at every station along the way, you can get in the car here, you can go straight to where you want to go without stopping,” he remarked, according to Fox 5 Vegas. “There aren’t traffic lights, there aren’t stop signs, there aren’t stations that you have to stop at along the way.”

The project is likely to be completed in a handful of years from now, and it is estimated that about 700 Tesla vehicles will run through the system at a time. Moreover, it is expected that about 57,000 people will be ushered through the loop per hour.

“Within a year, I would hope that we would be under construction with portions of the main system, and then we can continue to expand from there,” further said Hill. The express rides will be fare-based, with a cost likely more expensive than riding regional transit, but lesser than using rideshares. It could cost between $5 and $20 dollars to use the loop.

The Boring Company has been working to build out a system of tunnels underneath Las Vegas for a few years now. At one point, it was considered using sleds to shuttle cars from the surface to the tunnels and back, as well as pods that would give preference to cyclists and pedestrians.

The final version, however, only contemplates Teslas in tunnels. The plan is to ultimately use vehicles that can drive themselves, but since that project is still in development, the cars that run under the loop will all have human drivers.

The initial 1.7 miles of tunnels launched in June this year, under the Las Vegas Convention Center. It counts with three stations: LVCC West station, LVCC Central station, LVCC South station. Once completed, the Loop would enable anyone to get to virtually any hotel or casino emission-free while avoiding traffic

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