The construction of the Convention Center Loop in Las Vegas by The Boring Company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a company that focuses on tunnel construction, has been completed and is now in the test phase.
Musk’s inspiration for founding The Boring Company in 2006 was the heavy traffic in Los Angeles, which not only rarely leads to long-term traffic jams. For many years, the metropolis on the American west coast has been one of the cities with the worst traffic.
Tunnels should be the solution to traffic problems
According to the TomTom’s Traffic Index, commuters spent around 167 hours in traffic jams in 2019. With these numbers, Los Angeles ranked at the top of the list of US cities where the most time is spent in traffic. Two other Californian cities, San Jose and San Francisco, were in second and third place. New York took fourth place.
It is particularly worrying that traffic jams will lead to enormous economic damage in the coming years from wasted time and fuel as well as increased emissions. Nevertheless, the “Angelenos”, as the residents of the “City of Angels” are often called, love their cars, which is a sign of independence for them. In addition, local transport in Los Angeles is not particularly reliable. Buses and trains are available, but they are very late. There are around 12 million people in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. However, only around 344,000 people use rail transport every day.
From downtown Las Vegas to McCarran International Airport
So it’s no wonder that the visionary Musk has taken on this traffic problem and found a possible solution with his The Boring Company. His drilling tests on the premises of Space-X, his rocket company, eventually turned into a realistic project that was implemented in Las Vegas: the Convention Center Loop. This has now been completed and is now in a test phase. The route of the loop runs underground from Downtown Las Vegas over the Las Vegas Strip, has several stops such as various hotels, passes the Allegiant Stadium and ends at McCarran International Airport.
The transport system should work like this: The vehicles are placed on platforms and then lowered into the ground. There is a tunnel there, which is used to classify the cars in traffic. These platforms also have the purpose of taking the vehicles out of traffic and can reach speeds of up to 200 km / h. The vehicles come back to the surface via an elevator and can participate in normal road traffic.
The vehicles that will race through the tunnels are understandably Tesla models. So far, the models S, X and 3 will probably be used. Due to fire safety measures, it will not be possible to transport 1,200 people per hour through the Convention Center Loop, as was initially assumed, but only 800.
Prices for trips are now known
Now the tariffs plus travel times for the loop routes have also been published. The important thing to note is that fares are per car, not per person, which is a pretty attractive pricing model. Another plus point of the loop is that there are no stops for a route booking. The destination is approached without interrupting the journey.
A ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Allegiant Stadium is $ 6 for a 4-minute ride, approximately 2.23 km.
A trip between McCarran Airport and the Convention Center (5 minutes, approximately 3 km) costs 10 US dollars.
From Downtown Las Vegas to the Convention Center, the tunnel journey takes around 1.7 km, 3 minutes and costs 5 US dollars.
According to Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention Center and Visitors Authority, loop fares are somewhere between bus and subway fares.
The test drives are currently underway and a specific opening date is not yet in prospect.