By Nick Lavars
Having finally begun moving the first passengers through its Las Vegas tunnels back in June, The Boring Company has now received initial approval to expand the system across the city. Local officials have today ticked off the startup’s plans to build out the subterranean transport network, which could amount to as many as 51 stations.
The Boring Company’s current tunnel system consists of a pair of one-way tubes running beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, which opened earlier this year to shuttle visitors between stations at either end of the facility. This takes place aboard electric Teslas steered through the tunnels by human drivers at speeds of up to 40 mph (64 km/h).
But expanding the tunnel system outwards to connect with other casinos and other locations around Las Vegas has always been part of the firm’s plans. Clark County officials today approved an agreement with The Boring Company to “establish and maintain” a transportation system beneath the Las Vegas strip, which it says will include the 51 stations and 29 miles of tunnels.
Among the destinations include big name casinos such as Mandalay Bay, the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace, along with T Mobile Arena, Allegiant Stadium and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While the county has approved the proposed route, each of the 51 stations will require its own land use permit before construction begins, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, while the company will also need a separate franchise agreement with Las Vegas.
The Boring Company’s final product is quite different to the one envisioned by founder Elon Musk around five years ago. This involved elevators lowering vehicles from street level down onto special tracks, and whizzing them through tunnels without a driver at speeds of up to 150 mph (240 km/h).
Driving people through short tunnels in regular Teslas at relatively slow speeds is a far cry from this, but The Boring Company says its Vegas Loop will still have the capacity to move more than 51,000 passengers per hour when, or if, it is completed.