Musk hopes to expand LVCVA’s proposed subway to downtown, stadium

art looks a little 2003 TBH
Rendering of a "High-Occupancy Autonomous Electric Vehicle" running between Exhibit Halls. Courtesy LVCVA
art looks a little 2003 TBH
Rendering of a “High-Occupancy Autonomous Electric Vehicle” running between Exhibit Halls. Courtesy LVCVA

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority wants to spend roughly $33 million dollars in tax money to enlist a company partly owned by Elon Musk to build a version of a subway beneath the rapidly expanding convention district.  The project would allow convention attendees to travel the soon to be one and a half mile distance between facilities at no charge.

In turn, the Boring Company “has expressed an interest” in expanding the system to other areas — perhaps the Raiders stadium or downtown Las Vegas — and charge riders a fare, estimated between the cost of a bus and an Uber, said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA.

Hill outlined the plans at a news conference Wednesday.  He says the Convention Center portion of the project could be completed by early 2021, in time for the Consumer Electronics Show and opening of the LVCVA’s new exhibit hall where the Riviera Hotel once stood.

Nine companies submitted proposals to the LVCVA and a panel of six narrowed the selection to the Boring Company, which says the compact nature of the local geology  — caliche and all — makes it ideal for digging the 12 foot diameter tunnels 30 feet below grade.

“They can bore a pedestrian tunnel so that an attendee could come up in the atrium of one of our halls,” said Hill.

If extended beyond the Convention Center, would the underground people mover cut into ridership of the Las Vegas Monorail, which has struggled to attract passengers?

“The system at the Convention Center certainly would not,” said Hill.  “We certainly don’t feel the Boring Company’s system in the community would be exclusive or crowd out others.  We think there is great demand. We have long talked about the demand. We see this as an additional means of transportation —  another option for our visitors.”

Tina Quigley, general manager of the Regional Transportation Commission, said solving the valley’s transportation issues will require multiple modes of transportation.

“Connecting between those modes is going to be key,” said Quigley.

The LVCVA board is expected to take up the people mover project at its next meeting.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

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