LAS VEGAS – Despite last-minute objections by two board members, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) voted on Wednesday last week to award the Boring Company – owned by technology entrepreneur, investor, engineer, and Tesla, Inc. co-founder Elon Musk – the contract to create and construct an underground transit system for the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The relatively inexperienced Boring Company (not yet having completed any significant project) won the contract with a $48.7 million bid for the mile-long “people mover” project, coming in both below their competitors’ bids as well as offering an accelerated construction schedule that beat out other companies vying for the job. Boring’s plans also presented less disruptions to events and activities currently taking place at the Convention Center, another attractive prospect to LVCVA board members.
The underground tunnel would focus on pedestrian transportation to and from the Convention Center, with Boring’s plan involving autonomous electric vehicles operating in a continuous loop that would ferry approximately 4,400 passengers every hour, reports say. Currently, the travel time by foot via the same route above-ground is an average of 15 minutes; the people mover would shorten that to just one minute, by Boring’s estimate.
While the favored company for several weeks now, Boring ran into a potential roadblock recently as two LVCVA board members objected to Musk’s company being awarded the contract, fearing the start-up would be unable to live up to their lofty promises. Instead, the two board members – Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Michelle Fiore – favored the bid from the more experienced Dopplemayr Garaventa, who they allowed a last-minute presentation involving an elevated rail system to the LVCVA board last week in order to potentially sway their votes. However, their efforts were unsuccessful; the board majority nonetheless voted to officially award the people mover contract to Boring.
If Musk’s company proves itself and successfully completes the new Las Vegas Convention Center transportation system – both on-time and on-budget – additional Vegas-based projects may be awarded to the company in the future, including a commercial tunnel.
To date, the Boring Company has made just one successful tunnel; a test project based in California, solely to be used for tunnel construction research purposes. Boring has proposed several projects in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, none of which have come to light.
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