“A Valet Stand In A Parking Garage”: World Gets One Step Closer To Calling B*llshit On Musk’s Las Vegas Tunnel Project
Sat, 07/25/2020 – 10:20
The most high profile win for Elon Musk’s Boring Company – in fact, its only win – has come in the form of a nearly $50 million contract it won from Las Vegas last year to create the “Vegas Loop”.
The project is supposed to be able to help people travel the length of the city’s convention center and it is doing so by digging two 0.83 mile long, 14 foot wide tunnels that will allow “vehicles” to travel underground.
But as a scathing new piece in Curbed points out, the evolution of how Musk originally pitched his hyperloop idea to the world – traveling from New York to San Francisco in what seemed like light speed – is extraordinarily different from what the reality of the Las Vegas project is going to look like when its done.
But that didn’t stop Musk from Tweeting out new renderings of the project, which we will compare to the station that was originally proposed. This was the rendering making its rounds in early 2019, provided by The Boring Company:
And this is how the project looks according to 2020 renderings:
The biggest obvious difference is the “pods” disappearing from the rendering. The project was initially described with 12 passenger pods that would move 4,400 people per hour. Those have now been changed to Tesla Model 3 vehicles in the new rendering.
Hey, that’s one way to get some inventory off your hands.
Since a Model 3 only fits 5, the system’s capacity has been cut in half. Compared to other projects in Las Vegas, this number is hardly impressive. Curbed notes: “An automated tram at the Mandalay Bay resort moves 2,600 passengers per hour; a single New York City subway train can hold 2,000 people and some lines can move up to 30 trains per hour.”
So what is the city getting for its nearly $50 million in hotel tax money – much of which likely won’t even be there in 2020 as the city grapples with the coronavirus? “A valet stand in a parking garage,” Curbed writes. And “station designs that don’t comply with ADA guidelines.”
The project will “move an infinitesimal percentage of the populace, without making the slightest dent in traffic, or carbon emissions, or getting anybody to or from work,” the piece says.
“Even if the tunneling technology were somehow revolutionary — which is debatable — as an infrastructure project, this is now officially less useful than a parking garage.”
And we’re near-certain that the final product is going to look significantly different from both of these renderings, assuming The Boring Company is able to finish it. The project is expected to open by January 2021, which puts it on schedule.
We can’t wait to see it – and we bet Las Vegas taxpayers can’t wait either.