March 14, 2024 3 min read


Las Vegas Approves Expansion of Controversial Tesla Tunnels

While the project aims to tackle the city’s notorious traffic congestion issues, the Vegas Loop’s limited capacity and sketchy history cast doubt on its viability

In a landmark decision, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) board has voted in favor of a significant expansion to the city’s transportation infrastructure, specifically regarding an addition to the increasingly debated Las Vegas Loop. This approval marks a substantial leap forward for Elon Musk’s ambitious underground transit system, but many locals remain skeptical.

Vegas Is in Dire Need of New Transportation Options

The Vegas Loop, often colloquially known as “Tesla Tunnels,” is frequently touted as a testament to modern engineering and forward-thinking. Despite criticisms regarding operational speed and capacity, with vehicles expected to traverse at a modest 30 mph in single file compared to the initially proposed 155 mph autonomous shuttles, the system cleverly leverages its innovative concept to remain in the limelight.

The newly sanctioned extension stretches two miles beneath the bustling thoroughfare of Paradise Road, beginning at the Thomas & Mack Center and winding its way to the relay point at Harry Reid International Airport. LVCVA CEO and president Steve Hill noted that the project could further elevate Las Vegas as a leading tourist destination and bring substantial benefits.

It is the realistic opportunity to make a dent in the congestion in the city, to make the visitor experience significantly better.

Steve Hill,  LVCVA CEO and president

The primary objective of this expansion is to tackle head-on the notorious traffic congestion that frequently plagues the surface streets, promising a solution to the frustration experienced by drivers and pedestrians seeking clear passage through the city’s heart. However, critics note that severely limited throughput means the Loop won’t make a substantial difference, referring to it as another vanity project.

The Loop Faces Harsh Criticisms

The board’s resolution did not come without controversy, particularly following a $100,000 fine levied against Musk’s The Boring Company by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for eight identified “serious” safety infractions. The punishment stemmed from reports of workers suffering chemical burns due to sludge spills during their subterranean labors.

Despite reassurances from Hill regarding The Boring Company’s commitment to safety and swift action in response to the OSHA citations, Las Vegas mayor and LVCVA board member Caroline Goodman cast the lone opposing vote. She has been a vocal opponent of the Vegas Loop, referring to it as “unsafe” and “impractical.”

I find it unsafe and inaccessible. It is operator-driven, therefore, it’s not on a rail and cannot move us all safely.

Caroline Goodman, Las Vegas mayor and LVCVA board member

In parallel developments, The Boring Company’s proposal for a Vegas Loop station at Allegiant Stadium presents another issue, potentially displacing parking spaces crucial for stadium operations. These challenges further exacerbate the project’s controversial status as many remain unconvinced that the Loop will be a viable alternative to anybody but a chosen few.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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