EVLN: Lost_Wages' (auton) e-shuttles 2use Boring's $55M tunnels

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EVLN: Lost_Wages' (auton) e-shuttles 2use Boring's $55M tunnels

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Las Vegas tourism board OKs transit system talks with Musk firm
Musk boring
March 12, 2019  Regina Garcia Cano AP

The Boring Company via AP
This undated conceptual drawing provided Elon Musk’s The Boring Company
shows a high-occupancy Autonomous Electric Vehicle (AEV) that would run in a
tunnel between exhibition halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center proposed
for Las Vegas

A company backed by tech billionaire Elon Musk moved a step closer Tuesday
to building tunnels for an express transit system at a massive Las Vegas
convention center despite some local opposition.

The board of directors of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
voted to authorize contract negotiations with the Musk-backed enterprise The
Boring Company.

Authority staff and the company will now develop a detailed design and
negotiate the terms of a contract. The project is expected to cost between
$35 million and $55 million. The company would pay the cost up front and be
reimbursed once the project is completed.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, a member of the board, voted against the

She expressed concerns that the company was "exploratory at this time and we
are considering handing over the reins of our most important industry." She
said she wanted a further briefing on the project.

The authority expects the transit system to have three or four stations,
each situated at entrances to the convention center's halls. People would be
carried in electric vehicles moving through parallel tunnels, each running
in one direction.

The fleet could include Tesla's Model X and Model 3 and a vehicle with
capacity for about 16 people — all manufactured by Musk. All the vehicles
would be fully autonomous, meaning they won't have backup drivers, and would
move at speeds of up to 50 mph.

The system of just over a mile long is expected to debut by January 2021.
The convention center hosts over 1 million people a year. Depending on the
size of the stations, 4,400 to 11,000 people could use the system every

Authority president and CEO Steve Hill said the agency expects to return to
the board with a full design and proposed contract by June.

Musk's dream of an express tunnel transit system has encountered skeptics
and setbacks in other cities. The Boring Company canceled plans in November
for a test tunnel in the Los Angeles area after a neighborhood group filed a

Its project to move people from downtown Chicago to O'Hare International
Airport appears to be in jeopardy after the city's mayoral candidates
expressed opposition.

The company in December unveiled a test tunnel built under a Los Angeles
suburb, allowing reporters and guests to take rides.

Hill told the board other transportation plans that the authority received
as part of a request for proposals are unaffordable and "somewhat
unsightly." A board member expressed skepticism over the low cost estimate,
saying boring tunnels elsewhere can cost $750 million per mile.

"The cheapest bid isn't always the best because you get what you paid for,"
said councilwoman Michele Fiore, who sought to postpone the vote.

The Boring Company president Steve Davis last week told The Associated Press
the company has been able to reduce costs by eliminating a traditional step
in the tunneling process. The company converts the dirt that would normally
be taken to landfills into bricks.

"If you can take that dirt, and convert it to bricks and give them away,
which is pretty much what we do right now, you just reduced the cost of
tunneling by 15 to 20 percent," he said. "If you can sell them for even 12
or 13 cents apiece, which is less than what a brick would cost at Home
Depot, you can pretty much take the cost of tunnel almost down to zero. You
can really make it unbelievably inexpensive."
[© lasvegassun.com]

Tesla excluded from NY charger incentive program, argues discrimination
2019-03-13  New York has a lot to gain as Tesla continues to bring parity to
efficient fueling of electric cars with conventional gas-powered vehicles,
especially with the release

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L.Vegas e-shuttle in Boring caliche-tunnels> ride-hailing theme-park subway-ride

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Questions surround Las Vegas underground transit system
March 16, 2019  Richard N. Velotta

High-occupancy autonomous electric vehicles would run between exhibit halls
at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (The Boring Company)

Three members of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s board of
directors brought some healthy skepticism to last week’s meeting at which
the board gave the go-ahead for an underground transit system.

While Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Councilwoman Michele Fiore and
Caesars Entertainment executive Tom Jenkin were unsuccessful in their bid to
get more time to study a proposal by The Boring Co., they raise plenty of
questions, some of which remain unanswered.

The Boring Co., an Elon Musk subsidiary grown out of his SpaceX operation,
proposes using Musk-developed electric Tesla vehicles to run within paired
precast concrete tunnels that would be built about 30 feet below grade

But this system isn’t like a traditional subway that runs from one end of
the line to the other with a series of stops in between.

Think of it as a combination of subway, ride hailing and theme park ride
blended into one. It’s all underground — that’s the subway part. Riders
would use an app to select a destination, presumably from between two and
four choices — that’s the ride-hailing part. And,the vehicles would cruise
on rubber tires just like those minicar rides at amusement parks.

LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill described it as riding along a freeway
and then taking an exit off the main highway to the destination.

Hill likes the idea that all construction would occur underground, so no
streets would be blocked during trade shows. No parking disruptions. No
traffic issues.

Still, questions abound.

The Boring Co. says it can tunnel at roughly $10 million a mile. By today’s
engineering standards, that’s extraordinary, since subway tunnels in other
cities have cost between $750 million and $1 billion per mile. Those kinds
of numbers will evoke the sentiment of, if it sounds too good to be true, it
probably is.

The high cost of tunneling scratched the idea of a subway system beneath the
Strip in the 1970s. Bill Flangas, a tunnel superintendent and manager for a
team that moved atmospheric nuclear weapons testing underground at the
Nevada Test Site, now known as the Nevada National Security Site, suggested
an underground transit system between McCarran International Airport and the
Strip in 1974.

One of the fears tunneling experts always have is encountering caliche, a
hard substance that is found in our local soils and is challenging to drill
through. But Boring has said a more challenging substance would be soft,
sandy soil to which the tunnel lining can’t be affixed. For the Las Vegas
Convention Center expansion project, tunnelers must also be wary of utility
lines that may exist but are unaccounted for in old records, as well as the

The LVCVA should have a good guide with the deep drilling that contractors
did in the current construction of the West Hall expansion.

The board’s 10-3 vote gives Hill and LVCVA executives permission to
negotiate the terms of a final contract with Boring with a wide range of
projected costs, between $35 million and $55 million.

The cost will depend on the length of the tunnels and the number of stations
— the biggest cost. At a minimum, plans call for three stations and a little
over 1¼ miles of tunneling. At a maximum, plans call for five stations and
about 1½ miles of tunneling.

It’s a little scary that one of the short routes would burrow directly
beneath the convention center’s South and Central halls.

If anything were to happen to the stability of those exhibition halls, as
one engineer I spoke with last week suggested, some of the city’s key
meeting venues would be compromised. That would be a devastating blow to the
city’s convention business.

There’s also been some concern shown about the capacity of the Tesla
vehicles that would be transporting people. The largest vehicle could carry
16 passengers, and it would take several minutes for it to be loaded and
unloaded and be replaced with another vehicle for the next ride.

Anyone who has ever witnessed the crush of people moving around CES knows a
maximum capacity of 16 passengers per vehicle could be an issue.

Some have asked how such a transit system, if extended into the community as
some have suggested, would affect bus, monorail, taxi and ride-hailing
operations. All fair questions.

I’m sure those are some of the questions Goodman, Fiore and Jenkin wanted to
have answered before entering negotiations.
Presumably, they and we will get answers before a final contract is
[© reviewjournal.com]

Caliche: Also known as calcrete, hardpan, and duricrust
In the United States, caliche is a familiar deposit in many parts of the
Southwest, especially in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.
There ...

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Las Vegas Board votes 2move forward> Boring tunnel e-shuttle gets green light

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LVCVA Board of Directors votes to move forward with Elon Musk's The Boring
21 March 2019  The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Board
of Directors have ... Following on from the news Elon Musk's The Boring
Company (TBC) had been ... electric vehicles at high speeds, 14-member Board
approved the decision.

Elon Musk's Las Vegas underground loop gets the green light
March 17th, 2019 - Elon Musk's Boring Company gets Las Vegas approval to
build and operate a ... carry people in autonomous electric vehicles at the
city's convention center.

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