99°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

LVCVA to vote on Elon Musk’s underground transit system

Updated May 14, 2019 - 3:39 pm

A decision looms next week on a transit system for the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Should the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority approve an experimental underground people mover designed by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company that has never been deployed?

Or should it stay conservative with a tested elevated train with technology already used on the Las Vegas Strip?

The LVCVA board of directors received an update Tuesday on the transit proposal destined for a vote May 22.

The Musk concept is a point-to-point on-demand system with vehicles capable of transporting up to 16 people at a time.

The system would use autonomous electric vehicles, or AEVs, on three types of Tesla Model X chassis with rubber tires operated in automatic pilot mode.

Using paired one-way tunnels with a series of on- and off-ramps, the AEVs could be hailed by app for direct service to another station. Conventioneers would access the underground system by elevator or escalator.

The Boring proposal has been endorsed by a committee of six reviewers, three from within the LVCVA and three independent.

The last time board members talked about the transit system in March, they voted 10-3 to move ahead on contract details and fine-tuning the proposal.

One of the votes in opposition came from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, a board member, who continues to have concerns about whether Boring can deliver what it promises.

“Now is not the time to experiment with an untested, unproven transportation system that will impact our region’s most important industry,” Goodman said in a memorandum she delivered to board colleagues prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

She took the step of inviting Markus Schrentewein, CEO of Austria-based Doppelmayr Garaventa Group, to address the board.

Doppelmayr, which has developed 15,000 transit systems worldwide, including the elevated systems that link Excalibur with Mandalay Bay and Bellagio with Park MGM through CityCenter, finished second among the 10 initial requests for information solicited by the LVCVA.

The Doppelmayr system is a more conventional monorail-style system with stops along each station along the track.

As for cost, the Boring system was the clear winner, offering the system for $52.5 million, compared with an estimated cost of $85 million for the Doppelmayr. Boring also proposed to finance the project because company officials envision it as a showcase to prove its technology.

LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill noted that the company offered to post a bond to mitigate costs if the system did not work properly and trade shows and conventions at the Convention Center were affected.

Goodman noted that the untested and untried Boring system had no track record for safety. She also said the Boring system would require hiring paid staff to direct customers to board vehicles while the Doppelmayr system would function automatically.

The Boring system would serve 16 passengers at a time; the capacity on a Doppelmayr train is 168.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
North Las Vegas company prepares for Mars - VIDEO
Robert Bigelow and his Bigelow Aerospace manufacturing facility played host to eight NASA astronauts and 60 engineers this week getting to know the company’s B330 autonomous, expandable space station. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas developer talks about a new apartment complex called “the yoU”
Frank Marretti lll, founder of G2 Capital Development, talks about his new apartment complex called “the yoU” near UNLV. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The last remaining Sigma Derby game in Las Vegas
Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas, talks about the last remaining Sigma Derby horse racing game in Las Vegas inside his casino floor. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review
Janine Blake of Las Vegas gives her review of the new Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich at the restaurant’s location on west Bonanza Road on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019,
SuperZoo 2019 takes over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
SuperZoo 2019 show for pet retailers brought pet products of all description to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Favorite products from SuperZoo 2019
Some of the fun and interesting pet products on display at the SuperZoo in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Convention Day 3
The fashion trade show MAGIC, held Monday through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Las Vegas - Day One
The biannual MAGIC convention show opened Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Nevada's sportsbook operators welcome competition
Sportsbook operators from near and far are looking to get into in the established Nevada market, experts say. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
There's a new place to play board games in Las Vegas
Matt Smiciklas, co-owner of Boarding School Games, talks about the new Las Vegas business that he co-owns with Emily Labejof. Dedicated tabletop gamers can choose from more than 500 games to play for free in-store. The doors open to the public Saturday, July 20, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Renovations at the STRAT
Analysts say the $140 million renovation project at The STRAT, formerly the known as the Stratosphere, could help the hotel-casino compete with the evolving north side of the Las Vegas Strip. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SLS Las Vegas will become Sahara Las Vegas
Owner Alex Meruelo announced during a special event at the SLS Las Vegas that the hotel-casino will become Sahara Las Vegas in its next iteration. Meruelo said $150 million dollars will be spent to renovate the current property. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aircraft hinge maker moves to "business friendly" Nevada
Doug Silva, president of Aircraft Hinge, Inc. in Las Vegas, makes every type of hinge for every type of airplane. Silva talks about his company and why he moved it to Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Daytime fireworks mark the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
The opening of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. included a three-minute fireworks show launched by Fireworks by Grucci Sunday, June 23, 2019. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @RickVelotta
Elaine Wynn talks about the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
Elaine Wynn, co-founder and largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts, talked during opening festivities of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
People line hours ahead of opening for Encore Boston Harbor
Guests arrive as much as 17 hours early for the 10 a.m. opening of the $2.6 billion, 671-room resort in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @reviewjournal.com
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms - Video
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms.
Crews working 24/7 to complete Circa downtown - VIDEO
Owner Derek Stevens goal is to open the doors to the 1.25 million-square-foot project by December 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST