by Michael J. Shapiro | November 21, 2019

The Elon Musk-led Boring Co. has started tunneling under the Las Vegas Convention Center to create an underground people mover. The $52.5 million project, Boring's first commercial endeavor, will include three passenger stations and will connect the existing convention space with the new 1.4 million-square-foot West Hall that is currently under construction. The people mover is expected to be completed in January 2021.

"This is truly a significant occasion for Las Vegas," said Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. "Our collaboration with the Boring Co. continues to elevate the innovative experiences we offer our visitors and will ensure that our expanded convention facilities are among the most tech-forward in the world. We took the concept of utilizing the underground people mover from an idea on paper to tunneling in less than a year, demonstrating our board's willingness to embrace bold, new ideas with the potential to change the face of transportation in Southern Nevada and beyond."

The boring-machine engines were started on Friday for the first time, 40 feet underground beneath the convention center. The massive machine is capable of carving out 100 feet per day.

The people movers themselves will be all-electric Tesla vehicles, capable of transporting 3 to 16 people at a time, and doing so quickly -- the trip across the 200-acre convention center campus will take just a bit more than a minute. The system, which will be free to ride, will be able to transport at least 4,400 passengers every hour and potentially more, based on convention attendance.

When it debuts in 2021, the system will consist of two tunnels, approximately 1 mile each in length. It will be built with the capacity to expand, potentially linking the convention center campus to other sites, such as downtown Las Vegas, the Strip and McCarran International Airport.