This year I’m in Las Vegas for SEMA. It’s a wild place, especially if you decided to get started early like I did. Two hours in, I needed a break from everything so I decided to go and check out the much talked about and hyped Tesla Loop to see what it was about. It was dumb.
Built for the not so tidy sum of $52.5 million by Musk’s The Boring Company, the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, or LVCC Loop, is a system of tunnels, or rather a planned system that mostly connect the Las Vegas Convention Center. Planned tunnels would connect the Las Vegas Airport and Downtown Las Vegas to the Las Vegas Convention Center for a total of 19 miles of tunnels. Depending on where you’re headed, fares would range from $5-$12.
I made my way down to the lane that, according to a large screen, would take me to the west station, which was just on the other side of the convention center.
Shouting attendants direct you where to go. The ride to the West Station should take about two minutes. I was told it would normally be a 25 minute walk.
The ride was quick. Multicolor LED strips run the length of the tunnel which I think is less about lighting and more about creating a cool look.
Just as quickly as I hopped in it was over and I was on the other side of the convention center. I got out feeling like I just had one of the dumbest and most pointless transportation experiences of my life for a number of reasons.
The most glaring problem is cost. The nearly $53 million this cost the government could have gone into actual transportation infrastructure. Secondly, anyone who has to use a mobility device but isn’t ambulatory enough to stow it in the trunk of a Model Y is screwed. I didn’t see any kind of accommodations for disabled people which is very weird. Third, the idea to solve traffic congestion by just moving cars into one-way underground tunnels is profoundly dumb.
It’s just a really half assed approach to transportation that shows that Musk really isn’t the genius that many make him out to be. At the end of the day it’s all just an underground toll road where someone else drives.
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