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conceptual drawing of Elon Musk's people mover under Las Vegas Convention Center

Manville on Elon Musk’s Vegas People-Mover

Associate Professor of Urban Planning Michael Manville spoke to the Los Angeles Times about Elon Musk’s underground people-mover for the Las Vegas convention center’s expansion. Musk’s Boring Co. secured a $48.7-million contract after the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board approved construction of the roughly mile-long transit loop. Manville was surprised to learn that an underground plan was more affordable than a proposed elevated rail because tunneling is often more expensive. Based on the few details released by the Boring Co., Manville said it would be difficult to assess the project. “This is kind of a market test for him. Can he now build something that is more commercially viable than what he’s done with his test tunnel in Hawthorne?” Manville said. “But there’s nothing intrinsically interesting about building a tunnel to move people around. That’s what a subway is, right?”


 

Modified Tesla X drives in Boring Co. underground tunnel in Hawthorne

Manville on Elon Musk’s Proposed ‘People Mover’

Associate Professor of Urban Planning Michael Manville spoke to the Los Angeles Times about a proposed transit system to be built under the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnel project pitched by entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Boring Co. would connect different areas of the massive convention center as part of an ongoing expansion to be completed by 2021. Manville likened the tunnel system to trams used in airports to transport travelers to different terminals. The project is interesting but not revolutionary, he said. “All it is right now is kind of a fancy people mover through a convention center,” he said.


 

Matute Comments on Underground Transit Systems in L.A.

UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies Deputy Director Juan Matute spoke with The Atlantic about Elon Musk’s The Boring Company constructing an underground transit system in the city of Hawthorne. The construction process was expedited by the city with a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption. Matute reported there was very little pushback to the exemption from the community and that some negotiations were not open to the public. “This is typical with CEQA—a community that’s more disadvantaged and not as politically engaged doesn’t have the capacity to file lawsuits,” he said. Matute also commented on the construction of a proposed underground tunnel to Dodger Stadium. “I would be very surprised if it happened,” he said, giving it a 50/50 shot of completion due to “unfavorable economics.”


 

Matute Says Idea of Underground Route to Dodger Stadium May Have Merit

Juan Matute, lecturer in urban planning and deputy director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation, commented in a Los Angeles Times story about a proposed 3.6-mile tunnel to ferry baseball fans between Dodger Stadium and a nearby Metro subway station. Elon Musk, above, and his Boring Company proposed to whisk riders in zero-emission, high-speed pods, following another company’s proposal to build an above-ground gondola connection between L.A.’s Union Station and the stadium. “It doesn’t seem like Dodger Stadium’s traffic problems have been solved as a result of the bus-only lanes,” Matute said. “It seems like people have a different available option to get there, and this could be another different viable option.”