Boring

Elon Musk's Las Vegas Boring tunnel is open and... well, boring

It's... just a tunnel.

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., speaks during an unveiling event for the Boring Company Hawthorne test tunnel in Hawthorne, south of Los Angeles, California on December 18, 2018. - Musk explained that the snail moves 14 times faster than a tunnel-digging machine. 
On Tuesday night December 18, 2018, Boring Co. officially opened the Hawthorne tunnel, a preview of Elon Musk's larger vision to ease L.A. traffic. (Photo by Robyn Beck / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

The Boring Company has officially opened its Las Vegas Convention Center Loop for service, marking the first time Elon Musk’s tunnel-digging company actually brought a full-scale project to fruition.

The Convention Center Loop is relatively short, as far as tunnels go — just 1.5 miles with three entry/exit stations. The Boring Company hasn’t released any official video from the opening yet, but based on the above footage from a local news station, the tunnel is apparently filled with gently strobing lights. The tunnel is much more narrow than a traditional underground roadway.

It’s unclear how “open” the Loop is to the public; The Boring Company has made no official announcement on the opening, and the Vegas Loop website still says the Loop is “coming soon.” The tunnel has reportedly tested as many as 4,400 passengers per hour, according to this tweet from Steve Hill, President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The Boring Company ultimately hopes to cut down on the worst parts of traffic, including the ridiculous emissions levels created by vehicle congestion.

Welcome to Vegas — Las Vegas is very excited that Musk’s company chose it as the first-ever Loop locale. Here’s Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak posing with a Tesla to commemorate the tunnel’s opening:

That Fox clip above highlighting the tunnel’s opening shows convention-goers are excited about the tunnel, too. In the clip, one person says: “You can see variants of color, so it kind of feels like a rollercoaster.” She goes on to say that driving in the tunnel made it seem like the vehicle was speeding, even though it was going just 30 miles per hour.

This seems so…boring? — The Boring Company’s name has proven to be just a little too apt. Musk first pitched his underground tunnel system as ultra-futuristic, with the ability to move passengers autonomously at high speeds.

Instead it looks like we have a very normal tunnel, except that it’s so narrow anyone with the slightest bit of claustrophobia will want off. You can’t even go above 35 miles per hour in the tunnel right now. Oh, and Elon’s installed some smart lights. How cute.

Sample fares and travel times from The Boring Company’s website.

Eventually The Boring Company plans to extend this Loop all around the Vegas Strip, with easy access to convention centers, casinos, and the airport. The company’s site says you should be able to get from McCarran Airport to the convention center in just 5 minutes — which, at 4.9 miles, would require going nearly twice the tunnel’s current max speed. It’s unclear when (or if) The Boring Company will actually make that a reality. Until then, this tunnel feels more like a reminder of Musk’s many letdowns than a future-forward travel innovation.