Points Miles and Bling (blog) contains referral or affiliate links. The blog receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support. Credit Card issuers are not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information, and Terms and Conditions, click the link included.
The Vegas Loop is a multi-phase transportation project in Las Vegas, Nevada, that would use autonomous electric vehicles (Tesla Model X and Y series) to transport passengers around the city through a network of underground tunnels. Being developed by the Boring Company, the Vegas Loop will eventually connect several major tourist destinations in the city, including the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Strip, and downtown Las Vegas.
Still in the early stages of development, a 1.8 mile stretch of the tunnel system connecting Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) campus was unveiled in 2021. On a recent trip to Vegas (PMB Vegas meetup) I had the opportunity to try out the non-autonomous LVCC Loop , from the LVCC Central Station to Resorts World (latest addition to the loop). Originally, the Vegas loop connected the four stations that spanned the ‘LVCC campus’;
- LVCC South Station
- LVCC Central Station
- LVCC West Station
- LVCC Riviera Station
The Resorts World connector from LVCC Riviera Station has been added as recently as Q4 of 2022. My joy ride took ~5 minutes from LVCC Central Station to Resorts World Station. Note that the LVCC section has two tunnels (two green lines in map), one going each way, however the Resorts World connector is just the one tunnel where cars have to wait for clearence before they can enter the tunnel on either side. Since the connector is only a 2 minute ride, there is not much wait time involved as such.
Vegas Loop – Buy Tickets
Vegas Loop ‘Day Pass’ can be bought online for $4.50 and is good for unlimited rides for one passenger between Resorts World and LVCC campus. However, see in red below – ‘Valid LVCC attendee credentials required to ride’. If you are not a convention attendee, the only way to take a joy-ride is to start at LVCC South/Central stations and make your way to Resorts World. This is exactly what I did, an Uber ride to LVCC Central Station to start my experience.
The LVCC Central station signs were all around the convention centre, which was easy to navigate. Once at the main entrance, I took a long-ish escalator ride down into the tunnel system where we were greeted by the friendly Vegas Loop staff.
From what I could tell, all cars were black Tesla Model X’s, and my ride in particular came with a fantastic driver – she was a trove of information on all things ‘Vegas Loop’. We were given a debrief of what to expect, and the general do’s/dont’s of the trip. She also confirmed that eventually the loop would be operated by autonomous vehicles, but at the time all cars were non-autonomous.
The tunnels were white, built of concrete panels and light up in Neon green, while the station had a mix of several neon lights that made it look funky, perhaps futuristic. The roads in the tunnel were no different than the regular concrete roads. Once fully in the tunnel, our driver allowed us the thrill of ‘the 0-60 effect’ between white columns and neon light – I was equal measure amazed and nervous about the non-existent “oncoming traffic”. Once past that mental hurdle, the ride was a lot of fun as our driver engaged us in the past and future of the Vegas loop.
I was surprised to find that the start of the Resort World connector was actually outside of the tunnel system, and not a continuous ride underground. We waited briefly for the green lights to let us to proceed into the ‘two way tunnel’ from LVCC Riviera Station all the way to Resorts World – a 2 minute ride.
As we pulled into the drop-off area I remember thinking “this would be fun to do again” and “did I just experience the future”?
Vegas Loop Review – Is this the future?
No doubt, once completed this project can alleviate traditional traffic pains in Las Vegas, and be a net positive for all tourists and locals in town. However, there is no official timeline for this complex and ambitious project to expand the tunnel network across the city. The success of the Vegas Loop will largely depend on its ability to secure funding and overcome regulatory or technical challenges that may arise during the development process. Here is Boring Company’s statement on cost of building tunnels and future viability;
Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with many projects costing between $100 million and $1 billion per mile. In order to make vast tunnel networks feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10, with TBC’s Loop tunnels currently priced at approximately $10 million per mile
The project is also facing competition from other companies that are working on similar (and better) transportation systems – think Virgin Hyperloop.
Personally, I don’t see a difference in the current Vegas Loop setup and an underground Metro system, which provides mass transport, rather than 2-3 people zipping around in a Tesla. As fun as it was, I hope Vegas Loop is not the future of city transport.
What do you make of Vegas Loop, should it be the future of city transport?
THIS MAKES NO SENSE. The US is a clown country, run by a handful of clowns with more money than sense.
What happens in Vegas, should stay in Vegas 😉
“Personally, I don’t see a difference in the current Vegas Loop setup and an underground Metro system, which provides mass transport, rather than 2-3 people zipping around in a Tesla.”
I mean…the difference is quite obvious, which is probably why you hope it’s not the future. Anybody who looks at this clown system as a major improvement over effective, well-maintained mass transit isn’t to be taken seriously. Yes the price of creating a tunnel for cars is much cheaper than a fully functional subway. But then again, a Loop system will move a few thousand people an hour, and mass transit moves hundreds of thousands on 1 line.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, the city of LV has approved the expansion of this system to connect downtown as well. My hope is that this remains a ‘Vegas thing’ and does not get adopted by others.