LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Boring Company’s new loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center opened Tuesday, shuttling passengers across campus. But what happens if something goes wrong?
Two tunnels 40 feet below ground are carrying passengers through three stations across the 200-acre campus. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) estimates the $52 million project will trim a 25-minute walking trip to just a handful.
But with new technology comes new challenges.
“The only thing is we can’t drive the engine right up to the call,” Clark County Fire Department Deputy Chief Warren Whitney said.
The department worked together with the Boring Company to chart this new territory, which aims to carry nearly 9,000 customers an hour in about 60 Teslas. Two documents obtained by the I-Team outline emergency procedures in the event of a fire, crash, medical incident or other emergency.
If something goes wrong, drivers, who are employed by the Boring Company, are trained to continue to the nearest station. If there is a blockage, drivers are trained to reverse out of the tunnel.
Firefighters will use carts, not trucks, to get into the tunnels. If there is a fire, a powerful ventilation system can push smoke out one direction, giving firefighters a safe way in.
The documents point to the safety of Tesla batteries, saying they are mounted in the floor and rarely damaged in a crash.
“Whatever heat and smoke and gases are released will be pulled away, and then we enter from the other side,” Whitney said.
“We think this is just going to be an incredible amenity and offering for our customers to have a fun way to move around our campus,” LVCVA’s senior vice president of communications, Lori Nelson-Kraft, said.
The loop opened on the first day of World of Concrete, the convention center’s first event since the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was really imperative to us that the Boring Company was equally as committed to the safety, and we’re very pleased with the outcome,” Nelson-Kraft said.
After dozens of drills and months of practice, the time to get moving is now.
“I’m very confident in the safety not only for the passengers, but the system itself,” Whitney said.
There are plans to extend the system from the convention center up and down Las Vegas Boulevard.
The I-Team reached out to the Boring Company for this story and did not hear back.