Musk's Boring Company built high-speed tunnel in Las Vegas, Miami wants the same
Earlier this month, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez met with Musk in Las Vegas to tour the tunneling company's $52 million system in Sin City and to discuss potentially implementing the technology back home.
Las Vegas has promoted its innovation around the Musk project.
Talks about the possible project first came about in January, when Suarez responded to a tweet in which Musk said that battery cell production is "the fundamental rate-limiter slowing down a sustainable energy future."
Suarez responded with a "couldn't agree more" and invited Musk to Miami to discuss possibilities and "potential solutions for the benefit of our future."
Musk replied back, writing "cars & trucks stuck in traffic generate megatons of toxic gases & particulate, but @boringcompany road tunnels under Miami would solve traffic & be an example to the world."
He added that he already spoke with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and that if both Suarez and Desantis wanted to bring the tunnel to Miami, the Boring Company would do it.
Suarez told FOX Business the underground tunnel would be built in a "far less expensive" and "hopefully ecologically safe" way.
The project would stretch from the city's Brickell financial district to as far north as Little Haiti. The Miami World Center, a 10-city-block development under construction, would be among the tunnel's series of stops.
When completed, Miami World Center will feature 11 skyscrapers, several hotels, the new Miami Convention Center, retail stores, restaurants and the new Brightline high-speed rail Miami Central Terminal.
“We want to connect all of downtown Miami to make it a cohesive, walkable drivable area,” Miami World Center lead developer Daniel Kodsi added.
"This is unprecedented. We’ve never seen anything like this," Kodsi said, adding that the city has seen a 20% increase in values for the luxury housing and hospitality project markets.
According to Suarez, property taxes under his watch fell to the second-lowest rate since the 1960s. As more people move to Miami, he emphasized that the city wants to keep its taxes low while making more investments in quality of life. Besides the tunnel, Suarez said he hopes to increase Miami's funding for police officers.
"While many cities are defunding their police we want to increase our funding for police," Suarez said. "We have the most police officers we’ve ever had in our history. We reduced crime last year by 25% and we had a historic low in homicides the year before that from 1954."
Suarez explained during a press conference Monday that motorists would drive onto a fixed subterranean platform, which would then transport drivers and their vehicles through the tunnel at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour.
He noted that the Boring system's throughput could be as high as 60,000 people per hour — higher than the Metrorail’s 50,000 people a day.
The mayor's office is in discussions with Miami's city commission regarding how the system will be procured. In addition, Suarez will seek a meeting with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to discuss possible federal funding for the proposed project as the Biden administration works to draft a national infrastructure package.
"My goal is to do a procurement that's similar to what happened in Las Vegas, maybe even piggyback off Las Vegas. And in Las Vegas, [the Boring Company] financed it and had a guaranteed maximum price." Suarez said. "So the idea would be potentially for them to finance it as well."
Suarez said it would be a consumer model where a customer would pay between $5-$10 to use the tunnel to get from one place to the other, depending on the stop.
According to Suarez, the Boring Company estimates the price tag would be around $10 million per mile. A straight drive from the Brickell City Center to Little Haiti is roughly 6 miles. Musk has stated he believes he can build the proposed Miami River Tunnel in six months at a price of $30 million.
The mayor declined to give an exact timeline for how long the project could take but emphasized piggybacking on the Las Vegas procurement could expedite the process. The Boring Company's Las Vegas tunnel system was built in about a year.
To those who doubt the project's feasibility, Suarez encouraged them to pay their own visit to the Las Vegas tunnel.
“Get on a plane and go to Las Vegas and check it out for yourself,” he said. “It’s there. It’s real.”
Original story by Lucas Manfredi